The New Democrat Network released this "strategy memo" based on its own polling of voters nationally and in 18 battleground states. The whole memo is fascinating to read, particularly for polling junkies, but here are three choice selections:
On the Nader factor: "Ralph Nader likes to say that he's just as likely to draw Republican votes as Democratic and hence is not a real threat to cost John Kerry the election. This simply is not true. Without Nader on the ballot, Kerry has a tiny lead, 47 percent to 46 percent. With Nader on the ballot, Kerry is losing 43 percent to 45 percent (with Nader drawing 6 percent). Nader is drawing his votes from independents and Democrats, the majority of whom would otherwise be voting for Kerry. Without Nader on the ballot, Nader voters prefer Kerry over Bush 58 percent to 22 percent."
On the Stern factor: "Potentially offsetting the conservative dominance of the radio waves is Howard Stern. The nationally-syndicated radio host is listened to by 17 percent of likely voters, and nationally, they would support Kerry over Bush by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent. In the battleground states, their preference for Kerry is even stronger, backing him by a margin of 59 percent to 37 percent. More importantly, one-quarter of all likely voting Stern listeners are swing voters. This means that four percent of likely voters this fall are swing voters who listen to Howard Stern, showing Stern's potential ability to impact the race. Generally, likely voters who are Stern listeners are: 2 to 1 male to female; 40 percent Democrats, 26 percent Republicans, and 34 percent Independents; more liberal and less conservative than the average voter; significantly younger than the average voter (two-thirds are under 50 and 40 percent are under 35); more diverse; and more driven in their vote by economic issues."
Why you'll hear John Kerry talking tough on terrorism: "Approximately three-quarters of all voters have firmly made up their mind in the presidential race 37 percent for Kerry and 37 percent for Bush. If you push it further, only about 15 percent of those polled are truly open to be persuaded by either side. While they strongly prefer Kerry to Bush when it comes to economic issues, these voters are more concerned than the average voter about Kerry's ability to handle Iraq and protect America from terrorist attack. Even among female swing voters, it is security that is keeping them from becoming a solid Democratic vote. Security is the key to the swing."