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Scripps Survey Research Center: Kerry Leads by 5%

John Kerry leads George Bush 50-45 percent of nation-wide RV's according to a poll conducted 10/3-13 by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University.


5% lead and Bush at 45% are great. There is hope that Bush will be stuck there.

In the past 2-3 days here have been 2 articles by diehard conservatives who say they are voting for
Kerry because that are fed up with Bush. One is in the New Republic ans the other in the Orlando
paper. This is only two, but surely there is a significant conservative grumbling coming to the
forefront. Possibly Kerry in the debates came across as a reasonable enough alternative for these
writers. And you donít see any Demos going the other way.

If the polls show Bush a loser, maybe more conservative will give up on him.

This morning, Zogby/Reuters has Kerry behind, at 48/44. I had a sense that Kerry did not acquit himself as well as he could have in the last debate, although only one night post-debate was included in this poll.

Listening to undecideds, I tend to think that they are different from previous year's undecideds in that their tendency will be to "come home" to Bush. I'm also not sure that anything can overcome the fact that Bush seems to be perceived as "likable" and "strong" and morally better in some bizarre way. If that is the case, God help us all.


I have one simple question/comment...What's the deal with Zogby's tracking poll showing Bush opening up a 4 point post-debate lead on Kerry and actually making gains among women and younger voters. Did I watch a different debate than the rest of the country. I know it's only one poll but this is truly disheartening and frankly, unbelievable.

I'm glad to see these positive numbers for Kerry, but how do these polls find Nader affecting the race? I saw in this mornings NYTimes (10.15) that Nader threatens to have a noticeable impact in swing states (see, "Nader Emerging as the Threat Democrats Feared"). How afraid should we be?

But according to Zogby today, Friday, Bush leads by 4 and is gaining among undecideds. This doesn't sound good!

As encouraging as this news is, my excitement is tempered by the up and down nature of polling results over the last several weeks. Kerry up, Kerry down. Bush up, Bush down. Tied! Statistical dead heat! On and on and on.

Ultimately, the only number that matters is 270.

Ruy, can you tell us what the most reliable numbers are on the electoral count in the swing states? What is the most current projection and what does it show?

Kerry leads among RVs, but trails by one amongst LVs (they use a "have you always voted?" standard). Looking at LVs who are strongly committed to their candidate, Bush leads 52-48. This is another sign that the GOTV campaign is vital.
More bad news: Kerry has slipped behind by four points in today's Zogby tracking poll.

Democrats need to do a better job of getting these polls out there and into the public view. If you go to pollingrport.com for example, they seem to ignore many of the polls were Kerry is up.

They showed Quinnipiac results when Bush was up, they showed D-Corps results when Bush was up, but they have skipped recent polls from these souorces showing Kerry up.

In a tight race every little bit helps. We need to tell people we think our guy is up.

I just posted about this morning's Zogby. Rasmussen, too, is showing a widening Bush lead (49/45.5), with Bush's ratings on the economy and national defense back at their pre-first-debate level. Is anyone listening to the candidates, or is this only and all about some weird comfort level?


there is an intersting rationale for reliability of RV vs. LV at the scripps link ....mainly arguing that RV's will only increase in turnout when the election has relevancy to them.....

it might be argued that this election has everyone interested.

when do we consider LV polling data to be accurate..week before??..day before???

According to the Bob Poulson site you pointed us to yesterday (http://2.004k.com/tracking/), Kerry is slipping in two of the four daily tracking polls -- Zogby and Rassmussen. He closed the gap in the other two (WaPo and ABC), but fell back a little yesterday. I thought he did great in the last debate -- what gives? Is it too early to really make much of these polls?

I think LVs should basically be ignored, as this election is going to be much different from most in terms of people voting who usually don't vote. non-LV voters are definitely going to skew towards Kerry. Having said that, I'm curious about both Zogby and Rasmussen showing tracking going in Bush's direction (at the same time the Ohio poll shows Kerry up by 5 points??)

Sadly, I think this race is going to come down to Ohio, as 2000 came down to Florida. I say "sadly" because I don't trust what's going on in Ohio at all (whereas I've written off Florida as unwinnable for Kerry unless he opens up at least a 5 point lead in polls).

(Yes, I am insinuating Bush's people will cheat. I think expecting a fair fight would be delusional at this point.)

