In the polls

By Jeff Horwitz
Published October 25, 2004 4:44PM (EDT)

Over the weekend, the New York Times announced that both campaigns were working feverishly to win a race that had narrowed to 11 battleground states. Polling data released over the last few days don't agree.

Let's start with the most improbable first: For the second time in the last three days, a poll has shown Hawaii to be in play. The Honolulu Advertiser gave both candidates 43 percent of the vote on Saturday; now the Honolulu Star-Bulletin puts Bush up 46-45 in a poll of Oahu voters. Restricting the survey to only Oahu (even though the island is home to 75 percent of the state's population) isn't great methodology, but the poll is still solid evidence the race is far closer than in 2000, when Gore took the state by 18 points.

Next comes Arkansas, where a survey by Little Rock-based Opinion Research Associates calls the race a dead tie, 48-48. Two weeks back, the same poll gave Bush a 52-43 advantage.

New polls released by Zogby offer some good news for Bush. The president leads in Ohio (47-42), Florida (49-46), Wisconsin (48-45), Iowa (47-45), Nevada (48-45) and New Mexico (49-45), a substantial improvement since the Zogby/Wall Street Journal battleground poll last week. Kerry's up in Pennsylvania (47-45), Michigan (52-42), Minnesota (46-45) and Colorado (49-45).

Finally, two new voting demographic results: Democrats seem to have done very well in mobilizing new voters, according to an AP/Ipsos poll -- among first-time likely voters, Kerry's ahead 60-35.

And a St. Petersburg Times poll showed Bush pulling 19 percent of the black vote in Florida. Considering that the sample size was under 100, that result wouldn't even be worth mentioning if it weren't for two other polls released last week showing Bush pulling 17-18 percent of the black vote nationwide, double the percentage he received in 2000.

Jeff Horwitz

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