2004 Election

Polling and Analyses

Frederick Weil, LSU

Yahoo's Electoral Map


= Bush states, = Kerry states

Election Results by State (by Yahoo)

Three maps by scholars at the University of Michigan
(see this page for more of their maps)

States weighted by population size

County map

County map showing percentage vote

Also see USA Today's 2000 county map here
...More 2004 maps at Princeton here

Click here for an explanation of these turnout measures

  • Final Exit Polls and Election Maps

  • Post-Election Analyses

    • Conference at Stanford University, November 9, 2004: "The 2004 American Presidential Election: Voter Decision-Making in a Complex World." Presentations by strategists, analysts, and pollsters. Webcasts, transcripts, and slideshows.

    • UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida E-Vote Count, November 18, 2004
    • NY Times. December 6, 2004. By Katharine Q. Seelye, How to Sell a Candidate to a Porsche-Driving, Leno-Loving Nascar Fan. After the 2000 presidential campaign, strategists for President Bush came to a startling realization: Democrats watch more television than Republicans. So by buying millions of dollars' worth of television advertising time, Republicans were spending their money on audiences that tended to vote Democratic. What to do? With the luxury of four years until the next election, the Bush team examined voters' television-viewing habits and cross-referenced them with surveys of voters' political and lifestyle preferences. This led to an unusual step for a presidential campaign: it cut the proportion of money that it put into broadcast television and diverted more to niche cable channels and radio, where it could more precisely reach its target audience.
    • Washinton Post. November 21, 2004; By Richard Morin, Surveying the Damage. Exit Polls Can't Predict Winners, So Don't Expect Them To. It will be a few more weeks before we know exactly what went wrong with the 2004 exit polls. But this much we know right now: The resulting furor was the best thing that could have happened to journalism, to polling and to the bloggers who made this year's Election Day such a cheap thrill. That's because the 2004 election may have finally stripped exit polling of its reputation as the crown jewel of political surveys, somehow immune from the myriad problems that affect telephone polls and other types of public opinion surveys. Instead, this face-to-face, catch-the-voters-on-the-way-out poll has been revealed for what it is: just another poll, with all the problems and imperfections endemic to the craft.
    • NY Times. November 19, 2004. By Adam Nagourney, Bush Campaign Manager Views the Electoral Divide. After two years of polling, market testing and up-close demographic scrutiny of American voters, the manager of President Bush's re-election campaign, Ken Mehlman, offered another way Thursday to view the divide between the American electorate. "If you drive a Volvo and you do yoga, you are pretty much a Democrat," Mr. Mehlman told an assembly of the nation's Republican governors here. "If you drive a Lincoln or a BMW and you own a gun, you're voting for George Bush." ...Rather than dispatching troops to knock on doors in neighborhoods known to be heavily Republican, Mr. Mehlman said, the Bush campaign studied consumer habits in trying to predict whom people would vote for in a presidential election. "We did what Visa did," Mr. Mehlman said. "We acquired a lot of consumer data. What magazine do you subscribe to? Do you own a gun? How often do the folks go to church? Where do you send your kids to school? Are you married? "Based on that, we were able to develop an exact kind of consumer model that corporate America does every day to predict how people vote - not based on where they live but how they live," he said. "That was critically important to our success."
    • NY Times. November 17, 2004. By David D. Kirkpatrick, Some Democrats Believe the Party Should Get Religion. Bested by a Republican campaign emphasizing Christian faith, some Democrats are scrambling to shake off their secular image, stepping up efforts to organize the "religious left" and debating changes to how they approach the cultural flashpoints of same-sex marriage and abortion. ...Many conservative Christians who vote Republican because of their views on abortion and same-sex marriage are working class or middle class, and they often hold liberal views on economics, social welfare and the environment, said John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron who conducts polls on religion and politics. But to reach religious voters, Mr. Green said, the Democrats "have their work cut out for them."
    • NY Times. November 15, 2004. By Robin Toner. Southern Democrats' Decline Is Eroding the Political Center. The once mighty Southern Democrats are an increasingly endangered species on Capitol Hill. ...Their dwindling numbers, analysts say, could intensify the divisions on Capitol Hill. The retirement of senators like John B. Breaux of Louisiana means "you're losing moderate Democrats who could work across the aisle," said Larry Evans, a professor of government and an expert on Congress at the College of William and Mary. "And what you're left with is a more polarized Senate." That could mean "more partisan conflict, more infighting, the minority being more reliant on the filibuster and the hold," Professor Evans said. [see Graphic]
    • Washington Post. November 9, 2004. By EJ Dionne Jr., Moderates, Not Moralists. John Kerry was not defeated by the religious right. He was beaten by moderates who went -- reluctantly in many cases -- for President Bush. This will be hard for many Democrats to take. It's easier to salve those wounds by demonizing religious conservatives. But in the 2004 election, Democrats left votes on the table that could have created a Kerry majority.
