Thursday, August 05, 2004

Fox News Poll - Good News For Kerry

The latest Fox News poll, released Thursday and conducted Aug. 3-4, shows Kerry with a 3 point bounce from the convention, running 46-43 among likely voters against Bush, up from a 44-44 tie. This is Kerry's best showing in any Fox News poll. Among the wider pool of registered voters, Kerry is ahead of Bush 48-43, up 4 points from the pre-convention 44-43. In addition, Bush's approval rating is at its lowest point, at 44%, with 48% disapproving.

It seems to be conventional wisdom at this point that the reason Kerry and Edwards have received such a slight bounce in the polls after the convention is due to the extreme polarization of the electorate. Even Fox concedes that there is "little room for movement" and that only 1 in 5 voters would consider changing his mind. So the real story of the effect the convention has had on Kerry's and Edwards' numbers can be found in the internal numbers rather than the head to head match up:

The number of Kerry backers who say they support him "strongly" has increased the last couple of months, and that trend continues with a six point post-convention rise. Today, 66 percent of Kerry voters say they "strongly support" him, up from 60 percent before the convention.

Another area where Kerry received a post-convention boost is on the attribute of "strong leader." While Bush still has a small advantage over Kerry as the candidate more voters see as being a strong leader, the gap is much narrower — Bush had a 19-point edge before the convention and today that has closed to four-percentage points.

Kerry made gains on other characteristics as well, including now holding a seven-point edge over Bush as the candidate seen as being "more honest and trustworthy," and an 11-point lead as the candidate who "understands the average American better."

Kerry does best on the domestic issues. By 47 percent to 34 percent Kerry outdoes Bush on the issue of education, widening his lead here by nine points since June. In addition, Kerry has an 18-point lead over Bush as the candidate who would do a better job on health care. On the top priority issue to voters in this year's presidential election — the economy — Kerry now has the edge over Bush (44 percent to 36 percent).

Did I mention this is a Fox News poll? No bounce my ass.


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