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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Swing State News

I haven’t been able to find a public link to it, but here are some data from a recent (May 11-16) Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) poll of LVs in the battleground states (AZ, AR, FL, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, OH, NM, OR, PA, WA, WI, WV). The poll finds that only 36 percent of voters in these states think the US is headed in the right direction, compared to 57 percent who think it’s going in the wrong direction.
Bush’s approval rating is at 46 percent, with 50 percent disapproval, and Kerry is leading Bush in a trial heat match-up by 5 points (50-45). This result is consistent with most other data from the battleground states as a whole, which have shown Kerry with at least a modest lead for quite some time. Note also that Kerry’s lead is a slightly larger 6 points among independents in the battleground states (48-42), another good sign for the Kerry campaign.
Finally, the GQR poll finds that Kerry has made gains among battleground voters, compared to one month ago, on whether various positive characteristics describe Kerry well. Examples include: “will keep America strong” (up 9 points to 57 percent); “honest and trustworthy” (up 7 points to 57 percent); “strong leader” (up 7 points to 59 percent); and “has what it takes to be President” (up 6 points to 57 percent).
Recently-released state level polls include:
Arizona: Behavior Research Center Rocky Mountain poll (April 29-May 4) has Bush up by only 4 over Kerry (46-42). Note Bush’s low support level, well into the danger zone for an incumbent.
Florida: ARG poll (May 17-19) has Bush up by a single point (47-46). Besides Bush’s low support level, note Kerry’s 7 point lead among independents (47-40). In 2000, Gore and Bush split Florida independents down the middle.

23 comments on “Swing State News

  1. dean on

    McGreevey won’t make a difference one way or the other. It’s a funny state. Tends to go Republican for Governor (Keane, Whitman), but also goes Dem (Florio, McGreevey). The tendency is to be unhappy when the Gov is Dem and content with the Repub Gov. But the legislature trends Dem and national elections, I think, trend Dem. Went for Nixon, like everyone else. Not sure where it went with the Reagan and Bush I years. But went for Clinton and Gore. Both Senators are Dem (Corzine and Lautenberg). I think it will go Dem this time. That’s my ear to the street sense talking.

  2. Boots on

    To compare the various polls, go to:
    http://www.fastpolitics.com then scroll down the right side column to Polling Report and you’ll see them all. It’s a great site. This morning Kerry was ahead in four polls, Bush in two, and they tied in one. :))) Most encouraging.

  3. James on

    Isn’t McGreevey becoming more popular (or at least less hated) in Jersey? Will that keep on through November?

  4. Alan Snipes on

    Don’t worry about those California and NJ polls. Kerry has to be up by more than a point in California if you accept that Kerry is even or slightly ahead nationwide. The New Jersey poll may be reflecting some unpopularity with Governor McGreevy but New Jersey should be there in November for us. As for Rasmussen his last poll in 2000 had Bush beating Gore 49-40. So don’t take his poll too seriously.

  5. Ron Thompson on

    The news Faux News/Opinion Dynamics poll has Bush up in the swing states. They have the 3-way race 40-40-3, but Bush up 43-37 in 16 battleground states.
    Consider the source, but also consider that Bush gets only 43% in battleground states in this obviously slanred poll.

  6. Trent on

    So what poll was that blond Republican bimbo on ‘Crossfire’ bragging about tonight when she said Bush is ahead in the swing states?

  7. dave on

    Gropenator is not helping Bush because he is riding high right now. Plus the gropenaror will be going to trail in UK for sexual harrasment shortly.
    CA is safe , period. Only a san andreas earthquake can shake loose CA for Bush.

  8. Joe Zainea on

    News just in that Kerry may not accept Democratic Party’s nomination at the convention. Acceptance will be delayed to permit Kerry spending donated campaign funds, without limitation, just like Bush. This would put him in sync with Bush on the expenditure limits of the $75 million in public funds.
    Presumably, Kerry’s formal acceptance of the nomination would be in Sept. about the same time as Bush’s. One of Kerry’s aides explained to the media that they have no intention of fighting with on hand tied behind their back. Way to go Kerry!

