« New Newsweek Poll: Kerry 49, Bush 46 | Main | Zogby Poll: Bush and Kerry Statistically Tied »

Gallup, LA Times Polls: Kerry, Bush in Statistical Tie

Bush leads Kerry 49-47 percent of nation-wide RV's, with 1 percent for Nader, 1 percent other, 1 percent none and 1 percent no opinion, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Oct. 1-3. In addition, 51 percent of respondents said Kerry was "better able to handle the economy," compared to 44 percent for Bush.

John Kerry leads George Bush 49-47 percent in a head-to head match-up among nation-wide RV's who saw the first presidential debate, according to a Los Angeles Times Poll conducted 9/30-10/1. The respondents chose Kerry as the winner of the debate by a 54-15 percent margin.

In addition, 50 percent of respondents in the LA Times Poll agreed that Kerry had "better ideas for strengthening the economy," compared to 37 percent saying the same about Bush. By a margin of 47-44 percent, the respondents said Kerry was "more likely to develop a plan for achieving success in Iraq."


Am I right in thinking that there must considerably more republicans than democrats (AGAIN) in this Gallup poll? How does Bush pull off the lead among RVs? Also, depsite a tie in the horserace, Bush enjoys big leads in some of the other questions.

So if Gallup uses the same methodology as before, doesn't that mean Kerry has a pretty big lead? Did they oversample Republicans in this poll, too?

Is this the same gallup poll that had Kerry trailing by 12? Is the party ID here still biased toward Repubs? If so, this is very good news for the Dems indeed. I guess the first debate went a LONG way toward turning opinions in favor of Kerry.... I can't wait until Tuesday.

So if I understand this correctly, according to the always reliable Gallup, Kerry jumped between 8 and 10 points following the debate. If I believed Gallup in the first place those would be fantastic numbers. Following the next debate, perhaps we will see Gallup show Kerry-Edwards ahead 49-47...

See that? Mark my words, we're seeing a leap similar to what Reagan experienced in 1980, where he went over the top in the final week of the campaign. Only Kerry's going to do it in an even BIGGER way!

Thank you for the good news! If even Gallup has to acknowledge Kerry's leap, the other polls will surely have it even bigger!

But what are the internals?! I have learned from Ruy to look at the internals, % of Dems and Repubs, etc...Ruy talk to us! Tell us the low down!


I think this clearly shows the debate has worked in Kerrys favor. I expect Kerry to gain on Bush even more in the next coming weeks. Hopefully Edwards will hold hiw own against Cheney tommarow night. I don't think polls are fully accurate for many reasons and I think Kerry's true numbers are higher than reported in any polls. Provided the absense of another terrorist attack before November 2nd or the convenient finding of Osama Bin Laden I expect Kerry to win the presidency on November 2nd.

I went to gallup and scanned all their content on this new poll and found nothing on the "party indentification split". I would have to assume that their approach to panel composition is unchanged.

Time to come back down to earth. First of all, Zogby is out with his poll and Bush is still ahead by a couple of points. This makes four polls that have the race either even or within one or two points for either guy. Rasmussen's tracking poll has Bush up by three.

Second, Bush still leads in the electoral vote in almost every poll. Third, there's plenty of reason to believe that Carl Rove will pull something very sleazy in October if the race is still close. Finally, the debate on Friday should be a positive for Bush - it involves a forum where his "affability" can really shine and one he's practiced in for the last four years.

Kerry is still the underdog in my opinion, but it's close now, very close.

One bit of interesting news in the Zogby poll is that undecides have risen to 8%, and by a four to one margin they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Historically in this type of situation, the undecides break in favor of the challenger on election day by large margins (if they show up to vote). So that's good for Kerry.

According to Zogby, Kerry's debate bounce was negligible - And this is a Dem pollster. GWB's job approval went up 2 points to 49%, which is excellent for a Dem leaning poll. Note this is his phone poll, not the phony internet subscriber poll.


Zogby International
Released: October 04, 2004

The race remains unchanged in a multi-candidate race. It is clear that Independent Ralph Nader is having an impact on Senator John Kerry.

