In the polls

By Geraldine Sealey
Published March 8, 2004 4:58PM (EST)

-- A poll released Sunday shows Bush is having problems in Florida. Kerry is ahead of Bush 49 to 43 percent. Nader got 3 percent, and only 5 percent were undecided. Fifty-three percent of voters disapproved of Bush's economic policies, and only 46 percent approved of his handling of the war in Iraq. The poll also showed voters trusted Kerry more than Bush to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits.

-- Political Wire links to a Barrons piece (sub. only) that asked pollster John Zogby to "lay out the electoral map as he sees it, based on various polls conducted throughout the country." The results are good news for Democrats, Political Wire writes.

John Kerry "is ahead in 18 of the so-called Blue states (including the District of Columbia), representing some 226 electoral votes." President Bush "leads in 21 of the Red states, with 176 electoral votes." A dozen more states, with 136 electoral votes, are considered in play."

"If Zogby's current estimate holds, all Kerry 'will need to do is take Ohio and Florida to pass the 270-vote threshold and win the presidency.' And Bush 'would seem to have an uphill battle here, if things continue as they are now.' Why? Because only four of the states that we list as 'in play' (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington) were Blue states in 2000, when they delivered a majority for Vice-President Al Gore. The other eight states that are 'in play' now (including Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri), with a treasure trove of 98 electoral votes, were part of Bush Country in 2000. That suggests the Democratic presidential candidate is holding his base of support better than the president is, allowing Senator Kerry to peel off a couple of the paler Red states from the president's column."

-- Illinois voters prefer Kerry over Bush 52 to 39 percent, according to a new poll. The Sun-Times writes: "If Illinois is a good indicator, President Bush must convince more voters they're better off than they were four years ago to win a second term. In a survey conducted by the Daily Southtown, the Chicago Sun-Times' sister newspaper, 50 percent of likely primary voters said they are not better off today -- a direct correlation to their presidential preference. Three out of four voters who feel they're worse off picked U.S. Sen. John Kerry over Bush."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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