Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush and four- term Massachusetts
Senator John Kerry are in a statistical tie for voter support in three national
polls after their final debate. A fourth poll gives Bush a 6 percentage point
Bush was backed by 50 percent of 1,203 likely voters in a Washington Post poll,
and Kerry won the support of 47 percent. The results are within the 3
percentage point margin of error. In a Reuters/Zogby International poll of
1,211 likely voters also released today, Bush led Kerry 46 percent to 44
percent, within the 2.9 percentage point error margin.
A Time Magazine poll showed Bush was supported by 48 percent of 865 likely
voters asked who they would vote for if the election were held today. Kerry got
46 percent. The margin of error is 4 percentage points. Newsweek found Bush was
backed by 50 percent of 880 likely voters and Kerry was supported by 44 percent
in a poll with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
``We trust our own polls,'' Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart said on the ``Fox News
Sunday'' program. ``We have this as a very close race. I think we have a little
bit of an edge.''
Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot agreed in the same interview that the race
is close. He said the polls show Bush may be building a lead.
``If you take a look at the average of all of the numbers since the last
debate, you'll see some separation there,'' Racicot said, though the margin
isn't ``as large as we would like it to be.''
The Post poll was conducted Oct. 13-15, and Utica, New York- based Zogby's
survey was taken Oct. 14-16. The Time and Newsweek polls were conducted Oct.
Bush, 58, and Kerry, 60, took part in the last of three debates on Oct. 13.
With a little more than two weeks before the Nov. 2 election, the two
candidates are focusing on the so-called battleground states that their
advisers say may decide the election.
Kerry attended a church service at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus,
Ohio, before flying to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a get-out-the vote rally.
Bush carried Ohio and Florida in 2000, and state polls, such as one conducted
Oct. 11- 12 in Florida by Atlanta-based consulting company InsiderAdvantage,
show he and Kerry are about even in both states. The states have a combined 47
elect***votes out of 270 needed to win the presidency.
Bush campaigned in Florida yesterday and he returns there this week. He also
will make a stop tomorrow in New Jersey, a state he lost in 2000 by 15.8
percentage points. A poll by Fairleigh***inson University in Teaneck, New
Jersey, found the race to be a dead heat there, with Kerry supported by 44
percent and Bush 42 percent. The poll was conducted Oct. 8-14 and has a 4.5
percentage point margin of error.
The Post reported its poll shows Kerry leading 53 percent to 43 percent in 13
battleground states, which the newspaper didn't define.
The state results are important because the winning candidate must gain
majorities in enough states to collect at least 270 Elect***College votes in
the Nov. 2 election. The elect***votes are apportioned among states based on
congressional representation. The elect***tally, not the nationwide popular
vote, determines the election.
A review of state polls by Bloomberg News shows Bush ahead in 21 states,
including Texas and Utah, with 178 elect***votes. Kerry, 60, leads in 11
states, including New York and Illinois, with 164 elect***votes. In 18 states
that have 196 elect***votes, including Pennsylvania and Florida, results of
the most recent polls are within the margin of error.
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Last Updated: October 17, 2004 12:45 EDT
Of course the only poll that really matters is the one taken on November 2nd.
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