  9. Doofus on

    RE: California polls — thanks to the several explanatory posts above, I have now relaxed enough to slip a sliver of lime in my Corona Extra and start enjoying my weekend. Much obliged.

  10. Paleo on

    “Why does the Rasmussen poll consistently show better data for Bush than most of the other polls?”
    Because Scott Rasmussen is a Republican. And the poll is a CRAP poll anyway.

  11. dean on

    Yeah, getting back to NJ, no worries here either. Went for Gore strong in 2000. Major job losses in the tech industry since then. Fed dollars bypass us in a big way with the Bush regime and Republican Congress. This state is not going Republican in 2004. Only problem we could run into is McGreevey, Dem governor, is unpopular and viewed as corrupt by many, which could hurt Dem chances in many ways. But I don’t think McGreevey has big enough “negative coattails” to help Bush.

  12. Paula on

    JTBLA, Thanks for your post. I do remember that Calif. poll in 2000 that had Bush within 2, which turned out to be way off the mark.

  13. JTBLA on

    As a Calif. resident I can guarantee that Bush has NO chance to win out here. That poll is out of whack with others that show Kerry up 10+, including a recent LA Times poll. In 2000 there was a late poll that showed Bush within 2 of Gore and people freaked. Gore won the state easily.

  14. Haggai on

    I don’t know what CA poll people are referring to, but let’s remember DR’s consistent arguments about the incumbent’s approval rating being more important than horse-race numbers at this point. Then, with that in mind, take a look at this story from early April:
    “A new poll shows President Bush’s approval ratings in California have plummeted, even in the state’s most GOP-dominated conservative areas.”
    “With the Iraq war taking a difficult turn and questions raised at home about the administration’s terrorism policy, the poll by the Survey and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State University released Monday puts Bush’s state approval ratings at just 38 percent, while 50 percent disapprove.”
    “That’s a dramatic change from the start of the year, when 49 percent of Californians approved of the job the president was doing, and 40 percent disapproved.”
    Also keep in mind that this poll was from almost two months ago, just as the deadliest month for Americans in the entire Iraq conflict was beginning, and before the prison abuse scandal. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Bush’s approval ratings in CA haven’t improved since then.

  15. Paula on

    I believe there’s only one poll that has Kerry’s lead in California at just a point. Don’t worry; there’s no way Bush will win that state. You can take that to the bank.

  16. dean on

    Interesting and VERY encouraging. Remember, the Bushies have spent the vast majority of their campaign funds so far in the battleground states. This is the best they can do. The news won’t get better from Iraq, and the general opinion around my household (for what it’s worth) is that things will get worse there after the make-believe power handover. I do not celebrate that, but I do read the tea leaves that arise from it.
    Don’t worry about NJ. I’m here. I got your back.

  17. Grok on

    These data are largely good news, but I echo the previously stated concerns about California, and add New Jersey to that. Further: given the power structure and the loose definition of democratic rights there, Florida should not be considered in play. By hook or, more likely, by crook, Bush will end up with its electoral votes.

  18. controller on

    I’ve wondered about California myself. With such a majority of Deocratic voter registration, this state should be the Dem’s to keep for a long time. I took the 2000 election numbers and looked at the states where W has pretty much done himself in that are swing states and came up with Kerry winning the election with 292 electoral votes. This assumes that the voting machine are not rigged for Bush. Ohio should be a slam dunk for Kerry, as should Michigan, New Hampshire, and even West Virginia. Nevada should be Blue this time as Nevadans should start to glow from nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountains very soon. With all the scandal (especially the NEW torture pictures on top of the old ones), Plamegate (something I think is a major issue and should be more public this summer), deficits and spending, this guy should be sent to Gitmo for retirement.

  19. Doofus on

    That data is encouraging, but here’s what I want to know (and I haven’t yet seen this addressed elsewhere): Why is Kerry only up by ONE point in the recent California polls? Shouldn’t that be a slam dunk, double-digit lead for him? Is he in trouble there, possibly because of Schwarzenegger’s successes? Is it possible that he could LOSE California? Is California really in play for this election, or are these poll results an aberration? I’d love to hear from someone who has some insights into this issue.


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