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Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Harris Poll: Statistical Tie on Eve of Debate

George Bush leads John Kerry 48-46 percent among nation-wide LV’s, with 3 percent for Nader, 2 percent for none of these and 2 percent not sure/refused, according to a Harris Interactive Poll conducted 9/20-26.

25 comments on “Harris Poll: Statistical Tie on Eve of Debate

  1. Dana on

    Smooth, the best you can do is point out that Kerry confused Treblinka with Lubyanka? It’s surely no small deal to the parties involved, but (1) most Americans didn’t catch the gaffe and won’t cry wolf over it once it’s explained, and (2) at least Kerry didn’t confuse Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein. You tell me which gaffe we’ll still be paying for in years to come.

  2. Marcus Lindroos on

    Gee, our friend Smoothie sounds…almost rattled, all of a sudden:-)

    Maybe you will join the distinguished club of Hugh Hewitt , Townhall.com and Lucianne.com now? I’ve just ventured into the Conservative Echo Chambers of Horrors, and virtually all the journalists and bloggers — with the above mentioned exceptions — reluctantly conclude Kerry did better than expected whereas the Chimp wasn’t on top of his game.

  3. Marcus Lindroos on

    Only watched a few minutes of the debate since it started 2:00 AM GMT. However, it seems virtually all Internet pundits (Instapundit, PoliPundit, Kausfiles, the NRO Corner among the Kerry-bashers; Sullivan, Drezner, Josh Marshall on the center/left) think Kerry won on points!!! Not a perfect performance, but independent voters who thought they “knew” Kerry from the Swift Vets for Truth ads etc. will be pleasantly surprised. And it seems the focus was mostly on “Shrub’s” track record rather than Kerry’s senate votes.
    It is way too early for all the gloom-and-doom predictions (or gloating predictions of a “landslide” by the other side) to start. If Kerry does well in the remaining two debates and if the Democrats can focus relentlessly on this Administration’s track record rather than irrelevant issues like who did what in Vietnam, anything can happen. But the real wild card is Iraq and Afghanistan. A dose of bad news may finally sink “Shrub’s” credibility. Or Osama bin Laden might be captured a few weeks before the elections… We just don’t know.

  4. omar on

    a little off topic, but i need to vent. IT took oreilly about 1 minute to start distorting the truth on his show today. He only sited the battleground polls in his tpm that showed bush winning. he ignored all the polls in pa and mi that show kerry winning. unbelievable.

  5. T.J. Pempel on

    Folks asked about reactions to Republican efforts to squash new voter registrations. This morning’s NY Times had an editorial condemning Repub Sec. of State in both Ohio and Colorado. Of course, NYT is not the ‘real world’ and folks must get this message to the local areas, but it’s a start. T.J.

  6. Brian C.B. on

    I suspect that the Michigan poll is an outlier. America Coming Together has pulled its staffers out of Michigan (I am told) and reassigned them to other states where the need is greater. I think that this is a sign that ACT is confident.

  7. euzoius on

    I’m with Coldeye–where, indeed, is the outrage at these multiplying stories detailing various nefarious activities by these battleground Republican secretaries of state? Inventing out of whole cloth the most preposterous technicalities, technicalities beyond one’s imagining: registration paper being “too thin”, etc. Republican elected officials are operating as openly anti-democratic with no backlash accruing to them whatever. Are there just too many stories out there for these to break through? Is this type of chicanery just “expected” by the public in post 2000 America? One certainly hopes that our Republican friends are sowing the whirlwind with their disdain for democracy.

  8. Auntie Ellie on

    UT going for K/E? More lawn K/E signs than B/C in UT? Must be heresy there in UT.
    I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, but there’s lots of folklore about things like this having predictive value. Ex: So called “barber poll”. Ask barbers around the country what they’re hearing. In 92 they predicted Bush pere, but Clinton won.
    Then there’s the groundhog’s shadow and aunt martha’s rheumatism.

  9. Smooth Jazz on

    Coldeye, Regarding:
    “Am I the only one who is just getting sick and tired of these games the Republicans are playing to supress voter registration or turnout, in places like Florida, Ohio, and Colorado? Look, I understand the need to prevent fraud but these little games don’t have any connection to that. They are more like the old poll taxes and literacy tests – the real purpose is to keep legitimate voters for the other side out of the process, and that’s just wrong.”
    Those are some valid areas of concern for Dems; However, if newspaper reports are to be believed, Dems are putting themselves in a position to commit massive fraud unlike we’ve never seen before. Already fraudulent voter registrations have been uncovered in:
    1. FLA, where NY voters, up to 20,000, were found to be registered in NY & FLA
    2. WIS, The found a few dead Dems registered to vote
    3. NEV, More dead Dems registered
    4. OH, absentee Dems voting twice
    5. IA, More Dem absentees voting twice
    There have been other reports, but I can’t recall them off the top of my head. These alleged frauds appear to be committed by certain Dem leading organs in these states.
    Alternatively, I have seen reports of Rep Secy of State discarding legitimate Dem voters cards. Who
    knows if they are just throwing out forged ballots or what the truth is.
    I just get the impression we may have 15 Floridas this year with all the lawsuits and recounts, if all these reports of fraud are to be believed.

