By Alan Abramowitz
RealClearPolitics.com is a popular website for tracking state and national polls, but it also has a real clear conservative slant–check out the sponsors and the bulk of the op-ed articles posted on the site. RealClearPolitics also includes some dubious polls in calculating their national and state averages–notably the robodialers Rasmussen and SurveyUSA. In addition, RealClearPolitics always posts results for likely voters rather than registered voters despite the questionable validity of the likely voter screens used by some olling porganizations. So one should take the results posted on the RealClearPolitics website with a grain of salt. What is interesting, however, is that realclearpolitics currently shows that John Kerry is leading in the polls in 8 of 16 key battleground states with 93 electoral votes (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oregon, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Maine) while George Bush is leading in 8 states with 75 electoral votes (Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, Arkansas, and West Virginia). This would be an improvement of 12 electoral votes for John Kerry compared with Al Gore’s showing in these 16 states in 2000.
More importantly, though, George Bush is currently averaging only 48.8 percent of the vote compared with 46.4 percent for John Kerry in the 8 states that he carried in 2000. And Bush is averaging only 45.8 percent of the vote compared with 47.9 percent for John Kerry in the 8 states that Al Gore carried in 2000. That measn Bush is running below the critical 50 percent mark for an incumbent president even in the battleground states that he carried in 2000 and well below the 50 percent mark in the battleground states that Al Gore carried in 2000.
So one thing is “real clear”–no matter what website you use to follow the polls, George Bush is in serious trouble.
By Alan Abramowitz