Presidential Candidates %
Oct 1-Oct 3
Sept 17-Sept19

Republican - George W. Bush

Democrat - John Kerry

Independent - Ralph Nader

Libertarian - Michael Badnarik

Constitution - Michael Peroutka

Green - David Cobb



President Bush’s overall job performance rating is now evenly split, with less than a percentage point of likely voters saying that are undecided.

George W. Bush
Oct 1-Oct 3
Sept 17-Sept19




Respondents are also evenly split on the track of the country. Forty-eight percent say that the country is headed on the right track, while nearly half (47%) say the U.S. is on the wrong track.

US Direction
Oct 1-Oct 3
Sept 17-Sept19




When asked if President Bush "deserves to be re-elected", 46% support the president, while nearly half (49%) still say that it is "time for someone new."

George W. Bush
Oct 1-Oct 3
Sept 17-Sept19


Someone New


More than half of respondents (59%) say that John Kerry won the first presidential debate last Thursday, while one in five (21%) favor President Bush’s performance. Fifty-seven percent believe that Kerry looked most presidential, while nearly half (49%) agree with Bush on issues.

When respondents were asked, “If your car was broken down on the side of the road, who do you think would be more likely to help you”-- nearly one in three (32%) identified Kerry, while two in five (40%) suggest Bush.

Nearly one in three (28%) continue to identify jobs and the economy as the top issue facing the country, followed by the war on Iraq (20%); the war on terrorism (17%); health care (10%); and education (5%).

Pollster John Zogby: "The close race got even closer. There is some evidence that Kerry’s debate performance and increased clarity on the war has helped him consolidate at least some of the support that he has lost. But undecideds are up to 8 percent and there is still a month to go. There is also no doubt that Ralph Nader is hurting Kerry. The post convention bounce for Bush is over and his biggest hurdle is among undecided voters who give him a 31 percent positive job performance rating and a 69 percent negative rating. Only 13 percent of undecided voters feel that the president deserves re-election (his lowest yet) while 37 percent feel it is time for someone new.

Undecideds at 8 percent are high because we don’t push them until later. Five points of these are hard undecideds, two-points use to be with Kerry, and one point with Bush. How will they break in the end? Will they even vote?

Zogby International conducted telephone interviews of 1036 likely voters chosen at random nationwide. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 3, 2004. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.


Rove clearly received strong focus group polling that ads distorting the phrase "global test" would hit home with lamebrains. Professor Cole today demolishes this specious misinterpretation of Kerry's analsis, see juancole.com, but the lie will have its hoped for effect. It's devastating that as a result of Republican "liberal media" pressure and corporatism the mainstream media has abandoned playing any role whatever as independent watchdog over the campaigns; their abdication really permits gross manipulation and prevarication to run unchecked.

There's nothing on the Gallup or USA Today site that gives polling internals...

Geez, i hate to be a negative voice in the face of good news, but the election isn't being held today.

The dyanmic of this race has always been whether kerry could convince the majority of people who don't think bush is doing a good job that he could do better. Between April and early August, he did that.

Then, the smear and hatefest of August took hold of the narrative, and bush edged back ahead, as the people on the margin (that is, those who don't approve of bush's policies but aren't sold on the alternative) shifted back to "the devil you know."

The debate and its follow-on (and interestingly, Kerry is now seen as having "won" the debate more decisively than in the initial polling, which suggests a dynamic in motion) now appear to have restored the status quo ante of July 31.

But we are talking about Karl Rove, George Bush, and Dick Cheney, people with a proven track record of dishonesty and smearing, and they have 5 weeks in which to redo August.

While the "global test" line of attack doesn't seem, at least initially, to be working, they'll back off and try another. This race is far from over.

PS. Yes, i'd like to know the Gallup internals too!

Internals from Gallup:

Expresses himself more clearly?
Kerry 54
Bush 41
+13 Kerry

Is a strong and decisive leader?
Bush 56
Kery 37
Bush + 19

As images from the debate fade in voters memory, isn't it likely that voters will choose a strong leader over a strong talker?

The post-debate Zogby phone poll is out. It shows Kerry with a 2% gain in a head to head, now trailing by 1%, but no change in a three-way, trailing 3%.

I wonder if our Republican friends will now be touting the virtues of Zogby!

