DR reports. You decide.
Here are the most interesting results from the latest Gallup/CNN/USA Today and ABC News/Washington Post polls.
1. In the ABC News poll, Kerry is leading Bush by 9 points (53-44) among registered voters. With Nader thrown in, he still leads by 4 points, with Nader drawing 3 percent. In the Gallup poll, Kerry leads by 8 points (52-44) among likely voters. He also has more “hard” support (those who say they are certain to vote for him) than Bush (45-38). With Nader thrown in Kerry still leads by Bush by 6 points (50-44), with Nader at just 2 percent.
Note that these two polls measure Nader support at 2-3 percent, while the much-publicized Ipsos/AP poll had his support at 6 percent. I suspect the Gallup/ABC News figures are better measures of his current support.
Update: Gallup has issued a report on their new poll. In the report, they break down states into red (Bush won by 5 percent or more), blue (Gore won by 5 percent or more and purple (the margin of victory for Gore or Bush was less than 5 percent; this includes of course almost all the swing states the current campaigns are likely to focus on). In blue states, Kerry is ahead of Bush 55 percent to 42 percent among likely voters. Not unexpected. But in purple, swing states, he is ahead of Bush by even more, 55-39.
And for those fretting perhaps more than they need to about Nader, here are the analagous figures with Darth Nader in the mix: 55-42 in blue states and 52-39 in purple states.
Not so bad, huh? So relax (at least about Nader).
2. Bush’s overall approval rating in the ABC News poll is 50 percent, with 48 percent disapproval (his highest ever). His rating in the Gallup poll is 49 percent, with 48 percent disapproval (tied for his highest ever).
3. Bush’s approval ratings in the ABC News poll are only above 50 percent in two areas: the US campaign against terrorism (63 percent) and protecting Americans constitutional rights and freedoms (61 percent). Significantly, his rating on the economy has now dipped below 40 percent (39 percent approval/59 percent disapproval). His other poor to very poor ratings are, in descending order: education (50 percent approval/45 percent disapproval); taxes (50/47); the situation in Iraq (46/53); the issue of same-sex marriage (44/52!); creating jobs (43/54); prescription drug benefits for the elderly (41/49); Social Security (38/55); the cost, availability and coverage of health insurance (32/62); and the federal budget deficit (30/65).
4. In the ABC News poll, Kerry is now 5 points ahead of Bush (49-44) on who would do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces ove the next few years. He has also now caught up with and surpassed Bush on who would do a better job handling the situation in Iraq (48-47). And he has widened his lead over Bush on dealing with the economy to 12 points (53-41).
5. Also in the ABC News poll, here are voters’ choices for the single most important issue in deciding their vote for president: economy/jobs (36 percent); terrorism (17 percent); Iraq (10 percent); education (8 percent); Medicare/prescription drugs (7 percent); and health care (6 percent). And here are Kerry’s leads over Bush on dealing with these issues: the economy (+12); terrorism (-21); Iraq (+1); education (+12); Medicare/prescription drugs (no data available but a reasonable guess is that Kerry would have a substantial lead); and health care (+20).
6. In the ABC News poll, 41 percent say they want to keep moving in the direction Bush has been taking the country, compared to 57 percent who want to elect a president to take the country in a different direction.
7. Kerry beats Bush on every characteristic ABC News tested except “is a strong leader”. On “tolerant of different points of view”, he beats Bush 73 percent applies/17 percent doesn’t apply to 47/51. On “honest and trustworthy” he beats Bush 59/30 to 54/45; on “understands the problems of people like you” he beats Bush 58/34 to 41/57; and on “stands up to special interests” he beats Bush 54/30 to 51/44.
And even on “strong leader”, Kerry is virtually tied with Bush, 61/29 to 63/36.
8. In the ABC News poll, just 26 percent say Bush cares more about protecting the interests of ordinary working people, compared to 67 percent who say he cares more about protecting the interests of large business corporations. That’s his worst rating ever, including during the summer of corporate scandals in 2002. In contrast, by 60/23, the public says Kerry cares more about the protecting the interests of ordinary people.
9. In the Gallup poll, by 66/30 people say it is inappropriate for political candidates to run camapign ads using images depicting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When asked specifically about Bush’s use of such ads, people still say by 54/42 that it is inappropriate.
10. In the Gallup poll, 40 percent of likely voters now say that they usually, almost always or always vote Democratic, compared to 36 percent who they typically vote Republican. Two months ago, Republicans had the advantage on this question, 44/37.
DR reports. You decide.