    • NY Times. November 9, 2004. By Kirk Johnson, Hispanic Voters Declared Their Independence. ...Mr. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, more than any Republican presidential candidate in at least three decades. That tally, more than 10 percentage points higher than he received in 2000, shattered the Democrats' hopes that a growing Hispanic population would help Mr. Kerry in Colorado or New Mexico, or perhaps even Florida. Few experts say they believe Mr. Bush has achieved a seismic shift of the sort that Ronald Reagan brought about in the early 1980's in winning over blue-collar white voters. A clear majority of Hispanics, after all, still voted for Mr. Kerry. What is unquestionably clear, those experts say, is that like the great Latino wave in pop culture, which has more and more influence in areas like music, food and fashion, this election has taken Hispanic voters a giant leap away from being thought of as separate and different. A reliable Democrat no longer, taken for granted no longer - and more electable than ever in their own right, with the first two Hispanic United States senators in 30 years poised to take office, from Colorado and Florida - a new swing voter may have emerged. [see Chart]
    • NY Times. November 9, 2004. By David Brooks, Take a Ride to Exurbia. ...On the one hand, people move to exurbs because they want some order in their lives. They leave places with arduous commutes, backbreaking mortgages, broken families and stressed social structures and they head for towns with ample living space, intact families, child-friendly public culture and intensely enforced social equality. That's bourgeois. On the other hand, they are taking a daring leap into the unknown, moving to towns that have barely been built, working often in high-tech office parks doing pioneering work in biotech and nanotechnology. These exurbs are conservative but also utopian - Mayberrys with BlackBerrys. The Republicans won in part because Bush and Rove understand this culture.
    • Washington Post. November 8, 2004. By Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall, Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP. ...The untold story of the 2004 election, according to national religious leaders and grass-roots activists, is that evangelical Christian groups were often more aggressive and sometimes better organized on the ground than the Bush campaign. The White House struggled to stay abreast of the Christian right and consulted with the movement's leaders in weekly conference calls. But in many respects, Christian activists led the charge that GOP operatives followed and capitalized upon.
    • Washington Post. November 7, 2004. By Dan Balz and Mike Allen, Four More Years Attributed to Rove's Strategy. Despite Moments of Doubt, Adviser's Planning Paid Off. Admired, disparaged, respected and feared, [Karl] Rove joins an elite cadre of political strategists who can claim two presidential victories. Bush's adviser can now look toward the goal he has pursued since he was an obscure direct-mail specialist in Texas: the creation of a durable Republican majority in Washington and across the country.
    • NY Times. November 7, 2004. By Abby Goodnough And Don Van Natta, Bush Secured Victory in Florida by Veering From Beaten Path. Pasco County might be unheard of outside Florida, but that did not stop President Bush, Rudolph W. Giuliani and other Republican luminaries from visiting as Election Day approached. This rapidly growing place north of Tampa, where shopping centers, road extensions and subdivisions open by the month, supported Al Gore in 2000 and Bill Clinton in the two previous elections. But since Mr. Gore's bitter defeat, thousands of middle-class families, many of them Republican and independent, have joined the many Democratic retirees who used to dominate here, making it a prime target for Gov. Jeb Bush, his brother and a vast army of Republican volunteers eager to erase the stain of the 36-day stalemate of 2000. Their efforts paid off. [also see graphic]
    • NY Times. November 7, 2004. By Adam Nagourney, Baffled in Loss, Democrats Seek Road Forward. The Democratic Party emerged from this week's election struggling over what it stood for, anxious about its political future, and bewildered about how to compete with a Republican Party that some Democrats say may be headed for a period of electoral dominance.
    • NY Times. November 7, 2004. By John Tierney, The Real Divide: Waterside Voters Versus Inlanders. Look at a national map showing how each county voted, and you see a mostly red expanse except for blue Democratic clusters along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi and other rivers. Look at California and you see a mostly red state, with the Democrats concentrated along the coast while Republicans dominate the inland counties on the other side of the mountains. So, while political analysts have been busy dividing the electorate by race and religion and age, perhaps the United States electorate is divided by something more elemental: location, between those who live on the water and those who do not.
    • NY Times. November 5, 2004. By Laurie Goodstein And William Yardley, President Benefits From Efforts to Build a Coalition of Religious Voters. ...For the past four years, Mr. Bush has been deliberately assembling the building blocks of a formidable faith coalition. Pastor by pastor, rabbi by rabbi, and often face to face, Mr. Bush has built relationships with a diverse range of religious leaders. [See chart]
    • Nov. 05, 2004. Philadelphia Inquirer. By Jim Remsen, In reversal from 2000, Bush got Catholic vote. Alongside President Bush's overwhelming support from his evangelical Christian base Tuesday came another dramatic election result: Bush reversed his 2000 showing and convincingly captured the Roman Catholic vote. Catholics, who have become a closely watched swing vote, favored Bush over Democrat John Kerry by 52 percent to 47 percent, according to national exit polls. That is a turnaround from 2000, when Bush got 47 percent to Democrat Al Gore's 50 percent.
