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NYT/CBS News Poll: Kerry, Bush in Dead Heat

John Kerry and George Bush are tied at 47 percent of nation-wide RV's in a head-to-head match-up, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted 10/1-3.


again, another periodic update on the website for helping with voter reg in swing states, including the blockages of registrants:
By the way, the Kerry camp has been allowed by the FEC to start raising money for a fund for any post-election litigation and such

About the "gap gap". We have two dimensions and TWO kinds of gap gaps now. Before, there were differences in the amount of bounce from the debates, but all the polls agreed the race is now within two % + or -. Now there are two polls that have minimal bounces AND still show a large lead of 5-7 points remaining for Bush. Of the debate bounce, either they see one or two percent increase at most and no more, or well over 5% and nothing in between. Over now eight polls (NY Times, ABC, Pew, Zogby, Gallup, Carville, LA TImes, and NEWSWEEK, there is not only no consensus, the results don't even spread along any sort of continuum.
If one averaged them all out you would probably get about a four percent bounce net, leaving about a two percent lead to Bush -- my guess that's where the truth is. And Cheney v. Edwards should help at least another notch, though not nearly as much.
I really wonder again if there are any surveys of the new registrations to see the party breakdown and location of the new voters, probably concentrated in swing states such as Ohio, Nevada, and (probably less likely to affect pres campaign, MO). If the news of record registrations is true this could easily decide the election.

A few substantive political points
AGAIN, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE FLIPFLOP ISSUE BE CONFRONTED FORCEFULLY AS A "MERE SPIN" AND SOON, POSSIBLY BY EDWARDS IN THE DEBATE. He'll need to back it up, eg showing the bogusness of the exploitation of the 'voted for it before voted against it blooper' as well as the weakness of the claim on NAFTA and the Patriot Act, challenge the media, and secondarily, note that Kerry's campaign could easily match all the supposed Kerry flipflops at their own website and then do it. "Mere spin" can then at least mitigate the solidified flipflop cliche that has 60% of voters saying Kerry just tells people what they want to hear.
I also hear much talk about the draft, but little attention to the possibility of a draft that doesn't require MILITARY service, although allowing it to be fulfilled by noncombat military duty (with those signing up for combat duty of course exempt). This could be the deciding issue of the election easily.

Some of the incredible spins on Kerry from the debates, from people in mainstream media and watchdogs who should know better. The 'global test' issue cast as a requirement for PRIOR world acceptance by Safire, the $200 billion scored for being too high as there's some official (VAST UNDER)estimate of the money costs of the war. Those costs don't cover long term commitments like paying for those injured or disabled over the long term, shifting costs on to state and local governments, eg from National Guard callups, hidden and delayed military costs (even wear and tear), etc etc etc. Kerry if anything UNDERestimates the costs of the wars like everyone including the media does. This is a pet peeve of mine. Pre-emptive war was read by Safire to mean pre-emptive NUCLEAR war, which Kerry never suggested, and numerous observers are completely confused about N Korea, including some media watchdogs. Biden pointed out that the Chinese WANT us to go into bilateral negotiations to SUPPLEMENT, as Kerry suggested, the multilateral approach. Yet these misstatements are not only repeated by the Bush campaign but by highly respected journalists, commentators and watchdogs that people trust. People need to watchdog these.
In the interests of honesty I'll point out that I am much more dovish than Kerry and way to his Left, just preferring him to Bush. I also didn't join the many of my colleagues who followed the Ralph 'if Roe v Wade gets overturned, so what?' Nader juggernaut in 2000 (even as they supported Hillary against Lazio.
The flipflop issue needs to be effectively countered soon so the last weeks of the campaign can successfully focus on DEFICIT, JOBS, MEDICARE SCAM, ENVIRONMENT, and MEGATAX CUTS for the RICH in the midst of all this.

I still say the machine agenda is a better predictor of who will be the next prez than all this.

I would NOT trust ANY CBS poll at this point: The 60 Minutes story on Richard Clarke didn't work, their Abu Gharib ambush on GWB didn't work, and ForgeryGate didn't work either - So I wouldn't put it past them to tamper with party IDs in their poll to show that Kerry still has a pulse.

