Saturday, February 21, 2004
Is Bush in trouble?: Much has been made in the media the past few days of this poll which shows both John Kerry and John Edwards leading President Bush by double digits in a hypothetical general election matchup. After nearly two months of free anti-Bush campaign ads masquerading as a Democrat primary, this is no surprise. I don't think there's been another presidential party primary in modern history where there was so little in the way of intramural attacks -- 95 percent of the negative campaigning has been directed at President Bush.
Of course, these polls are meaningless at this point. Bush has just barely begun to fight back. Once the Democrat presidential nominee has been settled (very likely on March 2) the Republicans will begin to focus their attacks on that man.
For those who need some encouragement on the polling front, there is this little-reported poll from Zogby International.
A new poll conducted by Zogby International for The O’Leary Report and Southern Methodist University’s John Tower Center from February 12-15, 2004 of 1,209 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points found that if the election for president were held today, Democrat John Kerry would edge George W. Bush 46% to 45% in the “blue states” – or states won by Al Gore in the 2000 election. In the “red states,” or states won by George W. Bush in 2000, however, Bush wins handily by a 51% to 39% margin.
Read that again. In the states Bush lost last time around, he's in a statistical dead heat with Kerry. In the states Bush carried last time, Kerry's getting battered.
If the 2004 election were a repeat of 2000, then Bush would have an even larger electoral vote victory due to reapportionment.
This poll also shows that, at least among Bush's base, the months long Democrat attacks have had little impact.