    • NYTimes. November 4, 2004. By Elisabeth Bumiller, Turnout Effort and Kerry, Too, Were G.O.P.'s Keys to Victory. In the closing hours of President Bush's campaign for re-election, Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, was obsessed with turning out Republican votes. Late on Monday night, Mr. Rove stood in the cold at a rally in Albuquerque and pulled scraps of paper from his pocket covered with numbers that reassured him that his ground army was in full assault.
    • NYTimes. November 4, 2004. By Katharine Q. Seelye, Moral Values Cited as a Defining Issue of the Election. Even in a time of war and economic hardship, Americans said they were motivated to vote for President Bush on Tuesday by moral values as much as anything else, according to a survey of voters as they left their polling places. In the survey, a striking portrait of one influential group emerged - that of a traditional, church-going electorate that leans conservative on social issues and strongly backed Mr. Bush in his victory over Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee.
    • NYTimes. November 4, 2004. By Todd S. Purdum, Electoral Affirmation of Shared Values Provides Bush a Majority. It was not a landslide, or a re-alignment, or even a seismic shock. But it was decisive, and it is impossible to read President Bush's re-election with larger Republican majorities in both houses of Congress as anything other than the clearest confirmation yet that this is a center-right country - divided yes, but with an undisputed majority united behind his leadership.
    • NYTimes. November 4, 2004. By Christopher Drew And Abby Goodnough, Florida: It Was Our Turnout, Governor Bush Says. An ebullient Gov. Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that his brother President Bush carried Florida easily because Republicans registered more new voters than Democrats over the last four years and had remarkable success turning out their followers.
    • Washington Post. November 4, 2004. By John F. Harris, Victory Bears Out Emphasis on Values. GOP Tactics Aimed At Cultural Divide. ...The results appeared to validate several of the pet theories of [GOP campaign director Karl] Rove, including his belief that politics is as much science as art. Presidential stops in swing states, and the route of campaign bus trips, rarely included the largest cities. That was because Rove chose them scientifically, using three criteria that he explained to reporters in the waning days of the campaign. Rove said his targets were areas where Bush had underperformed in 2000, whether Republican or Democratic, and where the campaign's target for votes was higher than the number that showed up. Second were fast-growing exurban areas or Republican places where there were a large number of people who ought to register to vote and do not -- what Rove calls "a large gap between participation and potential." Third, he said, he paid attention to areas "that have a significant number of swing voters, and swing wildly from election to election."
    • Washington Post. November 4, 2004. By Guy Gugliotta and Jo Becker, More Participation Not Necessarily a Trend. Much of Electorate Is Traditional Blocs, but Minorities and Youths Are on Rise. Record numbers of voters cast ballots this year, attracted by a clash of opposites won by President Bush because his Republican campaign made enough smart moves in critical states to offset Democratic challenger John F. Kerry's appeal among minority and youth voters, analysts said yesterday.
    • Washington Post. November 4, 2004. By Paul Farhi and James V. Grimaldi, What Happened in Ohio: GOP Won With Accent On Rural and Traditional. By all the conventional yardsticks of Ohio presidential politics, Sen. John F. Kerry was a smashing success. He turned out droves of supporters, many of them first-time voters, and won more votes on Tuesday than any Democrat in state history -- and more than George W. Bush did in 2000 when he took the state from Al Gore. Yet if Kerry's campaign operation performed admirably in this complex and critical battleground state, President Bush's volunteer army of 85,000 gave more than equal effort.
    • LA Times. November 4, 2004. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Bush Snags Much More of the Latino Vote, Exit Polls Show. His 7 percentage-point gain in support over 2000 is a strategic political win. But the constituency's support is considered 'volatile.' President Bush increased his support among Latino voters in Tuesday's election, helping to dash Democratic hopes of victory while increasing the potential political leverage of the rapidly growing constituency.
    • LA Times. November 4, 2004. By James Rainey, Balloting Is Boosted by Young and Conservatives. The expected 59.5% turnout is the highest since 1968 as the parties' get-out-the-vote efforts greatly mobilized the electorate. Young people and social conservatives helped drive a large increase in voting rates Tuesday, producing what analysts said was the nation's highest turnout since 1968.
    • NY Post. November 4, 2004. By Dick Morris, Hispanic Vote Key. George W. Bush was re-elected on Tuesday because the Hispanic vote, long a Democratic Party preserve, shifted toward the president's side. The USA Today exit poll shows Hispanics, who had voted for Al Gore by 65 percent to 35 percent, supported Kerry by only 55 to 43. Since Hispanics accounted for 12 percent of the vote, their 10-point shift meant a net gain for Bush of 2.4 percent — which is most of the improvement in his popular-vote share.
    • Newsday. November 4, 2004. Joseph Dolman, Dems whistling Dixie after another defeat. Dear national Democrats: I'm sorry to barge in at a time when you probably just want to pull down the shades, drain off a bottle of scotch and take a nice little nap for the next few months. But I'm afraid it's time for you to survey the carnage, clear the battlefield and chart your future. You didn't simply lose your bid for the presidency. No, you also saw your minority status in both houses of the Congress grow alarmingly. You forfeited your best hopes for controlling the short-term future of the U.S. Supreme Court. And you let the South secede from your ranks - without so much as a fight.

