Misc Commentary For Oct 28, 2004

— The left’s favorite pollster is John Zogby not only because his polls lean to the left, but because he has been openly telling anyone who’ll listen that this race is Kerry’s to lose.

Well, according to Robert Novak, Zogby has changed his tune…

“Pollster John Zogby surprised the political world back in April with a long-range prediction that John Kerry would defeat George W. Bush for president. On Monday this week, Zogby told me, he changed his mind. He now thinks the president is more likely to be re-elected because he has reinforced support from his base, including married white women.

That conclusion would be a surprise for frantically nervous Republicans and cautiously upbeat Democrats entering the campaign’s final days. In fact, nobody, including Zogby and all the other polltakers, can be sure who will win this election. Yet, it is clear that President Bush’s strategists have succeeded in solidifying his base to a degree that makes it much harder to defeat him next Tuesday.”

That has to be a downer for the lefties…

— I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the traffic drop-off that’s probably going to happen after the election, but even I am suffering election fatigue at this point. Yeah, I still enjoy writing about politics, but I am ready to talk about a subject other than George Bush Vs. John Kerry every day. And if this election goes into overtime like it did in 2000….ARGH!!!

— Jim Geraghty over at the Kerry Spot has a source at the “highest levels” of the campaign and here’s the word…

“They think Bush is ahead by a few points nationally. They expect the next round of tracking polls to show a bit of a bump.

The internal polls show a significant lead in Florida (outside margin of error) and Arkansas is out of play, with a Bill Clinton visit or without. As for most of the other big ones – Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, internal polls show all too close to call.

Michigan is seriously looking like a pickup – Bush and Cheney could be there four times in the last four days.

An exit poll of those who have already voted show Bush ahead by 15 points! [UPDATE: This is ahead 15 points overall, nationwide, not just in Michigan. Obviously, those who have already voted are only a small, small segment of the electorate at large, so one should not read too much into this number. But it is interesting.]

Undecided voters appear to be breaking Bush’s way – some days he has a slight lead, other days it’s right around 50-50. (Note this would be considerably better than the 1/3 calculated that Bush needs here.”

— It looks HIGHLY LIKELY that Bush is going to win a majority of the popular vote. Here’s every head to head poll between Bush & Kerry for this month…

Rasmussen: Bush +2
TIPP: Bush +3
CNN/USAT/Gallup: Bush +6
Los Angeles Times: Bush +1
Newsweek: Bush +1
Time: Bush +5
GW/Battleground: Bush +4
Rasmussen: Bush +1
FOX News: Bush +5
CBS News: Bush +1
CNN/USAT/Gallup: Bush +8
Time: TIE
Newsweek: Bush +5
GW/Battleground: Bush +3
CBS News: Bush +1
ICR: Bush +3
CNN/USAT/Gallup: Kerry +2
Rasmussen: Bush +4
Time: Bush +1
GW/Battleground: Bush +3
Fox News: Bush +3
ICR: Bush +5
ARG: Kerry +1
CBS/NYT: Bush +1
Zogby: Bush +1

For those of you who are counting, Bush won 22 polls, Kerry won 2 polls, and there was one tie. Could Kerry lose the popular vote and still get the most electoral votes? Sure, but do keep in mind that has happened exactly three times, so I can’t say it is all that likely.

— I’ll have up some detailed poll analysis and info about what to watch for in the election on Nov. 2, but right now my gut feeling is that Bush is up by 2-3 points nationally and has about a 75% chance of winning. Furthermore, the more I watch the numbers break at the polls, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that the road to victory for Kerry leads through Florida & New Hampshire. If Kerry doesn’t take both of those states (or Florida and Ohio), I think Bush will be able to make up the difference by taking some combination of the following states that went for Gore in 2000: Michigan, (17) Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (7), New Mexico (5), Hawaii (4). Theoretically, Bush could beat Kerry even IF Kerry took Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire, although it would be unlikely.

*** Update #1***: According to Sidney Zion in the New York Post, Zogby has changed his mind…

“Pollster John Zogby, in a telephone interview with me yesterday, predicted that John Kerry will win the election. “It’s close,” he said, “but in the last couple of days things have been trending toward Kerry – nationally and in the swing states. Between this and history, I think it will be Kerry.”

…Bet me that when the Bushies read what Zogby told me, not just the rhetoric will rise, but so will the fever.

Particularly since one of their favorite columnists, Robert Novak, reported in yesterday’s Washington Post that Zogby called the race for President Bush in a conversation he had with the pollster on Monday.

Zogby was jocular about the Novak column, although he has decided not to post a comment on his Web site. Here’s what he told me: “I said Bush was winning, I didn’t say I thought he’d win. On Monday, he was indeed looking good. But on Tuesday, things changed. Kerry, in that one day, picked up 5 points.”

Nobody else is showing a 5 Point break for Kerry =D. It’s called margin of error Zogby, margin of error =D

On the other hand, Dick Morris is now saying that Bush will win. Of course, Dick’s predictions stunk in 2002 because they were based on Zogby’s polling data which was farther off the mark than that of any other pollster.

Make of all that what you may =D

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