The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the post-RNC bounce. Their conclusion: Modest, but noticeable:
“The Republican convention and the war on terrorism seem to have touched a nerve with voters, according to the latest Zogby Interactive poll of likely voters in 16 battleground states. Mr. Bush now leads in four states, up from the two states he held two weeks ago, and he improved his standing in eight of the 12 states in which John Kerry continues to hold the lead. Mr. Kerry’s margins in three states — Nevada, Missouri and crucial Florida — are under one percentage point.
The latest poll was conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 3, as the Republicans held their national convention amid high security in New York. Though the nomination went off without a hitch, a pair of plane crashes in Russia and militants’ seizure of a Russian school raised Americans’ concerns about terrorism. The rising death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq (August’s toll was the highest since May) and the continuing dispute over Sen. Kerry’s service record also highlighted war and security issues.
Another sign of Mr. Bush’s improved standings in the latest poll: His leads are outside the margin of error in three states, the most for him so far in this polling series. And those healthy leads include Ohio, which in previous elections has been a strong indicator of the national outcome. Overall, many contests remain close, with the results from nine of the 16 states within the margin of error, which varies from +/- 2.4 to +/- 4.3 percentage points per candidate.”
Here’s what it looks like in the Purple states (both Blue and Red):
click for larger chart
Chart courtesy of WSJ
The Journal observes that this remains a very tight race:
“Despite Mr. Bush’s stronger showing, he still has a way to go. If all the states — even those within the margin of error — were to go to the current leading candidates, and the other 34 states go as they did in the 2000 election, Mr. Bush would get 231 electoral votes and Mr. Kerry would get 307. (See this analysis of how this could play out in the Electoral College for more details)
Indeed, Mr. Kerry holds leads outside the margin of error in four states, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, and his leads in others, while slipping, remain sizable.”
The post-RNC bounce ranges from modest to double digit: Time and Newsweek has Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney ahead of Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards by double digits; The incumbents are also ahead in a CNN and USA Today Gallup poll by 7%. Their lead in a Zogby America poll is 3%.
However, the Journal notes “two other readings show the race for the White House is still as tight as ever. The candidates are tied in the most recent three-day tracking poll from Rasmussen Reports and in a survey by American Research Group.”
The key question at this point, with less than 60 days to go: Can the incumbent build on the post convention momentum? Or, like $50 a barrel oil, has he just peaked?
Stay tuned . . .
UPDATE: 9/8/04 6:31am
Okay, that’s just about enough emails. The rest of the polling details from the WSJ are posted at the link below. (I thought stock market junkies were bad — you politicos are even worse!)
Here’s the link: More polling data
The very excellent Electoral Vote.com’s votemaster often posts comments below the terrific electoral college map they produce. On Monday, they noted Rasmussen had chastised Newsweek and Time for “failure to correct the raw data” in their post RNC poll. “This observation is noteworthy because it is relatively rare when one pollster says that his colleagues blew it.”
Battlegrounds States Poll – August 23, 2004
Run the Numbers: A Stronger Showing for Bush