An ABC News/Washington Post poll released today makes a strong case that, a week after the end of the Republican Convention, Bush has gained a robust lead over Kerry among registered voters.
The poll, released Friday, "found among those most likely to vote in November, Bush holds a lead of 52 percent to 43 percent over Kerry, with independent Ralph Nader getting 2 percent of the hypothetical vote. Among all registered voters, Bush leads Kerry 50 percent to 44 percent."
The lead is smaller in the 19 battleground states, however, where Bush leads by an average of only four points among likely voters, and is tied with Kerry among all voters.
Beyond the straight horse-race numbers, the poll gives Bush the advantage in every job performance category except healthcare and jobs, which voters trust Kerry to handle better by a slight margin.
Other bad news for the Kerry camp:
Registered voters disapprove of Kerry's antiwar history by a 49 to 37 percent margin, and only 26 percent believe Kerry will win the election. Moreover, Kerry supporters don't seem to have nearly the same zeal for their candidate as Bush's supporters: With only two months before the election, according to the ABC/Post report, John Kerry's biggest asset is still that he's "anybody but Bush." Only 41 percent of those who planned to vote Democratic said that their vote would be "more for Kerry than against Bush." But 84 percent of those who planned on casting their ballot for Bush said that they supported the incumbent more than they opposed Kerry.