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DCorps Survey Confirms Kerry Win in Third Debate

Democracy Corps has released the third in their series of panel surveys on the debates. I urge you to check out the entire survey, but here are some of the main findings, as summarized in their release on the survey:

John Kerry won the final presidential debate and produced the biggest shift yet in the actual vote for president. In this national representative survey of 1,030 likely voters, with data collected by Knowledge Networks, Kerry moved into a 3 point lead over Bush, 50 to 47 percent, after the debate. The survey participants began the evening evenly split, 48 to 48 percent, as the country as a whole. But Kerry got a clear a boost from Wednesday's debate, which will very likely reverberate in the coming days.

Kerry gained 2 points in the first presidential debate, according to the Democracy Corps survey,and 1 point in the 2nd Town Hall Debate.

Kerry also gained 2 points in the battleground states, where his lead is substantial, 54 to 44 percent after the debate.

As with nearly all other polls, the Democracy Corps national survey shows Kerry winning the debate by 5 points, 41 to 36 percent. Among independents, he won by 6 points and by 9 in the battleground states. While there are a small number of undecided (61 respondents), Kerry won by 8 points. (Among college educated women, Kerry won by 20 points.)

The biggest vote shift came among older men, an important target group in the election. Kerry moved from a deficit of 2 points to an advantage of 4 points, 51 to 47 percent.

This was very much a personal victory for Kerry. There was a net 8-point shift in favorability: positive responses rose 5 points to 48 percent; negative ones dropped 3 points to 42 percent. Bush gained only 2 points on favorability. Kerry’s gains reflected sharp rises on personal attributes, without a comparable gain for Bush.

· On strong convictions, Kerry rose 6 points to 63 percent.
· On honest and trustworthy, up 6 points to 57 percent.
· On gives me confidence, up 5 points to 52 percent.
· On likeable, up 5 points to 62 percent.
· On having clear plans, Kerry gained 6 points in comparison to Bush and ended up ahead (45 to 42 percent).

Makes you kind of wish there were a fourth and fifth debate, too, doesn't it?


from the Kerry website--

ABC Who won the debate?

Among Democrats – Kerry: 81%

Among Republicans – Bush: 73%

CBS Poll uncommitted voters:

Who won the debate:

Kerry: 39

Bush: 25

Tie: 36

CBS POLL, Kerry has clear positions on issues:

Before: 29%

After: 60%

CNN Poll:

Kerry 52%

Bush 39%


Of the 566 People Polled (38% Were Republican, 30% Democrat, 28% Independent) Kerry Won 42%-41%

What's really extraordinary about the 3-point Kerry lead is that it comes from a panel that is equally balanced between Republicans and Democrats (44-44, or 36-36 if you exclude weak identifiers).

I am a firm Kerry supporter, though I have to admit that was motivated at least as much by my dislike of Bush as my true support of Kerry.

For me, the debates (especially the second and third) changed that. I was so impressed by his performance, his articulateness, and his command of the issues that I have to say that I'm now an enthusiastic Kerry supporter moreso than an "anything but bush" voter.

I know there has been some talk here in the past about how "soft" some Kerry supporters have been - that a good proportion are actually ABB people rather than true Kerry supporters. I would be very interested in learning what the post-debate polls now say on this issue.

I'm feeling more assured of a Kerry victory--except for the fraud factor. the race will be close. There is already clear evidence of organized Republican cheating. For example in Neveda employees of an outfit financed by the RNC say that thousands of Democratic voter registration forms have been shredded. (check Talking Points Memo) We need to make fraud an issue now so that people are prepared when Bush "wins" Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Neveda. I hope Kerry will fight this one out past the election through the courts and to the streets if necessary.

Ruy, No more debates--they make me too nervous!

Two interesting points: a) although evenly divided among Republicans and Democrats, there were more "warm" feelings for the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, thus making Kerry's lead harder to achieve; b) Bush went up in most of his positives, just like after the last debate. (I don't recall seeing anything after the first debate) Is there a halo effect of some kind, just for being in front of the public?

Personally, I'm amazed that Bush showed up for #2 and #3. Of course, he does live in a different reality from us, and probably has Rove/Hughes telling him that he won somehow.

This poll shows that Kerry has the momentum. I suggest that KE will follow the historical Kerry strategy of opening up a lead in the last two weeks. The other night on Tina Brown, George Butler said that Kerry typically comes alive in the last two weeks, and he expects a series of harsh critiques of the Bush adminstration. Furthermore, Joe Trippi on Hardball last night noted that Kerry spoke of the future while Bush engaged in name-calling. This was, he said, how Kerry and Edwards both leap-frogged over Dean in the final two weeks of Iowa. I expect KE to open up a 4-6 pt lead over the next week and to hold it until the final weekend until Bush comes within 2 pts, however Kerry will have locked up Wisconsin and Ohio by then and the Presidency. God bless America.

I agree with Wonkie - "fraud" and "polling access" could well tip it in Bush's favor. I am positive they'll muck things up somehow (Talking Points Memo dredges up other examples outside NV).

The hardcore right-wingers will stop at nothing to retain power. It's actually pretty scary. Witness the hypocrisy of the Sinclair people: Koppel can't recount the names of American dead in Iraq because it's "too political" - but the same broadcasting company is prepared to preempt primetime shows to screen the anti-Kerry documentary!

Corruption. Unchecked, unquestioned, unchallenged by the 4th Estate.

And you wonder why so many conservative bloggers are complaining about "debate fatigue". It's must be like be a Boston Red Sox blogger come October.

I really feel sorry for them. It's not as if I'm sympathetic to their causes, but at the very least they could have eloquent spokesman. What's frightening is to imagine a world where a right-wing, born-again president can actually stand up and make credible defenses of his positions without salivating, stammering or jumping around the stage like a frat-boy sucking down vodka and Red Bull. Then we'd have some serious trouble because even with the current situation, the country is still evenly divided.

Fortunately momentum is moving in the direction of JFK, but you have to know that Karl Rove is lurking out there with some nasty news that he thinks we be devastating to the Democratic cause and elevate Bush back to the White House for 4 more years of "compassionate conservatism."

Frankly, I think Rove's billing as some kind of electoral genius is vastly overrated. After all, this is the guy who was convinced that Bush was a "natural harmonizer," comparing him endlessly to McKinley.

Rove's TX victories were actually fairly easy. Getting conervatives to vote Republican in TX (and ditto in Alabama) can't be THAT hard, I mean these are the blood-red states here. All you had to do was convince them that Republicans were conservatives.

That's why Bush, despite all his schemes, will not win. You can pull all the trick you want, but the USA isn't Texas-but-bigger.


Students have registered to vote in record numbers. Students tend to vote Democratic. Students can only be reached by cell phone, a means of communication few if any pollsters have figured out how to tap. The manipulating of poll samplings aside, there is a significant voice out there that few of the pollsters are hearing. Those students could help significantly to tilt the election in favor of Kerry. Let's hope so.

Lisa Aronson