  • General Sources of Polling Data & Analyses

  • Background Analyses: Behind the Polls

    • Demographic breakdowns during the campaign

    • Trends in the Gender Gap during the campaign (graphic based on Gallup)

    • Philly Inquirer. Oct. 24, 2004. By Jonathan Storm, Results of exit polls lie in hands of 12 experts. The accuracy of TV voting results on Election Night rests primarily in the brains and computers of two distinguished survey researchers and a panel of 10 number-crunchers.
    • Associated Press. October 13 2004. By David Bauder, Networks to test new exit polling system. Determined to avoid a repeat of high-profile failures in 2000 and 2002, television networks will rely on new systems on Nov. 2 to help project election winners and analyze why voters made their choices. And they have turned to The Associated Press to count the vote for them. The six news organizations that have formed the National Election Pool - ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and the AP - say they're confident things will go better this time, based on test runs and the experience of people involved.
    • A comparison to the horserace last time, the 2000 Bush v. Gore election - at PollingReport.com, here. One commentator noted of the last 2 weeks of the campaign, "At about this time four years ago (October 23-25) results were mixed, the Bush minus Gore margins ranged from +5 to -3. Over next two weeks there were no negative Bush margins. Bush ranged from 0 to +9. It took until the last two days before the more established pollsters had margins ranging from +2 to -2. Election day is still a long way off."
    • A Primer on Sources of Variation in Published Election Polls by Cliff Zukin [pdf file]. This is posted on the website of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, AAPOR, which has additional useful information.