To wit: If you go to the NY Times web site, and click on the PDF associated with the poll, you get the following:

On page 6 of the PDF file (Question #10), the results to the question that asked which of the three major candidates the registered voter would vote for if the election were held today were as follows for the two most recent CBS/NYT polls:

9/12-16/04 – Bush 50% / Kerry 41% / Nader 3%

10/1-3/04 – Bush 47% / Kerry 47% / Nader 2%

On page 30 of the PDF file they have the results of the question, “Generally speaking, do you usually consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?":

9/12-16/04 – Reps. 33% / Dems. 31% / Ind. 29% / DK-NA 7%

10/1-3/04 – Reps. 29% / Dems. 34% / Ind. 28% / DK-NA 10%

Thus, this shows that in the poll released today, Bush had lost 9% off his lead from the previous CBS/NYT poll taken in mid-September but 4% less Reps. and 3% more Dems. were polled. This largely explains the reason for the huge shift from a 9% Bush lead 2-3 weeks ago to a tie today.

Moreover, this poll shows that GWB is nearly tied with Kerry with BOTH men and women. Any fair minded reader knows that GWB has a sizeable lead among men - Therefore the only way CBS/NY Times can show a nearly even race among men is if they mostly polled men in CA, NY, MASS, and other deep blue states.

This poll has about the same credibility as the forged document story IMO.

This poll weights respondents to reflect the percentage of votes in the 2000 election that came from heavily Democratic, heavily Republican, and swing counties. News reports (the best ones in the Times, to be fair) make clear that new voter registration is much heavier in Democratic than in Republican counties. The poll results which are weighted to the 2000 voting pattern will not reflect this.

Also, the poll is weighted for education and not for income. This will fail to correct the bias of low-income Kerry voters being unrepresented in the sample, and may actually increase the bias through the weighting process. (See my comment on the last CBS-Times poll.)


Several polls show that actually contrary to your propaganda the differential between men and women for Kerry was at a nadir (not only according to CBS, but also Newsweek and other polls).

From the RealClearPolitics site, now using only polls from after the debates, Bush's lead is down to 1.8% in a 3-way, mostly LV's (total of 6 polls) and 0.4% in a 2-way, again mostly LV's, total of 5 polls.

If anyone's not noticed, SJ will criticize the polls most in favor of Kerry while not addressing the polls in favor of Bush. Good to see Ruy being evenhanded and posting all the polls.

I'll happily take a 0.4-1.8% Bush lead at this point. If Kerry can keep it at that, the late break should go his way and be enough to put him over the top.

This will probably be my only post today. Lots of stuff on my plate.


Love how you're getting into the polling internals now that things aren't going W's way...

Smooth, are you kidding me? Clarke and Abu Gharib shook faith in Bush considerably. As I recall, Kerry was way ahead all that time. The NG story didn't have much negative impact, not because memos were faked, but because NOBODY CARES about Bush's NG service.

BTW - Where's the outrage over the fake Kerry story from FOX (which was not only posted on its Web site but discussed on FNC) and the "who among us" quote made up by Maureen Dowd? Oops. Doesn't fit the librul media paradigm. Never mind.

> 9/12-16/04 – Reps. 33% / Dems. 31% / Ind. 29% / DK-NA 7%

> 10/1-3/04 – Reps. 29% / Dems. 34% / Ind. 28% / DK-NA 10%

So why is the September poll credible whereas this one isn't?!?! How can you or anybody possibly know the actual number of GOP/Dem voters will turn out in November?


Today the Columbus dispatch published registration information. In Ohio people do not declare a party when they register, so estimates of the impact are based on whether the location is heavily democratic or republican.
Yesterday alone, 20,000 people registered in Franklin County (Columbus) and 98,000 had previously registered, which brings the total of registered voters to 837,000. I read somewhere else that this is approaching or exceeding census estimates for the county.
Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) also received about 20,000 registrations yesterday, and they had received 235,000 voter registratin cards, 100,000 of them estimated to be new voters. The others probably name changes etc. I think if you haven't voted in four years you have to reregister, so I think many were people who hadn't been active who want to vote this year. Cleveland is heavily democratic, Columbus is predominately democratic.
In Hamilton County -Cinncinnati -(more Repub leaning), new registrations totaled 64,000 as of Saturday.

