New polls from Quinnipiac University show Kerry opening up a 5-point lead among likely voters in Pennsylvania (51-46) and in a dead heat in in Florida (Bush has a 1-point edge, 48-47). Quinnipiac is the third polling firm this week to put Kerry above 50 percent in Pennsylvania. And trailing by one in Florida doesn't look bad; Kerry is expected to do well with a majority of the undecided voters there, and he's closed the 7-point gap Quinnipiac measured shortly after the first debate.
In Ohio, Gallup now puts Kerry up by 5 among likely voters, and by 6 among all voters. Gallup polls released in the last few days show Kerry ahead with registered voters in Oregon (52-45), and behind in Wisconsin (51-45).
Nationally, Rasmussen shows the president leading Kerry 50-48. That lead might not be what matters most, though -- Rasmussen joins the long list of polling firms to declare recently that the race is looking increasingly favorable for Kerry in the 16 battleground states, with Rasmussen calling them collectively a 48-48 tie.
Zogby's tracking poll puts Bush up 47-45, a result the pollster declares to be "reminiscent of the presidential race in 2000 during this period." Zogby also notes that, in the final stretch of the race, both candidates appear to be pulling even among Independents, Catholics, women and military families.
Finally, Harvard and the New Voters Project conducted a survey of college students, and found that for election '04, the stereotypical charges of apathy may be off the mark. (The survey was designed by Harvard students themselves; "college students" refers strictly to the four-year variety.)
A full 91 percent of students, the study concludes, "care a good deal" about the outcome of the presidential election, and the majority are rooting for Kerry -- he leads 52-39 in the demographic. The top three issues of concern are the economy, terrorism and "moral values." While a majority thought Bush to be a "stronger and clearer leader" than Kerry, a majority also thought Kerry would make a better commander in chief. This election also appears to be galvanizing many students' sense of party allegiance: For the first time since 2000 a plurality of students -- 34 percent -- identify with the Democratic Party. Thirty-three percent labeled themselves Independents, and 29 percent, Republicans.