June 10, 2004
Kerry-Bush: Neck and Neck
A new LA Times poll reports “widespread unease over the country’s direction and doubts about President Bush’s policies on Iraq and the economy helped propel Sen. John F. Kerry to a solid lead among voters nationwide, according to a new Times poll.” However, in the swing states, Kerry and Bush are still neck and neck. This race may be setting up to be a popular vote for Kerry with an Electoral College win for Bush.
Surprising to this writer is the commanding lead Kerry has over Bush in California, 51% to 39% with Nader pulliing 4%. Any who thought there would be a Schwarzeneggar coattail effect, are being proved wrong in the polls at this time. Swing states include:
- Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado
- Delaware, Florida, Illinois
- Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana
- Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire
- New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon
- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee
- Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
If one looks at the percentages of unsure voters (scroll down page at link) in these swing states along with the Nader percentage, it is clear that if Kerry wants insurance for a win, he is going to have to reach out to Nader once again and strike a bargain to secure some of that Nader vote in those swing states.
Posted by David R. Remer at June 10, 2004 03:19 PM
UPDATE: A Washington Post article explains why Bush gets no boost from the economy as follows:
“It all goes back to Iraq,” said Steven Valerga, 50, a Republican in Martinez, Calif., who voted for Bush in 2000 but plans to vote for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in November. “It’s a drain on the economy, when there’s so much needed elsewhere. My gosh, we didn’t need to be there.”
War has usually been good for the economy in the short run, and this one appears no different. In the first three months of this year, defense work accounted for nearly 16 percent of the nation’s economic growth, according to the Commerce Department.
But amid the car bombings, assassinations and continuing casualties, voters are generally pessimistic about the direction the nation is taking. Bush’s negative ratings are rising not just on the economy but also on energy policy, foreign affairs and his handling of the prescription drug issue. Voters fixated on Iraq so far are not willing to see the improving economy through a positive prism, according to pollsters and Bush campaign aides.
I suppose we could be looking at a repeat of 2000 with the popular vote winner losing the electoral vote. However, if you tally the electoral votes according to the Times Poll (your link), I have Kerry winning, 274-264. That would be flipping Wisconsin and New Mexico red, and West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Ohio blue.
At this point, the polls are obviously little more than a conversation piece. But one thing I’m noticing is that Nader appears to be pulling from both Kerry and Bush. So I’m not sure if Kerry will suffer from the same “Nader factor” that doomed Gore’s shot at the Oval Office.
Finally, as a Kerry supporter, I’m enthused by most of the what I’m seeing in these polls. California and New York seem safe and a lot of the “red” states (e.g., Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee) are closer than I’d expect. The tight race in New Jersey makes me a bit nervous, but I expect Jersey will hold unless something drastic happens.
It’s going to be an interesting election for the political junkies.
Not sure why this is titled “neck-and-neck.” The poll shows Kerry up 51-44%. I am guessing you are refering to the battleground states, or maybe the EC.
The poll also shows that support for Kerry is weak, indicating that many of his supporters just want anyone other than Bush, not Kerry in particular.
James, it is neck and neck as regards to the electoral college - it could go either way at this point in time. Also, neck and neck because both the Kerry and Bush camps will have some hard punches to throw as we near November, and that could shift the electoral college vote easily one way or the other.
Dissatisfaction with Bush alone won’t be enough. Kerry needs to win over a significant percentage of those who are still unsure about him if he’s to beat Bush. He’ll have that opportunity during the Democratic Convention and the debates.
As a resident, and knowing Illinois politics as I do, it has been a far gone conclusion that this is a very safe Kerry Blue State. Other than what I see on cable, no Bush/Cheney ads are being run in the local Chicago market. Plus, if this state was in play, why would the RNC send Dick Cheney to campaign for the Republican Senate candidate??
As John Zogby pointed out, I’d keep my eye on the Undecided percentage. And, from the Palme scandal to the Iraq handover, to the 9/11 report, these results will only cement their reluctance to support Bush.
Another factor to watch, are the ballots that Ralph Nader actually manages to officially register for. So far, Oregon and Texas are out. Are there anymore to note at this date?
Last, as I mentioned in a previous comment post, new registered voters. Younger, minorities and closer to urban areas.
In my curiousity to determine the status of Nader’s ballot drive, here is what I found:
- According to CBS News, in 1992, Ross Perot spent $5 million to secure a spot on all 50 state ballots.
- The Nader campaign has, so far, failed to make any state ballots. However, the Reform Party endorsement gives Nader a spot on the following states: Florida, Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, and Wisconsin is in dispute.
For info on state ballot requirements and deadlines:
Bert, Nader just submitted the signatures needed in Arizona, one of the earlier deadline states. He is focusing his field resources on the states with the earliest deadlines first. It is going to be an uphill battle for him without the Green foot soldiers to help him in the numbers they did in 2000.
Follow my twisted logic if you will:
1. The established aristocracy would never allow Kerry to win if Kerry were really a threat to the established aristocracy.
2. Kerry IS going to win.
3. Therefore Kerry is not seen as a threat to the established aristocracy.
4. Kerry advocates some positive reforms in energy policy (as his main differentiation from Bush).
5. Therefore, the aristocracy is not averse to weaning us away from Arab oil.
6. Therefore, maybe the aristocracy isn’t so bad after all?
Well, okay, there’s still going to be a military-industrial complex and sub-wars to test out corporate-supplied weaponry, but the good news is that it isn’t going to be about oil, going forward.
Ahem. So we’ve got that going for us.
The real question is how to wean the public voter off the aristocracy? The public still views politics as a ballgame between the two major parties and they have been conditioned to root for a home team. How do we get sports fans to view politics for what it is, a grab for power based on minority lobbyist special interests who work very hard to insure the public is NOT informed, and not educated, and not motivated to counter their influence?
I was surprised to learn that 97% of Canadians would not want to change their health care system and believe it is preferable to America’s and believe the high tax cost is justified in return for knowing no one will be bankrupt by a family member needing emergency medical attention.
It is amazing to the rest of the world that the U.S. public still doesn’t realize we are the only major nation that does not choose a public health system and wonder how Americans can be so conflicted about a matter of such important personal interest.
I wonder too.
I know of the arguments from die-hard libertarians against public health care, and they play well in Republican circles as well. When I discuss this with thinking libertarians, I approach it like this:
The founding principle of government is the establishment of a rule of law and to ensure the physical survival of the people (against foreign invasion, or in many cases, foreign attempts at annihilation). It is a monopolization of force, and the libertarian premise for having a government—and the corrollary being that any government involvement in anything else is inherently a forceful meddling in that sphere of society (and thus, unjust).
Rather than refute that premise, I try to look under the hood of it and ask why. WHY do we monopolize force? Because a chaotic mob in an anarchic situation would randomly kill all but the most brutal and backward of people, and civilization will devolve back to the apes (or so the implied threat goes, if libertarian government dissolves and anarchy takes its place). So apparently, even in libertarian government, what we’re really looking at is a means by which the monopolized force of collective society bands together to ensure… SURVIVAL. And what is medical care, if not… SURVIVAL?
How can a free market economy boast of a level playing field if some of the players get carried off the field by trained physicians when injured, and some are just slingshot into a dumpster? Let the football of the working and earning world be rough and tumble, of course, but when injuries occur, it’s unsportsmanlike conduct to make “some players more equal than others”.
And while I’m at that, the same goes for education and legal defense. (Shameless plug for a political idea that I hope to instill in people.)