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August 26, 2004

Swift Kick: Bush Overtakes Kerry 49-46 Among Registered Voters

Yes, among registered voters, a more liberal leaning group (usually) than likely voters. And it's an LA Times poll besides-- not exactly Republican-friendly.

Even when I first saw the first SwiftVets ad, and "predicted" that it would cost Kerry 2-4 points, I didn't entirely believe it; I was more hopeful than confident.

But the latest polls tend to show those ads were just as powerful as they first seemed:

WASHINGTON -- President Bush heads into next week's Republican national convention with voters moving slightly in his direction since July amid signs that John F. Kerry has been nicked by attacks on his service in Vietnam, a Los Angeles Times Poll has found.

For the first time this year in a Times survey, Bush led Kerry in the presidential race, drawing 49 percent among registered voters, compared to 46 percent for the Democrat. In a Times Poll just before the Democratic convention last month, Kerry held a 2 percentage point advantage over Bush.

That small shift from July was within the poll's margin of error. But it fit with other findings in the Times Poll showing the electorate edging toward Bush over the past month on a broad range of measures, from support for his handling of Iraq to confidence in his leadership and honesty.

Although a solid majority of Americans say they believe Kerry served honorably in Vietnam, the poll showed that the fierce attacks on the senator from a group of Vietnam veterans criticizing both his performance in combat and anti-war protests at home have left some marks: Kerry suffered small but consistent erosion compared to July on questions relating to his Vietnam experience, his honesty and his fitness to serve as commander in chief.

With independent voters splitting evenly in the survey between the two men, one key to Bush's tentative new advantage was his greater success at consolidating his base. While just 3 percent of voters who called themselves Republicans said they would vote for Kerry, Bush drew 15 percent of all Democrats, and 20 percent of Democrats who consider themselves moderate or conservative, the poll found.


Other key questions produced even more troubling results for Kerry.In the July Times Poll, 53 percent of voters said Kerry in his Vietnam combat missions had demonstrated the "qualities America needs in a president" while just 32 percent said by "protesting the war in Vietnam, John Kerry demonstrated a judgment and belief that is inappropriate in a president."

In the August survey, that balance nudged away from Kerry, with 48 percent saying he had demonstrated the right qualities and 37 percent saying he exhibited poor judgment.

Likewise, the share of voters saying they lacked confidence in Kerry as a potential commander in chief edged up from 39 percent in July to 43 percent now; the percentage that said they were confident in him slipped from 57 percent to 55 percent. Both changes were within the poll's margin of error, yet both tracked with the poll's general pattern of slight Kerry slippage.


Now the poll of course shows continued anxiousness about the Iraq War and the economy. I had to cut something from the article, though, and I figured that's just telling us what we already know.

Gallup, I believe, will also be releasing a poll either late tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks to Kirk for the tip, although Kirk doesn't understand that cowbells are for economic news.

For a good poll, I can provide only either this picture of an adorable dog snapped by da Goddess:

or this animated Robot from Lost in Space:

or this still of Tawney Kitaen humping a Jaguar in the Whitesnake video "Here I Go Again":

I would provide cowbell if it were up to me, but I've got my boss looking over my shoulder every five minutes.

Whoa, Whoa, Wait a Minute: The commenter Kerry Is Unelectable cried bullshit on an ABC/WaPo poll showing Kerry losing ground going into his convention. His theory was they were pushing the poll down for Kerry so that the convention would result in a bigger "bounce" -- but of course that bounce would be illusory. But still, it would be a good talking point in favor of Kerry.

I don't know if I buy this sort of crafty-to-the-third-power skullduggery in polling, but I suppose this poll might be goosed for Bush so that his convention will then show him "losing" support.

Update: Allah points out that it's state-by-state voting, and therfore state by state polling, that ultimately counts. I disagree-- only if one candidate fails to win the national election by 2% or less will the state-by-state outcome differ from the national-poll/national-vote outcome.

It should be noted that Bush's state-by-state position has been improving as well. See Rasmussen, for example.

Update: Not a big deal, but Rasmussen's national numbers show Bush pulling ahead now too.

Update: Frequent AoSHQ contributor Kerry is Unelectable sets a high number for Bush's convention bounce.

Isn't this the guy who's always so cautious about the expectations game? What gives, Kerry is Unelectable?

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posted by Ace at 01:33 AM

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