Orlando Sentinel May 26, 2004
Key-state polls favor Kerry
By Mark Silva
A new poll in 16 "battleground" states where the presidential election of 2004 likely will be decided shows Democrat John Kerry holding clear leads over President Bush in eight states.
The remaining eight states are statistical dead heats -- with Kerry holding a small advantage in four and Bush slightly ahead in four others.
Florida is one of those states falling within the poll's margin of error, according to the survey released Tuesday by Zogby International.
As much as Bush has pounded Kerry -- the Bush campaign has aired more than $52 million of television ads in these 16 states since early March, most tarring Kerry as untrustworthy -- the senator from Massachusetts is holding his own against the president.
"If these numbers are correct, the Republicans are probably a little disappointed," said Ken Goldstein, director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project. The president's commercials clearly have helped define Kerry in the minds of many voters, experts say. This new survey shows 51 percent of likely voters in Florida holding a negative impression of Kerry, and 48 percent holding a favorable impression.
Similarly stark lines are drawn in the battleground states of Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where voters are divided nearly 50-50 in their positive and negative views of Kerry. Campaign ads have flooded all of these states.
Yet world events -- particularly the continuing conflict in Iraq -- have become a drag on the president's popularity, pollsters say. While many voters may develop a dim view of Kerry from the president's campaign commercials, they say, voters are adjusting their impressions of Bush based on the daily news.
Nationwide, public approval of the president's performance has reached an all-time low. A poll this week by The Washington Post and ABC News found that Bush's job-approval rating had slumped to 47 percent.
The Gallup Organization found nearly identical ratings in a poll to be released today: 47 percent of Americans surveyed approve of the way Bush is handling his job.
Americans remain sharply divided over Bush and Kerry.
With independent Ralph Nader included in a theoretical matchup, 47 percent of likely voters surveyed by Gallup over the weekend favored Kerry, 46 percent Bush and 4 percent Nader. Without Nader in the mix, it was Kerry 49 percent and Bush 47 percent.
San Francisco Chronicle May 26, 2004
Swing vote flees Bush in California
Poll finds Kerry leading even with Nader in race
By Carla Marinucci
President Bush lags behind Democrat John Kerry by 12 points in California, and is now down by more than 2-1 among the state's independent voters -- the critical bloc which may decide the election, a new Field Poll shows.
In a head-to-head match up, Kerry batters Bush in California 51 percent to 39 percent, with independent Ralph Nader getting 4 percent of the vote and 6 percent undecided, the poll shows. Without Nader in the mix, Kerry's lead over Bush grows -- 55 percent to 40 percent -- with 5 percent undecided.
"This is an election right now about Bush -- for him or against him,'' said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, which conducted the survey of 647 registered voters statewide from May 18-24. "The Bush vulnerability is clearly there, and Kerry and Nader aren't taking full advantage of it -- but it's there.''
With five months left to the election, the latest Field poll of voters in the nation's most populous state underscores some disturbing trends for the incumbent Republican president if they extend to battleground regions, political experts say.
Some of the warning signs for Bush include erosion of the president's base support among white men and in former GOP strongholds like Orange County and San Diego.
The latest poll shows that 58 percent of voters say they are now "not inclined" to vote for Bush's re-election, compared with 38 percent who are inclined -- a loss of 12 points from January.
Kerry is now viewed as having an advantage over Bush with regard to improving the economy (49 percent to 42 percent), doing a better job to resolve the war in Iraq (48 percent to 41 percent) and leading the country in the right direction (48 percent to 39 percent).
Kerry is even leading Bush by 4 points in an area where the president has been considered virtually invulnerable -- on whether he is a more "friendly and likable person."
While the support for both presidential candidates breaks mostly on party lines, it is among the voters considered still "in play'' where Bush has taken a beating, said DiCamillo. "It's really the swing voter who has moved decidedly away from Bush,'' he said, calling Kerry's lead among this group -- 57 percent to 22 percent -- nothing short of "dismal'' for the president's re-election. "The moderates are 2-1 for Kerry,'' he said.
The Miami Herald May 25, 2004
New poll shows Bush, Kerry in dead heat in Florida
President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are in a statistical dead heat in Florida less than six months before the presidential election, according to a new Zogby International poll.
The poll surveyed voters in 16 battleground states that have been besieged by more than $115 million of television advertisements supporting the candidates.
In Florida, 49 percent of likely voters support Kerry, 48 percent prefer Bush and 1 percent choose independent Ralph Nader, according to the poll, which has a margin of error was 3.4 percentage points.
By mid-May, when the Zogby survey began, Kerry's campaign and committees backing him had run $63 million of ads in the 16 states surveyed, outspending Bush supporters by nearly $10 million.
Negative commercials about Kerry, many of which bill him as untrustworthy, seem to have influenced some voters, experts said. The poll showed 51 percent of likely voters in Florida hold a negative impression of
Kerry, while 48 percent hold a favorable impression.
The Zogby poll, which was conducted from May 18 to 23 and released Tuesday, also surveyed voters in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas. (Associated Press)