washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Gallup, LA Times Polls: Kerry, Bush in Statistical Tie

Bush leads Kerry 49-47 percent of nation-wide RV’s, with 1 percent for Nader, 1 percent other, 1 percent none and 1 percent no opinion, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Oct. 1-3. In addition, 51 percent of respondents said Kerry was “better able to handle the economy,” compared to 44 percent for Bush.
John Kerry leads George Bush 49-47 percent in a head-to head match-up among nation-wide RV’s who saw the first presidential debate, according to a Los Angeles Times Poll conducted 9/30-10/1. The respondents chose Kerry as the winner of the debate by a 54-15 percent margin.
In addition, 50 percent of respondents in the LA Times Poll agreed that Kerry had “better ideas for strengthening the economy,” compared to 37 percent saying the same about Bush. By a margin of 47-44 percent, the respondents said Kerry was “more likely to develop a plan for achieving success in Iraq.”

35 comments on “Gallup, LA Times Polls: Kerry, Bush in Statistical Tie

  1. wilder on

    Zogby’s words before the debate were that the election was still Kerry’s to lose. After, he said that Bush’s bounce is officially over.

  2. Gabby Hayes on

    Like Bush, his followers argue to convince themselves, not others, that Bush is ahead.
    Any pollster worth his or her salt has to know that Bush is trouble. He has so few firm voters this late. By most indicia, only 40% of the public is firm in its support of Bush, with another 6-7% weak and persuadable.
    I’m 79% sure that is correct.

  3. omar on

    party weighting does make it alot close in the pew poll. With party weighting Bush is at 45.93, Kerry at 44.34 and undecideds at 9. With that tiny of a margin, and undecides at about 9, kerry is in good shape.
    See the zogby thread for how i broke down the numbers.

  4. erg on

    CBS shows an even race (from down 8-9 % last week).
    We don’t know how long this will last, but it seems indisputable that Kerry got a bounce out of the debate. Pew doesn’t show the bounce, and WasPost shows a smaller bounce, but overall, there is definitely a bounce. Rasmussen’s robots will probably start showing it too.

  5. Ottnott on

    Yep, you can be a strong leader right up to the point where you turn around and see that most of your followers have defected to the smart leader.

  6. howard on

    Bill, for what it’s worth, even if Kerry wins this thing, i still expect polls to show that people think that bush is the “strong leader.” That image has been carefully crafted over a 36-month period by people who are real pros at hammering home a simple message, and repeated and repeated by an unthinking media. It’s really asking too much of most voters – who are busy, after all, leading their lives, not reading blogs – to reason through how shallow a claim it is. The best that Kerry can hope to do is dent that image, not overcome it, and i think the best way to dent it is to call a spade a spade and label Bush a liar on a regular basis from here on out….

  7. Bill Makuch on

    Pew Research has Bush 48 Kerry 41, only a one point bounce for Kerry.
    I know we should ignore likely voters, so we will ignore that it’s closer 49% to 44% among likely voters.
    Actually, Kerry doing better among likely voters is consistent with a few other recent polls. Looks like the debates charged up Kerry base, so that’s an accomplishment anyway, if it lasts.
    Meanwhile, internals still a problem for Kerry:
    Changes mind too much to be commander in chief:
    49% yes, 41% no
    Strong leader:
    Bush 57% Kerry 32%
    And these next two call into question just how effective Kerry was in the debate:
    Has a clear plan on Iraq:
    Bush 35% Kerry 26%
    Bush made major mistakes in Iraq and terrorism:
    Yes 46 no 50%
    Even if Party I.D. is skewed:
    Bush still pulls 9% of democrats, vs 5% that Kerry pulls from repubicans. Independents 35% to 33% for Bush.

  8. Mike In MD on

    I haven’t seen the Washington Post/ABC poll being referenced here, but if the alleged 5-point Bush lead is on the mark, then that’s still a bit closer than before. It also makes it a near-outlier compared to the latest raft of polls, although whether Kerry’s debate gains will last is of course unclear. Is the Post the new Gallup? Speaking of Gallup I also wonder why Kerry does slightly better with LV’s than RV’s in their last two polls. Maybe our criticisms had an impact and they changed the LV formula, but I doubt that.
    And I heard that Dan Rather (yeah, say what you will) is dropping hints about a new CBS survey that shows major change in the race (this from a firm whose polls have lately been on the pro-Bush side of the scale.) Exactly what kind of change was unspecified, but I haven’t seen anyone showing major gains for Bush over the last week or so.

  9. Steve Soto on

    I’ve got the internals at my blog:
    In short, Gallup’s latest poll is based on a party ID breakdown that almost totally reflects the 2000 exit poll turnout, and not their suspect GOP-advantage models of the last two polls. Make of it what you will, but basically there was a 16-point swing in party ID amongst those participating in their likely voter sample this time. You’ll have to decide for yourself how credible that is, and whether the problem rests with Gallup’s methodology or whether we have a highly volatile and fluid electorate, as Gallup has been claiming all along.
    I just don’t find it credible that there would be such a swing in the Registered Voter poll results (Bush down from a 11% lead to a 2% lead in one week), and that there would suddenly be 8% more respondents self-identifying as Dems and 8% fewer self-identifying as Reeps in a week as compared to last week’s sample, when the only change was the first debate.
    Now Gallup does say that the first debate had a huge impact, but if it did, then why does the ABC News/WashPost poll say (if in fact it does this afternoon) there was no impact, and Zogby say that Kerry got only a 2% bounce?