Could someone please explain the discrepancies between the Poulsen web site summary of polls and what I see on pollingreport.com. From the latter one would surmise a surge for Bush.


That has been my question as well for a long time. Someone in the comments (i don't think it was the main site) that it was in the last few days so I think less than a week?

The Scripps Howard report makes sense out of all this poll confusion. It also is very clear that turnout will be the real deciding factor. The Kerry workers have to round those voters up and herd 'em to the polls.

I know people don't like to hear this, but this is one of those times I wish a move to instant run offs on the ballots had been done a long time ago. If that was in place there would be no question of Kerry winning. Many Nader voters might not vote if he is not a choice, but I have to think if the do vote and had a second choice option it would go to Kerry and that would be a nice boost.

All of you concerned about the apparent slippage in the Rasmussen & Zogby tracking polls should head over to mydd.com. Chris Bowers has a nice little analysis in which he has deconstructed the individual day results of the Rasmussen poll. He found that most of the apparent change came not because Bush had some kind of great day -- but rather because Kerry had a really great day 4 days ago, and it just "expired" from a 3-day tracking poll.

What he doesn't mention is that, to me at least, it does look like Bush had a couple of better days in the last two. It's just not enough that he is truly gaining. Expect a sharp return toward normal tomorrow & the next day. There is nothing happening in the campaigns nor in outside events to make us believe that Bush should be gaining.

(Oh right, I forgot -- all those swing voters must be on Bush's side now because of the outrageously phony Mary Cheney flap.)

Poulsen? Is that another poll summary site? Got a link? Thanks? I sent pollingreport an email, reminding them of all the polls they have reported in the past, but have not reported recently and that show a Kerry lead. I think there is a bias there. Quinnipiac, D-Corps, etc .... they ignore these.

Relax about Zogby (for now). Those of us who have followed the tracking polls since their inception have seen this kind of bizarre Bush jump before. It usually fades after two or three days. I don't know what's behind it, maybe more partisans choose to respond on a particular day or whatever. There's no way Bush got a big bump out of that debate. The polls are clear that Kerry won more undecides, more independents, and that partisans mostly stuck with their candidate. So I say relax, it's a statistical anomoly or transient effect that will settle out by middle of next week.

Indeed, the Scripps piece is a nice explanation of some of the poll discrepancies.

Patience to all those worried about today's Zogby and Rasmussen.

There will be ups and downs in the polls. The key is that this thing is close and turnout, as said before, will be key. Don't let the polls get you too up or too down.

Everybody needs to calm down about the Zogby tracking poll. One day does not a trend make. What are the internals? Where are the respondents from? What are the party ID %s?

Also, I'm still suspect of the Rasmussen poll. His polls are automated. Also, his tracking poll had Bush winning in 2000 by I believe 9 points. He also gives commentary that obviously has a right-wing tilt.

Interest is very high this year. A LOT of people don't like Bush. This anger will bring a lot of "infrequent" voters to the polls this year. I just hope their votes get counted. I am glad see the Kerry campaign assembling legal teams to straighten things out if cheating is attempted.

Regarding Tracking Polls: Keep in mind that they can have wild moveoments day to day
(see http://www.superforce.com/Press-Releases/detailed-tracking-poll-charts.htm)

also on 10/10/2000 10/10/00
George W. Bush 49%
Al Gore 41%

Al Gore 48%
George W. Bush 41%

MSNBC/Zogby Poll
Al Gore
George W. Bush

CNN/Time Poll conducted by Yankelovich Partners
gore bush
43 49

look at Gallup polls for 2000

Gallup/CNN/USA Today Poll
11/5-6/00 # @ 46 48 1 4 - 2,350LV
11/5-6/00 # 45 47 1 4 3 2,350LV
11/4-5/00 # 45 47 1 4 3 2,386LV
11/2-4/00 # 43 48 1 4 4 2,733LV
11/1-3/00 # 43 47 - 5 5 2,222LV
10/31-11/2/00 # 42 48 - 5 5 2,128LV
10/30-11/1/00 # 43 47 1 4 5 2,123LV
10/29-31/00 # 43 48 1 3 5 2,167LV
10/28-30/00 # 44 47 1 3 5 2,182LV
10/27-29/00 # 44 47 1 2 6 2,207LV
10/26-28/00 # 42 49 1 3 5 1,858LV
10/25-27/00 # 42 49 1 3 5 1,368LV

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R)
11/3-5/00 44 47 2 3 4 1,026LV
11/2-3/00 44 47 2 4 3 751LV
10/13-15/00 42 48 1 5 4 LV

in fact go to http://www.pollingreport.com/wh2gen1.htm

Gore was behind in almost all poll by 3-6 points yet he lost by 500 votes in EC.

