Thursday, September 30, 2004

Zogby: It's Kerry's To Lose

John Zogby, uber-pollster, still thinks this race is John Kerry's to lose and if he does so, it will be due to no strength on the part of the president, merely incompetence on the part of John Kerry. What makes him believe this? Read on.

The Massachusetts Senator still has aces in his hand that he can play. First, the President’s numbers are still not good. Despite a few outlier polls that show a large single digit or even a double digit lead for Mr. Bush, my poll has the President’s lead at only 3% and the average of all the public polls (as of this writing) is only a 4 point lead. Mr. Bush is only polling at 46% to 48% both nationally and in many key battleground states, hardly victory territory. And his barometric readings are still more negative than positive.

The best that can be said is that the President’s numbers are still better than Mr. Kerry’s. But my polling reveals another important fact – Mr. Kerry has more room for growth than the President. He has to first consolidate his base with an anti-war message that his base wants. He need not worry about accusations of flip-flopping on this issue because that is what the other side says about him and they are never going to vote for him under any circumstances. This alone will bring him to parity with the President in the polls.

From there we see a startling statistic: only 16% to 20% of undecided voters feel that the President deserves to be re-elected. Forty-percent of this relatively small group feel that it is time for someone new. They seem to have their minds made up about the President and have been given no reason to vote for Mr. Kerry. What is most important to this group? They agree with Mr. Bush on values, leadership, the war on terror, and likeability. They prefer Mr. Kerry on the economy, health care, the war, and education.


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