Leave it to the Brits to give us ACCURATE information; the US media conglomerates are not telling us the truth again.

Coming out of the RNC, Newsweek was screaming about an 11 point bounce, with Time saying it was a 9 point bounce. Newspapers and online news sources had these as their lead stories about the 2004 race. But the Guardian UK has come out citing sources that say that, while Bush got a small bump, Kerry still leads in the 20 battleground states, and Electoral College consideration, Kerry beats Bush 273 to 222. Not the largest lead, but a damn good one!

Article archived here.Kerry is back in the race, says latest poll

Analysis of swing states gives challenger small lead

Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday September 8, 2004
The Guardian

Forecasts of John Kerry’s political demise may have been exaggerated in recent days, and he could still be clinging to a narrow lead in the US presidential race, according to a poll published yesterday.

The poll, by Zogby International, reflected the state of play in 20 swing states, and found that the surge in George Bush’s support there after last week’s Republican convention, was less pronounced than the double-digits suggested in two weekend polls.

Those surveys, in Time and Newsweek, triggered alarm and finger-pointing in the Democratic camp, and a reshuffle in the Kerry team. But other surveys have since suggested the Bush convention “bounce” was much smaller and the contest remains a close one.

The Zogby poll says the president has made up ground in many of the 20 battleground states, but Mr Kerry retains a slim lead in most of them – enough to give him a majority in the electoral college, if the vote was held now.

The college, which chooses the president, is made up of 538 delegates drawn from the 50 states and Washington DC, according to population. Assigning electors according to the way each state is leaning now, the Zogby poll gives Mr Kerry a lead of 273 to 222, down from the past two months, but a significant edge all the same.

“There’s no doubt that Bush got a bounce … but no way is he up 11 points,” John Zogby, the head of Zogby International, said yesterday.

Newsweek showed the Mr Bush with an 11 percentage point lead among registered voters, while Time gave him a nine-point lead. But another survey by Gallup, CNN and USA Today showed only a one-point advantage.

The confusion may reflect the volatility that follows the impassioned speeches and allegations made at conventions. It may also be explained by different surveying methods, and some of it is simply a result of polls being taken over the Labour Day holiday weekend, when many Americans are away from home.

Charlie Cook, an experienced US election analyst, said: “To be dependent upon getting a representative sample over a holiday weekend is enough to make any pollster wince. Polling conducted this week, after people are back from Labour Day and had a chance to digest the Republican convention, will be a far better test.”

US electoral history suggests that leads established at party conventions can often dissipate in the last two frenetic months of the campaign. Al Gore had a double-digit lead over Mr Bush after the Labour day weekend in 2000, but lost it after lacklustre performances in the three presidential debates.

Mr Bush, who had not previously shown much aptitude for public speaking, surprised many doubters by avoiding serious mistakes and scoring a few points in the debates. Mr Kerry must hope to do better than his Democratic predecessor in knocking his opponent off balance.

The Zogby results suggest the president’s emphasis on his role as a wartime leader at the New York convention helped him reassert control in traditionally conservative southern states where Mr Kerry had been making headway before August, such as North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. But elsewhere the Democratic contender is holding on, and in some states – Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington – has even strengthened his position since the attacks made on his fitness to be America’s commander-in-chief.

Matthew Dowd and Doug Sosnik, top strategists in the Bush and Kerry camps respectively, both predict that as the race nears the November 2 finishing line, money and manpower will increasingly focus on three large swing states, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, which have a combined total of 68 electoral college votes.

Both candidates have been spending more and more time campaigning there. Mr Bush is due to inspect storm damage in Florida today before heading to Pennsylvania. Mr Kerry will be in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Both Mr Dowd and Mr Sosnik forecast that whoever wins two of the three big battlegrounds will probably be the next president.

At present, according to Zogby, Mr Bush is ahead in Ohio by 11 points. Mr Kerry has a smaller edge of three points in Pennsylvania. Florida is a dead heat, as it has been for much of the year. By that reckoning, this election could be fought and won once more in the Sunshine State, currently being pummelled by hurricanes, just as it was four years ago.

By walterh

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