Even small, rural counties like mine, are getting record registrations, around 200 a day as of last week.
Typically that would be thought of as a problem in this repub leaning county, but this is no typical year. Some of these new votes include friends of my college aged kids who are voting Kerry.
Spent Saturday walking the neighborhoods with a Dem list that represented swing voters or undecided voters. Finding out if they had decided, trying to talk with undecideds. My impression, not very scientific, of course, but undecideds had already switched to Kerry at about 7-3. A few still undecided, but sometimes I think we ought to let some undecideds alone. I mean why should my well researched, passionate vote be canceled out by someone who doesn't know who they are going to vote for as they walk in the booth?
More good news, I talked with folks who had decided to vote for Kerry after seeing the debate.

My prediction is that Ohio will go for Kerry.
Yard signs are more for Kerry here (again this is repub territory) and we can't keep them stocked in the Dem storefront.

Those polls do not pick up on all the new registrations. Took my colleagues out to lunch last week to talk about why I'm voting for Kerry.
It will be all about GOTV now that everyone is registered.
Go Johnny go!


That's my point exactly: We don't really know if the EARLIER or CURRENT ID mix is correct, do we??

For all we know, CBS/NY Times COULD HAVE padded their earlier polls with Reps, to pounce with a Kerry "comeback" story later, or it could be that Dems were more enthusiastic after the debate, and may have been more willing to respond to a pollster.

The fact is: We don't really know the motive behind them suddenly reversing the party ID to now support Kerry. Given that BOTH entities are run by partisan Dems, CBS complicity in perpetrating a forged document fraud, and the NY Times open disdain & hostility for GWB, I don't trust them at this point.

Finally, in response to Tony and others, I have no problem recognizing a poll that is favorable to Kerry - And will gladly acknowledge if & when he takes the lead. I'm just skeptical that the race has changed fundamentally from where it was prior to the debate because CBS/NY Times, Newsweak & CNN/Gallup decided to flips party IDs in their samples.

Well, its not looking good for Kerry in NH: GWB 50, Kerry 45...

Oct 4, 2004


DURHAM, NH – President George W. Bush has taken a narrow lead over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in New Hampshire. Kerry has become less popular in New Hampshire over the course of the summer while Bush has gained popularity among voters in the Granite State.

These findings are based on the latest WMUR Granite State Poll,? conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV, Manchester and the University of New Hampshire. Five hundred seventy-nine (579) randomly selected adults were interviewed by telephone between September 27 and October 3, 2004. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/-4.1 percent. Included in this sample were 538 likely November 2004
voters. The margin of error for the likely voter sub-sample is +/- 4.3 percent. (For more detailed results, visit the Survey Center web site at www.unh.edu/survey-center/elect100404.pdf)
2004 NH Presidential Election.

After trailing Massachusetts Senator John Kerry since the New Hampshire primary, President George W. Bush has taken the lead going into the final month of the campaign. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 50 percent of likely voters
say they plan on voting for Bush, 45 percent plan on voting for Kerry, 1 percent favor some other candidate (including Ralph Nader), and 5 percent are undecided. Bush has been closing the gap over Kerry throughout the summer. In a head to head
Granite State Poll in February, Kerry led Bush by 14 percentage points and slipped to a 4 percentage point lead by July.

“The Bush campaign has been very effective in focusing the campaign on John Kerry’s weaknesses, especially during their August convention,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center. “The Bush campaign has
succeeded in driving Kerry’s unfavorable ratings up and this has led to a decline in voter support for Kerry.”

Oops, I forgot the URL for the latest NH poll. Here it is, my apologies:


Has anybody seen the new ARG poll showing a slight Kerry lead? Ruy, how credible is this new poll?

