In the polls

By Jeff Horwitz
Published October 18, 2004 4:40PM (EDT)

War Room covered the latest round of national polls yesterday and this morning -- including some reasons why Gallup's survey, favoring Bush by a wider margin than the others, may not be accurate. Here's the complete list of the latest numbers:

Rasmussen: Bush 47, Kerry 47

Zogby: Bush 45, Kerry 45

Gallup: Bush 52, Kerry 44

Democracy Corps: Bush 47, Kerry 50

ABC News: Bush 50, Kerry 46

TIPP: Bush 47, Kerry 43

While most of those numbers look encouraging for Republicans at a glance, Republican pollster Frank Luntz thinks Bush ought to be worried. After the three presidential debates, he writes, "Many who still claim to be 'undecided' are in fact leaning to Mr. Kerry and are about ready to commit." For Bush to win, Luntz claims, "he will need to turn in a perfect performance every day from now through the election -- perfection that has eluded him so far."

Last week, Salon's Mary Jacoby wrote that Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning's reclusive behavior and rumors of his declining mental health could make a "safe" Republican Senate seat into a possible pickup for Democrats, and a new Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group poll from the Bluegrass State says this is exactly what has happened: Bunning now leads by only a 43-37 margin. That's not a nail-biter yet, but considering that last month's Louisville Courier-Journal poll showed Bunning up 17 points, it's certaintly evidence of a reversal in momentum. According to the Courier-Journal, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee thinks there's some hope: In the last week, it's invested more than $200,000 in Mongiardo's campaign. But even with serious questions about the competency of his opponent, Mongiardo's got a hard fight in front of him. Current polling in the state shows Bush ahead by a 20-point margin, which certainly will translate into a boost for Bunning down ballot.

Finally, the New York Times writes up last week's Annenberg survey of military voters. Though it's illegal for pollsters to ask soldiers outright how they'll vote, Annenberg finds that an overwhelming majority of soldiers and their families side with Bush on issues of character, policy and leadership. And while nearly two-thirds of the military believes that America began the occupation of Iraq without enough troops, a similar strong majority -- 63 percent -- approve of how Bush has handled Iraq.

Jeff Horwitz

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