So forget about polls, most experts agree that election is tied, i suspect it will break for Kerry or Bush in last couple of days.

yet the election was almost tied at the end

I think the surge for Bush is rooted in the Bai article in the NY Times and its fallout. The image of Kerry as having a 'diplomatique' approach to terrorism -- precisely the spin on Kerry that the Bush camp have been peddling throughout the campaign -- has reverberated and magnified thoughout the national media, with exaggerated versions found from Dick Morris on down to the astroturf roots.

The Kerry camp, as I've said, needs to have an NYU length and importance or greater speech on terrorism and soon that specifically disavows the overall image put forward by Bai and explains in GREAT DETAIL exactly where he does stand and how the media and the Bush campaign have distorted it. I do NOT think this poll decline is a mere blip that will go away without FORCEFUL response. Then he needs to go on the offensive in the ad campaign, collecting two or three Bush ads together to debunk as nonsense in each of several Kerry ads. I have long felt that this election was "programmed" for a Bush victory to provide a supposed "mandate" for the invasion of and occupation of Iraq -- the Cleland/Wellstone syndrome. Only a very forceful approach by Kerry (requiring the inclination to such an approach, which has thus far not been the case) can overcome it.

Yes, Kerry came out better in the debates, but, like Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora, Kerry and Edwards let the other guys get away without smashing them. (You might find the analogy to Osama disheartening, but Bush is responsible at this point for the unjustified deaths of more innocents).

Plan (a) of an outright election victory for Bush, with weak logos, nonresponses to the flipflop spin, the 'nuisance juggernaut' and the absence of a major address and a column of major length on the oped of the New York Times refuting the Bai "interpretation" (spin) regarding Kerry is underway. If it fails, there's still plan (b) -- outright stealing the election.

It's also amazing how Ann Coulter appears on TV alongside the likes of Jesse Jackson and Dick Gephardt, and they just half heartedly counter the most brazen lies (not a single voter denied the right to vote in Fla 2000, affirmative action is only a matter of blacks and latinos, etc.) You know, progressives can never win without leaders who are committed to fighting to win rather than throwing in the towel for progressives in order to gain a comfortable niche for themselves (what "serving" for the progressive side in US politics is APPLIED to mean, as with Dukakis.)

Doonsebury's links this week to fair and balanced commentary on the Bush Administration, for busy persuadables:

http://www.poynter.org/forum/?id=misc (WSJ reporter's letter from Iraq)

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/09/10/conservatives/index/print.html (libertarian think tank Reagan supporter Doug Bandow, on why conservatives should not vote for Bush)

http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2004/08/19/letters/doc412532f09fbbe438621096.txt (letter to his constituents by retiring Nebraska R Congressman Doug Bereuter on the mess the Administration has made of Iraq)

http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/Columns/Editorial/editorial39.htm (endorsement of Kerry by Bush's hometown newspaper)

http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=44657 (former President Eisenhower's son, on why he is voting for Kerry)

The polls are not accurate this year because of many people like myself. We did not vote in past elections. This year we will walk through fire to get to the polls. I think the republicans are going to be very surprised when we show up. Just a thought.

One poster said, those Kerry people better turn out the vote. Take it upon youselves to make it happen.
We're all responsible for a good voter turnout. Make sure anyone you know who's voting for Kerry actually votes. You'd be surprised at the dumbass excuses people come up with if they're pressed for time. In Virginia you can vote absentee if you are a commuter. I believe that early voting is a good idea (at least in my state where the elections registrars are appointed by a Democratic governor).
And stop being such nervous nellies. Kerry is on the upswing and Bush is not, except in front of adoring crowds of liberal haters. I don't think that will encourage independents to swing towards him.