  10. tony on

    Thanks for making that point on state polls. We have almost nothing post-debate on them at this point. Wait and see.

  11. tony on

    And another big of negative info….Pew is out and shows only a 1% gain (from an 8% Bush lead to 7%) among RV’s, and Bush actually gaining in LV’s, going from a 1% lead to 5%.
    I got this from http://www.pollingreport.com.
    Again, I expect our Republican friends to suddenly start favoring the polls they did not like a short while ago, while not mentioning at all the polls they did like a short while ago. That sort of approach is one of the best reasons to vote Democratic. Certainly it’s one of the things that’s moved me from thinking I might vote Republican 4 years ago (I didn’t) to being unable to even imagine voting for anyone Republican for a good time to come.
    At this point, depending on the poll, we’re seeing anything from Kerry +3 to Bush +7. This is better than it was a short while ago, but, here’s my mantra again….close.
    Go out and talk to folks to get them on the Kerry side of things, especially in Ohio.
    I’m expecting that the prime outcomes of the debates will be a slight move in Kerry’s direction and a media that’s actually willing to question Bush and his surrogates rather than taking all hook, line, and sinker.

  12. omar on

    To coldeye:
    I think the zogby poll is’nt really all that bad of news for kerry.
    As we all know, undecides usually lean toward the challanger, and this poll has 8 percent undecided.
    Bush’s job approval rating and “reelect vs.someone new” is also extremely low.
    Also about half of nader voters 4 years ago switched at the last minute to gore, I believe this is likely to happen again.(especially in swing states.)
    Also, those state polls don’t reflect the swift in public opinion that has taken place since the debate, almost all of them were taken wholly or mostly before the debate.

  13. goethean on

    > Second, Bush still leads in the electoral vote in
    > almost every poll.
    > Posted by coldeye at October 4, 2004 01:07 PM
    I don’t think that there’s been enough state polls since the debate to actually determine this.

  14. Tedman on

    Looks like people are on to the problem with not knowing the internal details of these things when trying to interpret the numbers. Even when using the random dialing techniques, there are reasons why you can get unpredictable, but significant voter ID biases on any give outing. For example, are urban people more likely to be away from home on weekend than rural people, do people screen calls more at different times in the week, and is this biased urban/rural. The more polls favor rural areas, the more likely to have republican bias. So, without the internals, we have no way of knowing who representative the poll is.
    Let’s not even discuss the problem of assuming 55% turnout as Gallup does and weighting the data acccordingly.

  15. warp resident on

    “I wonder if our Republican friends will now be touting the virtues of Zogby!”
    No need to wonder. See schmoojazz’s post above.

  16. Dana on

    Smooth, it’s called a URL. Please post those and use exceprts to make the case, just for readability’s sake.
    As for the Zogby poll, you know and I know that (a) it’s a long way to Election Day, and (b) Kerry has the momentum coming out of last week’s debate. Barring nasty surprises, it’s becoming more and more Kerry’s race to earn and win–unless, of course, one of the candidates stops to fix broken-down cars (clearly the most important quality in a leader), in which case all bets are off. 🙂

  17. C. Ama on

    Josh Marshall is reporting the the forthcoming ABC News/Washington Post poll has Bush holding on to a measurable lead. Thoughts, Ruy? Is this a case of LVs versus RVs again?

  18. Smooth Jazz on

    UhOh, Looks like WP/ABC, according to KerrySpot at NRO, is about to come up with a no Kerry bounce poll – ie Bush up 5?. We shall see soon enough.
    Oct 4, 2004
    Apparently Rush Limbaugh just mentioned a poll that should be out tomorrow showing Bush up 5.
    We at NRO have heard through the grapevine that this is the ABC News/WashingtonPost poll. No specific numbers yet, though.

  19. Luis on

    Why do they keep putting Nader in those polls? He’s clearly not a national candidate. Around this time in October 2000, Nader was polling at 3%, ended up at 2.7% and was on the ballot in all 50 states. Now he’s polling at 1% and is on the ballot in only 25 states, only 5 or 6 or six of which are truly tossups. Including him gives a distorted picture of the race at this point. He should only be mentioned in individual state polls where it makes a difference.

  20. Scratchy on

    Given that the Gallup polls have been overpolling Republicans so heavily, and their methodology gives no indication that they’ve corrected the problem, is it safe to assume that Kerry is actually ahead anywhere from 2-5 points?