  10. reignman on

    Given that all these polls are either tie or Bush +3, Bush probably has a one or two point lead. Given the DNC’s superior registration efforts, even one of the top guy working for the Bush campaign says that he’ll need a 5 point lead on election day to win.

  11. coldeye on

    Also of interest is that Rasmussen’s tracking poll has shown no pro-Bush drift at all in the weeks leading up to the debates. He has Bush consistently up on average of +2. Even the pollsters will tell you that tracking polls are much better indicators than 3-day snapshot polls. So Bush is leading by 2-3 heading into the debates. This is bad for an incumbent, horrible for a war-time incumbent, and beyond dismal for a war-time incumbent with no major domestic initiatives and a lackluster economy under his belt. Add in that many more would swing to Kerry if he would just show more clarity and leadership (Rasmussen reports today that 17% of voters are still persuadable, LA Times puts the number at 20%).
    The stage is set for Kerry to swing things back his way during the debates. One thing he’s got to do is explain clearly his vote to authorize presidential authority for war. It’s simple, really -just say “Look, I think the president should have big stick when negotiating with tyrants to disarm. But I NEVER would have authorized such an incompetant rush to actual war, without good intelligence and a plan for keeping the peace. And I never would have administered the occupation with such pathetic incompetene.” Bush will reply with a smirk and some sound bite like “Well I’m glad he cleared that up”, but it won’t stick because it really does clear the issue up once and for all.
    By the way, there is a transcript of Edward’s Imus interview on MSNBC.COM. It’s fun reading – he really is a charming person. Almost makes one whimsical for a switch in the ticket – or an Edward’s run in four or eight years.

  12. charlotte on

    I think the lead in Gallop’s OH poll showing RV for Kerry by 4 pts vs. down in LV reflects all the new registrations in OH. Our registration deadline is monday, October 4th at 9 am, so we are putting forth one more great push this weekend to get people registered. After that, its get out the vote.

  13. coldeye on

    Democrats are outregistering new voters in Ohio by margins of 10-1. These new registered voters may be a reason Kerry leads among registered but not likely (you can’t be a likely voter if you’ve never voted, in most polling models). However, the Ohio Republican Secretary of State has for weeks tried to disqualify most of the new registrations, on the grounds that they are on paper that is too thin and might get mangled in the mail. On this bizaare basis, he even tried to disqualify registrations contained in an envelope, or those that were hand delivered. And he’s trying to disqualify voters who don’t vote in the precinct in which they live. This makes no sense at all, because absentee ballots are allowed, and they are received and recorded in the state capital, far from where people live.
    Am I the only one who is just getting sick and tired of these games the Republicans are playing to supress voter registration or turnout, in places like Florida, Ohio, and Colorado? Look, I understand the need to prevent fraud but these little games don’t have any connection to that. They are more like the old poll taxes and literacy tests – the real purpose is to keep legitimate voters for the other side out of the process, and that’s just wrong.

  14. Big Dog on

    Interesting that Gallop has Kerry leading in OH in RVs. Someone here suggested he might be throwing a bone to his critics. Awful that we have to speculate like this, but that’s what he gets for putting his own credibiltiy in doubt with specious methodology. If that lead however, reflects something real and measurable in the real world, then it could spell real trouble for Bush.

  15. erg on

    Kerry has been up in every single non-artisan poll conducted in michigan for the last 3 months. Every single poll. Even before that, there are only 1 or 2 polls where he was behind by a point or 2. Even During the Republiucan convention.
    The DFP poll is probably an outlier. My guess is that Kerry is up by 2-3 points. Given the Arab American vote aainst Bush and the huge union strength in Michigan. Kerry should carry it by 5-6 points.

  16. phatcat on

    This was Harris’ online poll, remember. They weight demographically and also use “propensity weighting”, which adjusts the results for likelihood to be online vs. offline.

  17. melandell on

    Todays Det free press poll for michigan has kerry’s once comfortable lead down to 2 points, within the moe. DFP claims that as discussion has shifted to iraq over last 10 days, support for kerry has DECREASED among woman.
    What gives??


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