American Research Group has a poll with Kerry up by 3 points in RV's, whether Nader is in or not. It has showed Kerry consistently doing well, without the fluctuations in other polls. Wonder why?

I would really be interested in some attempt to reconcile the polls, which seem to come in two groups. My impression is that some have shown more volatility and gave a wider advantage to Bush post-RNC. Others have had less volatility all along, but more favorability to Kerry generally. On the other hand, I sort of thought Pew was one of the latter group and they've suddenly had Bush in the lead in their last two.


It has occurred to me, however, that maybe these polls just miss Democrats. In 2000, for example, I thought most had Bush with a consistent lead in the month before the election. I don't remember a one showing a Gore lead. Since the election turned out to be a tie, one would have expected a distribution of polls on either side -- some for Gore, some for Bush. I don't remember it that way -- am I wrong? And does it suggest some systematic, if perhaps small, bias in national polls?

The polls won't matter - GASP - is Kerry and Edwards play it right.

I think Edwards AND ESPECIALLY KERRY have to attack attack attack in these next two debates. They can't cede an inch of ground. If they get Cheney to come off looking half as angry, or mean as Bush that is a win. Kerry should try to drive Bush right over the edge on Friday. I think comparisons to his father, George H.W. Bush may do it. If Bush cracks again on Friday you can stick a fork in him, he will be done.

American Research Group has Kerry up by 3 in new poll today, 47-44.


How can you or anybody possibly know the actual number of GOP/Dem voters will turn out in November?

technically your right, we can't know for sure the actual number of gop/dem voters. But you could make the same comment about any age group, any religion, a city vs. suburb, racial groups, ect...... by your logic you can't do polling.

It's probably more important to watch Friday morning job's report than Friday night's debate.

That's because, in addition to the monthly number, the feds. will issues benchmark revisions for the entire year. History shows they can be very large. The average upward revisions since 1979 has been 308,000.

Robust job growth would speak for itself, which is definitely good news for the president.

On the other hand, a weak report and I think we're looking at another 2000 squeeker.

> ...their Abu Gharib ambush on GWB...
> Posted by Smooth azz at October 5, 2004 05:02 AM

Really? So you think that ABC is more responsible for Abu Grahib than GWB is? Fascinating!

The recent swing in the polls lends credence to the idea that party ID is indeed fungible. People felt good about Kerry after the debates and so they identified themselves as Democrats (came out of the closet, if you will) to pollsters. Hence we see party ID breakdowns that now more closely reflect 2000 exit polling.

It's funny how much someone's opinion can change only after a few days. On September 26th, a frequent poster to this site advised readers of EDM to disregard the "spin" suggesting that the CBS/NYT poll was biased in favor of Bush. Of course, this was at a time when the CBS/NYT poll indicated that Bush was leading Kerry by 8 points. In fact, his words of caution to us "libs" on September 26th were as follows,

"This CBS poll appears to use a weighting that includes MORE Dems than Reps (See the end of the file), so I'm confused by all the Lib spin that suggests this poll is biased in favor of GWB because it oversamples Reps.

Of course, if the poll does not toe the Lib line that the race is a dead heat, then the poll is to be discarded - Sheeeeesh!!"

Of course, now that the polls (including Gallup and CBS) are reflecting the effects of Bush's undeniably disasterous debate performance, we are now advised by this same poster above,

"This (CBS) poll has about the same credibility as the forged document story IMO."

Message: we "libs" should take the CBS poll seriously only if it shows Bush ahead, but if it shows Kerry is tied or leading it must be total crap.

Sheeeesh, indeed.


I believe the point is that the methodology used before did not reflect what are historic trends, and that these numbers coming out reflect where most people thought the election is: namely a tie between Bush and Kerry. Most of the points about weighing I think these new polls are suggesting at least anecdotally maybe true- ie, they as the id'ers return to historic norms- the race is indeed tied.

going to www.pollingreport.com and taking all 13 polls since the debate (excluding the quickies) the results are as follows:

Bush - 47.38
Kerry - 46.31

a 1% difference well within the average 3% margin of error.