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Between the Lines

March 04, 2004

So, the campaign is on

We’ve still got eight months till election day, so it’s going to be a long – and no doubt dirty – slog. And at the end, it’ll all be aimed at capturing a few more undecided voters than the other guy.

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press has a new poll that provides some good benchmarks for where things stand as the campaign gets underway in earnest.

Here are some key numbers:

In a head-to-head matchup, Sen. John Kerry has a slight lead over President Bush (48% to 44%). The poll’s margin of error is about 3.5%, so statistically they enjoy quite comparable support.

Pew found that 38% of voters strongly support Kerry and wouldn’t switch, while 33% feel that way about Bush.

In the middle are 29% who are “undecided.” I put quotes around “undecided” because of this group 13% are leaning toward Bush and 10% are leaning toward Kerry. Since these people are not fully committed to a candidate, some could change their minds and go the other way. But most probably will follow their current leanings. That leaves just 6% of the electorate truly undecided. This small group of people (and those whose allegiances to one candidate or the other are weak enough to be swayed) will decide the election.

Most of these “swing voters” have positive views of both candidates, Pew found. (You can bet that tens of millions of dollars will be spent by each side trying to lower their opponent's "positives.") Swing voters tend to support Bush on the “war on terrorism” and to be pessimistic about the economy, which they think Bush could be doing more to improve.

A detailed analysis of the results is available here.

Posted by tbrown at 10:00 AM

Bush's problems with his 'war base'

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has an excellent post incorporating a number of e-mails from his predominantly conservative readership on their views of President Bush at this point in the campaign.

Some of his readers are unhappy with Bush about things other than the war - deficit spending or the economy - but not unhappy enough to vote for a Democrat. Others fear that Bush is losing his focus on the war and is unable to articulate where things should go from here. It's interesting reading for both Bush and Kerry fans and contains some useful links to other blogs and articles.

Posted by tbrown at 09:50 AM

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So, the campaign is on
Bush's problems with his 'war base'


Blogs to watch

Abu Ardvark
Andrew Sullivan
Atrios Eschaton
Best of the Web
Drudge Report
Joe Conason (subscription required)
Josh Marshall
Kaus files
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Real Clear Politics
The Corner
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar

Mideast blogs

Salam Pax (Iraq)
G. in Baghdad
L.T. Smash (U.S. military in Iraq)
Lady Sun (Iran)

City blogs

L.A. Examiner

Africa blogs

Cathy Buckle

Media blogs

Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Media Whores Online


Newspapers online (guide to papers on the web)
International Herald Tribune
The Guardian U.K.
New York Times (free registration required)

Economy blogs

Brad DeLong

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