  • Polls & Analyses: Links to Articles

    • Wall Street Journal Online. November 3, 2004. By Elizabeth Weinstein And Carl Bialik, Pollsters Generally Had It Right, But Missed Some Key Battles. National pollsters accurately captured the broad outlines of the presidential election, but surveys in some closely contested states missed the target and early exit-poll numbers led observers astray.
    • NY Times. November 1, 2004. By Adam Nagourney And Janet Elder, In Final Days, Divided Electorate Expresses Anxiety [NYT/ Poll]. The nation is girding for tomorrow's presidential election, worried about the integrity of the voting system, divided over the legitimacy of President Bush's election four years ago and anxious about the future no matter who wins the contest, according to the final New York Times/CBS News Poll of the 2004 campaign. [see Chart]
    • NY Times. November 1, 2004. By David M. Halbfinger And Jim Rutenberg, Frantic Presidential Race Ends With a Flood of Ads. The presidential campaign was coming to a close in an epic cacophony of advertisements striking notes of hope and fear, patriotism and betrayal as the candidates headed Sunday into a two-day sprint to sway an electorate that remained stubbornly deadlocked. [Also see very interesting Graphic]
    • NY Times. November 1, 2004. By David D. Kirkpatrick, Evangelicals See Bush as One of Them, but Will They Vote? For 30 years, conservative Christians have lectured the Republican Party that its halfhearted embrace of social conservative causes had left untold millions of churchgoing voters without enough motivation to go to the polls.
    • Washington Post. November 1, 2004. By Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall, Unprecedented Efforts to Mobilize Voters Begin. President Bush and challenger John F. Kerry unleashed the biggest and most aggressive voter-mobilization drives in the history of presidential politics yesterday, tapping hundreds of thousands of volunteers and paid organizers in a final effort to tip the balance in a handful of states where the election will be decided tomorrow.
    • USA Today, 10/26/2004. By Melana Zyla Vickers, All eyes on women's vote. ...W did outstrip Sen. John Kerry among women in a Pew Research Center Poll, which showed George W. Bush up 48%-42% after the New York gathering. Since then, polls have shifted, showing women either back on the fence or tilting toward Kerry. What's unmistakable, though, is that this gap — which led more women than men to favor Al Gore in 2000 and Bill Clinton in 1996 — doesn't seem to be promising to blow as wide for Democrats in this election. Perhaps this is bad news for Kerry, but it's good news for women — whose profile with the candidates has been rising on a daily basis.
    • NY Times. October 25, 2004. By Jim Dwyer And Jodi Wilgoren, Gore and Kerry Unite in Search for Black Votes. Black voters are crucial for Democrats, and the party has been seeking to galvanize them in record numbers this year. But the urgency, with just over a week left in a breathtakingly close race, is also driven by recent polls showing President Bush's support among African-Americans may be double the 8 percent he won in 2000. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington group that focuses on blacks, attributed the uptick largely to an unusual Republican push in black churches and the party's backing of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.
    • Washington Post. October 24, 2004. By Dan Balz, Parties Fret Over Which Voters Will Tip the Scales. Big Unknown Is What Bloc Could Have Biggest Impact. The electorate has been polled, polled and polled again. Campaign workers have knocked on millions of doors with millions more to hit before Nov. 2. Voter registration figures in some states show big increases. And voter interest in the presidential election appears to be at record levels. But the biggest mobilization in modern presidential politics cannot answer the big question that could determine the outcome of the race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry: Is there an invisible army of voters out there -- and if there is, will it tip the balance toward the incumbent or the challenger?
    • NY Times. October 23, 2004. By Michael Moss, Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State. Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots. ...Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100. The Democrats, who tend to benefit more than Republicans from large turnouts, said they had registered more than 2,000 recruits to try to protect legitimate voters rather than weed out ineligible ones. ...Both parties have waged huge campaigns in the battleground states to register millions of new voters, and the developments in Ohio provided an early glimpse of how those efforts may play out on Election Day.
