In the polls

Published September 15, 2004 9:03PM (EDT)

Today's state-by-state polls suggest that even as President Bush's lead in national polls has been falling in recent days, his standing in battleground states has risen.

A Survey USA poll released today suggests that Bush has broken the deadlock in Florida, leading 51-45. The survey's margin of error is 4.1 points, but still, the poll marks the first time in weeks that Florida has looked like anything but a toss-up, and is a nine-point change from a Survey USA poll conducted two months ago.

The Nevada deadlock appears to have been broken as well. While Zogby found Bush tied with Kerry at 47 percent last week, a Survey USA poll gives Bush a four-point lead. [PDF]

Together, those two states would give Bush 32 electoral votes, and for the moment, 26 more points in electoral college projections than the Republicans would need to win.

Still, there was some brighter news out today for Kerry: A new Gallup poll from the swing state of Michigan shows Kerry's lead at six points. And a new poll from Annenberg/University of Pennsylvania shows that President Bush's approval ratings among undecided and "persuadable" voters has dropped below levels from before the Republican Convention:

"Among persuadable voters -- respondents who said they were undecided among Bush, John Kerry or Ralph Nader for president or who said they had a preference but there was a 'good chance' they would change their minds -- Bush approval dropped from 56 percent in August to 44 percent in September, while disapproval increased from 39 to 49 percent."

And finally, the South Carolina Senate race, which the Democrats had nearly left for dead, is looking alive again. A few weeks back, Inez Tenenbaum's campaign looked to be heavily behind that of Jim Demint, a Republican congressman who advocates aggressive free-trade policies and replacing the IRS with a national sales tax. Republican-commissioned polls have consistently shown Demint up between nine and 12 points in the Palmetto state. And in a traditional trailing-campaign shake-up, Tenenbaum recently replaced her campaign manager and media consultant. Something seems to have worked, according to Democrats, who released a new poll by Global Strategy group showing that Tenenbaum has closed the gap to 3 points.

By Jeff Horwitz

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