In the polls

By Geraldine Sealey
Published August 20, 2004 3:45PM (EDT)

A new CBS News poll shows the presidential race tied with a teeny Nader effect in a three-way race.

"If the presidential election were being held today, and Ralph Nader were on the ballot in most states, 46 percent of voters said they would vote for John Kerry and John Edwards, and 45 percent would support George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The Nader-Camejo ticket, which is having a difficult time making the ballot in many states, receives just 1 percent of the vote."

A new Gallup poll looks at U.S. public perception of the Iraq war, and found the public still largely split. But more than half still disapprove of Bush's handling of the war.

"Negative assessments of the United States' involvement in Iraq continue to outweigh positive attitudes, but only by a slight margin. This finding is statistically similar to what Gallup found in June and July, but represents a slight improvement compared with early May. At that time, 58% of Americans disapproved of the way President George W. Bush was handling Iraq, 54% felt it was not worth going to war there, and 62% perceived that the situation there was going badly for the United States. Today, only 52% disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq, 48% say the war was not worth it, and 53% believe things are going badly."

A poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Council on Foreign Relations says Iraq will be the "trump card" that moves swing voters into one column or the other.

"Barring a sizable shift in public opinion over the next few months, the 2004 election will be the first since the Vietnam era in which foreign affairs and national security issues are a higher priority than the economy," reads the Pew Research Center's analysis of the survey data.

PoliticalWire posted a bevy of new state polls -- including one showing Kerry ahead of Bush in Pennsylvania 48 to 42 percent, although still within the poll's 3.8 percent margin of error.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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