It's interesting that there was little change. But it's also interesting that it shows this thing very close, as do the other post-debate polls.

Keep on working in prep for Nov. 2!

Given that the Gallup polls have been overpolling Republicans so heavily, and their methodology gives no indication that they've corrected the problem, is it safe to assume that Kerry is actually ahead anywhere from 2-5 points?

Why do they keep putting Nader in those polls? He's clearly not a national candidate. Around this time in October 2000, Nader was polling at 3%, ended up at 2.7% and was on the ballot in all 50 states. Now he's polling at 1% and is on the ballot in only 25 states, only 5 or 6 or six of which are truly tossups. Including him gives a distorted picture of the race at this point. He should only be mentioned in individual state polls where it makes a difference.

UhOh, Looks like WP/ABC, according to KerrySpot at NRO, is about to come up with a no Kerry bounce poll - ie Bush up 5?. We shall see soon enough.


Oct 4, 2004


Apparently Rush Limbaugh just mentioned a poll that should be out tomorrow showing Bush up 5.

We at NRO have heard through the grapevine that this is the ABC News/WashingtonPost poll. No specific numbers yet, though.

Josh Marshall is reporting the the forthcoming ABC News/Washington Post poll has Bush holding on to a measurable lead. Thoughts, Ruy? Is this a case of LVs versus RVs again?

Smooth, it's called a URL. Please post those and use exceprts to make the case, just for readability's sake.

As for the Zogby poll, you know and I know that (a) it's a long way to Election Day, and (b) Kerry has the momentum coming out of last week's debate. Barring nasty surprises, it's becoming more and more Kerry's race to earn and win--unless, of course, one of the candidates stops to fix broken-down cars (clearly the most important quality in a leader), in which case all bets are off. :)

"I wonder if our Republican friends will now be touting the virtues of Zogby!"

No need to wonder. See schmoojazz's post above.

Looks like people are on to the problem with not knowing the internal details of these things when trying to interpret the numbers. Even when using the random dialing techniques, there are reasons why you can get unpredictable, but significant voter ID biases on any give outing. For example, are urban people more likely to be away from home on weekend than rural people, do people screen calls more at different times in the week, and is this biased urban/rural. The more polls favor rural areas, the more likely to have republican bias. So, without the internals, we have no way of knowing who representative the poll is.

Let's not even discuss the problem of assuming 55% turnout as Gallup does and weighting the data acccordingly.

> Second, Bush still leads in the electoral vote in
> almost every poll.
> Posted by coldeye at October 4, 2004 01:07 PM

I don't think that there's been enough state polls since the debate to actually determine this.

To coldeye:

I think the zogby poll is'nt really all that bad of news for kerry.

As we all know, undecides usually lean toward the challanger, and this poll has 8 percent undecided.
Bush's job approval rating and "reelect vs.someone new" is also extremely low.
Also about half of nader voters 4 years ago switched at the last minute to gore, I believe this is likely to happen again.(especially in swing states.)

Also, those state polls don't reflect the swift in public opinion that has taken place since the debate, almost all of them were taken wholly or mostly before the debate.

And another big of negative info....Pew is out and shows only a 1% gain (from an 8% Bush lead to 7%) among RV's, and Bush actually gaining in LV's, going from a 1% lead to 5%.

I got this from www.pollingreport.com.

Again, I expect our Republican friends to suddenly start favoring the polls they did not like a short while ago, while not mentioning at all the polls they did like a short while ago. That sort of approach is one of the best reasons to vote Democratic. Certainly it's one of the things that's moved me from thinking I might vote Republican 4 years ago (I didn't) to being unable to even imagine voting for anyone Republican for a good time to come.

At this point, depending on the poll, we're seeing anything from Kerry +3 to Bush +7. This is better than it was a short while ago, but, here's my mantra again....close.

Go out and talk to folks to get them on the Kerry side of things, especially in Ohio.

I'm expecting that the prime outcomes of the debates will be a slight move in Kerry's direction and a media that's actually willing to question Bush and his surrogates rather than taking all hook, line, and sinker.


Thanks for making that point on state polls. We have almost nothing post-debate on them at this point. Wait and see.

