You didn't want Tuesday to be a landslide, did you? I mean, how boring.
The latest poll from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press finds that Republicans have cut the Democrats' lead in the closing days of the campaign. In a survey completed Nov. 1 through Nov. 4, Pew found that likely voters still favor Democrats 47-43, but that's down from the center's last survey from Oct. 17-22, when the Democrats led 50-39.
Pew's report suggests several reasons for the change: Republicans are now more "engaged and enthused" than they were two weeks ago. The party also made "major gains" among independent voters. In mid-October, 47 percent of independent voters said they were voting Democratic, and only 29 percent were voting Republican; the Democrats' lead is only 44-33 among independent voters in the last poll. Meanwhile, the survey found that President Bush's approval rating is up from 37 percent to 41 percent.
And the impact of Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" about Iraq and the troops? Most voters said it wasn't a factor in their vote, but Pew found that 18 percent of independent voters said "it did raise serious doubts about voting for a Democratic candidate."