In the polls


Geraldine Sealey
March 24, 2004 10:22PM (UTC)

The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows Senator John F. Kerry at 47 percent, President George W. Bush at 44 percent, and "some other candidate" at 4 percent. The pollsters say: "These numbers reflect quite a change in the race after Bush had been leading Kerry for seven straight days. The recent news cycle may be taking a toll on the President's numbers. Only time will tell whether this is a lasting shift or just a temporary aberration. Ratings for President Bush's handling of the "situation in Iraq" have declined over the past week. Just 43 percent of Americans give the President good or excellent marks in this area. That's down from 47 percent a week ago. The President's numbers have also declined in the economic arena."

And a new Associated Press poll shows Bush with just a 46-43 lead over Kerry, despite a bad spell for the Democratic candidate in which he has been pummeled by millions of dollars of negative ads and a drumbeat of GOP attacks.

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From the AP: "Voters said they trust Bush to do a better job of protecting the country by 58 percent to 35 percent. They trust Kerry to do a better job of creating jobs by 53 percent to 37 percent. Kerry has been emphasizing the job issue in campaign appearances and campaign ads. Both candidates have been trying to change the subject in recent weeks to more friendly turf -- Kerry to jobs, Bush to national security. Jobs are the top issue as far as voters are concerned, according to the poll, while national security trails jobs by about 15 percentage points."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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