What is curious about Zogby's latest polling is that he mentions a rise in Bush support among independents. A few days ago he suggested a majority of 18-29 yr olds were leaning toward Bush. Presumably these both represent (minor) subsets of the sample group and therefore the MOE for these "sub-polls" must be proportionally greater. Does this kind of polling within polls make any statistical sense? If the MOE on a poll of 1000 respondents is almost 4% the error on subgroups of 200 or less must me huge.

As I have said before what the reactions to the ups and downs of the polls shows more about Democrats reading them, than they do about what's happening. This remains, and will remain a race that is tied and will be won on the ground. I read something on the Daily Kos that I will now repeat here: If you think our guy is going to be up 100 percent all the time, then you must be living in a fantasy land. We are going to have our ups and downs- the truth is that this is a tight race- get used to wild swings (even in tracking poll) in a tight race b.c. people will go back and forth. Our guy is competive-that's all we can expect of a challenger facing a war president in the middle of hard times. Kerry has always had an uphill battle, but it remains winnable so long as people don't sit around whining about polling numbers like I see people doing here and elsewhere. Finally, I don't get the lack of toughness on ourside- don't you realize that along with discipline, not idealogy, is why we lose so much? I am hoping win or lose this blogspher stuff, 527, people like Soros, among other factors can bring about a new, tougher Democratic core that does not wilt everytime things get tough. "Nothing that was ever worth winning has been won easily" So get out there and do GOTV, phone banking etc.

The shift in Zogby concerns me. In addition, there is all this focus on Mary Cheney -- is that going to become all we hear about the next week, while people are dying in Iraq and the deficits soar? Kerry doesn't need a diversion like that at this point.

Geez, gang, relax! A one-day blip in the Zogby tracking poll is nothing to panic about! That poll "flip-flops" for no apparent reason all the time. Just take heart in the fact that Bush is not above 48% in ANY poll taken over the past week, and that is a very bad sign for the president.

Meanwhile, the ABC/Post tracking poll just came out and it's unchanged at 48-48, with the trend still toward Kerry. So take heart! Help is on the way!!!!

This study confirms the importance of GOTV efforts and how much Kerry needs big turnout.

My prediction from metro Salt Lake: The turnout will be huge, and Kerry will win by an astonishingly large number.

Even people in Utah are questioning GWB. I'm not seeing bumper stickers or yard signs. I expect GWB to win Utah, but not by the 36 points the polls seem to suggest.

The Washington Post poll shows no change from yesterday to today.

Alsok, this afternoon's email from the Kerry campaign (trying to raise $5 mill by tonight...) indicated that:

"New polling shows that -- thanks to John Kerry's solid victory over George W. Bush in the final debate -- we are now competing in battleground states that many pundits had given to Bush.

On Wednesday, I told you that party strategists said they need our online supporters to contribute at least $4 million and that I told them you could make it $5 million. In light of this new polling data, it is even more urgent for us to hit this goal. We are now poised to compete in more places than anyone thought possible."

I don't know how much of this is to get people to give money and how much is genuine poll movement. I'll be looking forward to hearing if there will be more work in some other states. I hope so...That would be very encouraging news.

Question -- Is there a real inconsistency (not just the usual marginal variations) in the following data:

1) Popular vote currently about even. E.g. 48-48 in WashPost tracking poll just posted on the Post online.

2) Kerry up 53-43 in "13 battleground states." Same source; likewise Democracy Corps had 54-44 in battleground states.

3) Individual state polls in battleground states continuing to show very close races and most still giving Bush electoral college win (albeit based on results within margins of error; and note, this remains true even if you ignore Strategic Vision (R) polls).
See, e.g., www.electoral-vote.com.

Surely if popular vote is essentially tied, non-battleground states are going as expected; and if Kerry is up by an ave. of 10 in battleground states, he should be winning practically all of them, giving him a resounding electoral college win now (without relying on projections re momentum and ultimate decisions of undecideds). So where's the error -- in the "Kerry +10" collective battleground polls or in the individual battleground state polls?

It (the zogby tracker) made the google top news story which i think flipped a few off into Ahhhjeezville for a while until after much reading at Dem Ugd I realised it was a tracking poll and as mentioned above, they aren't known to be the most a c c u r a t e ;)

Ah Gad! Full marks to Chris for his calming influence this wet n windy Friday!