In the polls

Published September 8, 2004 8:06PM (EDT)

A Zogby battleground states poll released Tuesday is a reminder that, in America, the candidate who gets the most votes doesn't always finish first. It happened in 2000, when Al Gore stomped George W. Bush in the popular vote and lost to him in the Electoral College. And according to Zogby's numbers, it could easily happen again -- but this time, with the Democrat on top.

"If all the states -- even those within the margin of error -- were to go to the current leading candidates, and the other 34 states were to go as they did in the 2000 election, Mr. Bush would get 231 electoral votes and Mr. Kerry would get 307."

That's a significant margin, but one that hardly reflects the closeness of the race. The results in eight of the 12 states Zogby designates as currently leaning toward John Kerry are within the margin of error, and in Florida, Missouri and Nevada, Kerry leads by less than 1 percent. The poll's good news for Bush is that his position is more solid than Kerry's -- in only one state, Arkansas, is his lead within the margin of error, and in the key state of Ohio, he leads by a formidable 10.9 percent.

While the Electoral College outlook is hardly conclusive, Zogby's poll recognizes what the hype over the national polls following the Republican Convention obscured: The 2004 presidential campaign, like the 2000 campaign, will be won or lost state by state.

Last week, War Room reported that more than 80 percent of the citizens of Germany and France favored John Kerry in the November election. A poll released today by the University of Maryland in conjunction with an international survey company called Globescan shows support for Kerry all over the globe. The people of 35 nations favor Kerry by more than a 2-to-1 margin, according to the survey. "Asked how the foreign policy of President Bush has affected their feelings toward the US, in 30 countries a majority or plurality said it made them feel 'worse' about America."

The list of countries that disapprove of how America currently handles its foreign affairs is too long to print in full, and ranges from China to Britain to Argentina to Kazakhstan. Globescan's president notes that "perhaps most sobering for Americans is the strength of the view that US foreign policy is on the wrong track, even in countries contributing troops in Iraq."

Opposition to the Bush administration was not unanimous, however. Should Bush take a long vacation in January, the poll identifies three countries in which he can expect a moderately warm welcome: The Philippines, Poland and Nigeria.

By Jeff Horwitz

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