I've got the internals at my blog:


In short, Gallup's latest poll is based on a party ID breakdown that almost totally reflects the 2000 exit poll turnout, and not their suspect GOP-advantage models of the last two polls. Make of it what you will, but basically there was a 16-point swing in party ID amongst those participating in their likely voter sample this time. You'll have to decide for yourself how credible that is, and whether the problem rests with Gallup's methodology or whether we have a highly volatile and fluid electorate, as Gallup has been claiming all along.

I just don't find it credible that there would be such a swing in the Registered Voter poll results (Bush down from a 11% lead to a 2% lead in one week), and that there would suddenly be 8% more respondents self-identifying as Dems and 8% fewer self-identifying as Reeps in a week as compared to last week's sample, when the only change was the first debate.

Now Gallup does say that the first debate had a huge impact, but if it did, then why does the ABC News/WashPost poll say (if in fact it does this afternoon) there was no impact, and Zogby say that Kerry got only a 2% bounce?

I haven't seen the Washington Post/ABC poll being referenced here, but if the alleged 5-point Bush lead is on the mark, then that's still a bit closer than before. It also makes it a near-outlier compared to the latest raft of polls, although whether Kerry's debate gains will last is of course unclear. Is the Post the new Gallup? Speaking of Gallup I also wonder why Kerry does slightly better with LV's than RV's in their last two polls. Maybe our criticisms had an impact and they changed the LV formula, but I doubt that.

And I heard that Dan Rather (yeah, say what you will) is dropping hints about a new CBS survey that shows major change in the race (this from a firm whose polls have lately been on the pro-Bush side of the scale.) Exactly what kind of change was unspecified, but I haven't seen anyone showing major gains for Bush over the last week or so.

Pew Research has Bush 48 Kerry 41, only a one point bounce for Kerry.

I know we should ignore likely voters, so we will ignore that it's closer 49% to 44% among likely voters.

Actually, Kerry doing better among likely voters is consistent with a few other recent polls. Looks like the debates charged up Kerry base, so that's an accomplishment anyway, if it lasts.

Meanwhile, internals still a problem for Kerry:
Changes mind too much to be commander in chief:
49% yes, 41% no

Strong leader:
Bush 57% Kerry 32%

And these next two call into question just how effective Kerry was in the debate:
Has a clear plan on Iraq:
Bush 35% Kerry 26%
Bush made major mistakes in Iraq and terrorism:
Yes 46 no 50%

Even if Party I.D. is skewed:
Bush still pulls 9% of democrats, vs 5% that Kerry pulls from repubicans. Independents 35% to 33% for Bush.

Bill, for what it's worth, even if Kerry wins this thing, i still expect polls to show that people think that bush is the "strong leader." That image has been carefully crafted over a 36-month period by people who are real pros at hammering home a simple message, and repeated and repeated by an unthinking media. It's really asking too much of most voters - who are busy, after all, leading their lives, not reading blogs - to reason through how shallow a claim it is. The best that Kerry can hope to do is dent that image, not overcome it, and i think the best way to dent it is to call a spade a spade and label Bush a liar on a regular basis from here on out....

Yep, you can be a strong leader right up to the point where you turn around and see that most of your followers have defected to the smart leader.

CBS shows an even race (from down 8-9 % last week).

We don't know how long this will last, but it seems indisputable that Kerry got a bounce out of the debate. Pew doesn't show the bounce, and WasPost shows a smaller bounce, but overall, there is definitely a bounce. Rasmussen's robots will probably start showing it too.

party weighting does make it alot close in the pew poll. With party weighting Bush is at 45.93, Kerry at 44.34 and undecideds at 9. With that tiny of a margin, and undecides at about 9, kerry is in good shape.

See the zogby thread for how i broke down the numbers.

Like Bush, his followers argue to convince themselves, not others, that Bush is ahead.

Any pollster worth his or her salt has to know that Bush is trouble. He has so few firm voters this late. By most indicia, only 40% of the public is firm in its support of Bush, with another 6-7% weak and persuadable.

I'm 79% sure that is correct.

Zogby's words before the debate were that the election was still Kerry's to lose. After, he said that Bush's bounce is officially over.