  21. tony on

    The post-debate Zogby phone poll is out. It shows Kerry with a 2% gain in a head to head, now trailing by 1%, but no change in a three-way, trailing 3%.
    I wonder if our Republican friends will now be touting the virtues of Zogby!
    It’s interesting that there was little change. But it’s also interesting that it shows this thing very close, as do the other post-debate polls.
    Keep on working in prep for Nov. 2!

  22. Bill Makuch on

    Internals from Gallup:
    Expresses himself more clearly?
    Kerry 54
    Bush 41
    +13 Kerry
    Is a strong and decisive leader?
    Bush 56
    Kery 37
    Bush + 19
    As images from the debate fade in voters memory, isn’t it likely that voters will choose a strong leader over a strong talker?

  23. howard on

    Geez, i hate to be a negative voice in the face of good news, but the election isn’t being held today.
    The dyanmic of this race has always been whether kerry could convince the majority of people who don’t think bush is doing a good job that he could do better. Between April and early August, he did that.
    Then, the smear and hatefest of August took hold of the narrative, and bush edged back ahead, as the people on the margin (that is, those who don’t approve of bush’s policies but aren’t sold on the alternative) shifted back to “the devil you know.”
    The debate and its follow-on (and interestingly, Kerry is now seen as having “won” the debate more decisively than in the initial polling, which suggests a dynamic in motion) now appear to have restored the status quo ante of July 31.
    But we are talking about Karl Rove, George Bush, and Dick Cheney, people with a proven track record of dishonesty and smearing, and they have 5 weeks in which to redo August.
    While the “global test” line of attack doesn’t seem, at least initially, to be working, they’ll back off and try another. This race is far from over.
    PS. Yes, i’d like to know the Gallup internals too!

  24. euzoius on

    Rove clearly received strong focus group polling that ads distorting the phrase “global test” would hit home with lamebrains. Professor Cole today demolishes this specious misinterpretation of Kerry’s analsis, see juancole.com, but the lie will have its hoped for effect. It’s devastating that as a result of Republican “liberal media” pressure and corporatism the mainstream media has abandoned playing any role whatever as independent watchdog over the campaigns; their abdication really permits gross manipulation and prevarication to run unchecked.

  25. coldeye on

    Time to come back down to earth. First of all, Zogby is out with his poll and Bush is still ahead by a couple of points. This makes four polls that have the race either even or within one or two points for either guy. Rasmussen’s tracking poll has Bush up by three.
    Second, Bush still leads in the electoral vote in almost every poll. Third, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Carl Rove will pull something very sleazy in October if the race is still close. Finally, the debate on Friday should be a positive for Bush – it involves a forum where his “affability” can really shine and one he’s practiced in for the last four years.
    Kerry is still the underdog in my opinion, but it’s close now, very close.
    One bit of interesting news in the Zogby poll is that undecides have risen to 8%, and by a four to one margin they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Historically in this type of situation, the undecides break in favor of the challenger on election day by large margins (if they show up to vote). So that’s good for Kerry.

  26. whstaff on

    I went to gallup and scanned all their content on this new poll and found nothing on the “party indentification split”. I would have to assume that their approach to panel composition is unchanged.

  27. DEKE on

    I think this clearly shows the debate has worked in Kerrys favor. I expect Kerry to gain on Bush even more in the next coming weeks. Hopefully Edwards will hold hiw own against Cheney tommarow night. I don’t think polls are fully accurate for many reasons and I think Kerry’s true numbers are higher than reported in any polls. Provided the absense of another terrorist attack before November 2nd or the convenient finding of Osama Bin Laden I expect Kerry to win the presidency on November 2nd.

  28. Noone on

    But what are the internals?! I have learned from Ruy to look at the internals, % of Dems and Repubs, etc…Ruy talk to us! Tell us the low down!

  29. Publius on

    See that? Mark my words, we’re seeing a leap similar to what Reagan experienced in 1980, where he went over the top in the final week of the campaign. Only Kerry’s going to do it in an even BIGGER way!
    Thank you for the good news! If even Gallup has to acknowledge Kerry’s leap, the other polls will surely have it even bigger!

  30. Kurt Laidlaw on

    So if I understand this correctly, according to the always reliable Gallup, Kerry jumped between 8 and 10 points following the debate. If I believed Gallup in the first place those would be fantastic numbers. Following the next debate, perhaps we will see Gallup show Kerry-Edwards ahead 49-47…

  31. CHUCK on

    Is this the same gallup poll that had Kerry trailing by 12? Is the party ID here still biased toward Repubs? If so, this is very good news for the Dems indeed. I guess the first debate went a LONG way toward turning opinions in favor of Kerry…. I can’t wait until Tuesday.

  32. Amy on

    So if Gallup uses the same methodology as before, doesn’t that mean Kerry has a pretty big lead? Did they oversample Republicans in this poll, too?

  33. Dan Andrews on

    Am I right in thinking that there must considerably more republicans than democrats (AGAIN) in this Gallup poll? How does Bush pull off the lead among RVs? Also, depsite a tie in the horserace, Bush enjoys big leads in some of the other questions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.