By Alan Abramowitz
Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan are the four most important battleground states in the 2004 presidential election. Together they hold 85 electoral votes. In the 2000 election, Al Gore carried Michigan and Pennsylvania while George Bush carried Florida (barely) and Ohio. An analysis of independent polls that have been conducted in these four states since October 15th reveals that John Kerry is now leading in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio and trailing only slightly in Florida. This analysis includes only independent media and academic polls. It excludes partisan polls and robo-dial polls such as those done by Rasmussen and Surveyusa and the Zogby tracking polls. However, including the robo-dial and tracking polls would not change the overall results appreciably in any of these states. Results here are for likely voters. In most cases, John Kerry does slightly better among all registered voters than among likely voters.
In Florida (27 electoral votes) there have been 9 polls since October 15th. George Bush led in 5 polls, John Kerry led in 3 polls, and 1 poll was tied. The average of the 9 polls was Bush 47.8, Kerry 45.7, Nader 1.2.
In Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes) there have been 8 polls since October 15th. Bush led in 1 poll, Kerry led in 6 polls, and 1 poll was tied. The average of the 8 polls was Bush 46.5, Kerry 48.8. Ralph Nader is not on the ballot in Pennsylvania.
In Ohio (20 electoral votes) there have been 8 polls since October 15th. Bush led in 2 polls, Kerry led in 6 polls. The average of the 8 polls was Bush 46.5, Kerry 48.0. Ralph Nader is not on the ballot in Ohio. Remember, no Republican has ever won a presidential election without carrying Ohio.
In Michigan (17 electoral votes) there have been 4 polls since October 15th. Kerry led in all 4. The average of the 4 polls was Bush 43.8, Kerry 48.0, Nader 1.0.
Based on the most recent independent polls conducted in these 4 key states, John Kerry appears to be poised to carry Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio. In addition, George Bush’s lead in Florida is far from secure. If undecided voters in Florida break toward Kerry, as most analysts expect, John Kerry could sweep these four states next Tuesday.
Source for all polling data is pollingreport.com.
By Alan Abramowitz