    • Wall Street Journal. October 23, 2004. By James Webb, Secret GOP Weapon: The Scots-Irish vote. 30 million Scots-Irish [...] may well be America's strongest cultural force. ...The Scots-Irish comprised a large percentage of Reagan Democrats, and contributed heavily to the "red state" votes that gave Mr. Bush the presidency in 2000. The areas with the highest Scots-Irish populations include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, southern Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of California, particularly Bakersfield. The "factory belt," especially around Detroit, also has a strong Scots-Irish mix. ...The GOP strategy is heavily directed toward keeping peace with this culture, which every four years is seduced by the siren song of guns, God, flag, opposition to abortion and success in war. By contrast, over the past generation the Democrats have consistently alienated this group, to their detriment.
    • LA Times. October 22, 2004. By Ronald Brownstein, Kerry Campaign Shifts Its Focus to Southwest. Except for Florida, Democrats have all but given up on the South, an unprecedented move. When John Kerry arrives in Reno today for his sixth visit to Nevada this year, he will underscore a dramatic shift in the geography of the race for the White House. Kerry, in a virtually unprecedented move for a Democrat, is relying more on the West than the South in his plan to reach the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. Once the party of the "Solid South," Democrats this year are not actively contesting any state in the region except Florida in the presidential campaign. Instead, Kerry has shifted his attention west, mounting major efforts in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and, at one point, Arizona.
    • BeliefNet. October 21, 2004. By Steven Waldman, A Big Catholic Shift to Kerry? Two new polls show a sudden movement of undecided Catholics toward Kerry. Two new polls show a significant shift of white Catholics to John Kerry--which, if it holds up, could be a decisive development in the election.
    • NY Times. October 21, 2004. By Andrew Kohut, Polls Apart. The round of national surveys taken after the third presidential debate indicates that the polls are not going to give us a clear picture of who will win the election until the final days of the campaign, if then. This is not because polling no longer works - it's because voter opinion is highly unstable. While many Americans are strongly committed to re-electing President Bush or getting rid of him, there remains a relatively large bloc of swing voters who are critical of the president but who still cannot comfortably back Senator John Kerry.
    • Chicago Tribune. October 20, 2004. By Clarence Page, A surprising black `bump' for Bush. Could President Bush receive a surprisingly large black turnout on Election Day? Considering recent history, the idea sounds about as likely as pop star Michael Jackson receiving a Man of the Year Award from the Children's Defense Fund. But elections can produce unexpected results. That's why we hold them. This week I found myself blinking my eyes in disbelief over two major polls that showed a big bump for Bush among likely black voters. A New York Times poll released Tuesday showed that among likely voters, 47 percent support Bush, 45 percent are for Sen. John Kerry and 2 percent for Ralph Nader. But in the race breakdown, the Bush-Cheney ticket is buoyed by an amazing 17 percent from African-Americans. (Kerry receives 76 percent of the black voters and Nader only 1 percent.) Although 17 percent is still less than one in five, it is more than twice the tiny 8 percent turnout that the Bush-Cheney ticket received in the 2000 election.
    • Washington Post. October 20, 2004; By Jo Becker, Legal Battle for Presidency Underway. Lawsuits Over Election Rules Pending, With Both Sides Gearing Up for More. The ballots have yet to be counted, much less recounted. But attorneys for President Bush and John F. Kerry are already engaged in an intense legal battle for the presidency that could once again give the courts a say in who is declared the winner. With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, an unprecedented number of lawsuits challenging basic election rules are pending in many of the battleground states. Both sides are in the final stages of training thousands of lawyers who will descend on the polls on Nov. 2 to watch for voter fraud or intimidation.
    • NY Times. October 20, 2004. By Michael Moss And Ford Fessenden, Interest Groups Mounting Costly Push to Get Out Vote. In a presidential race whose outcome is expected to hang on turnout at the polls, an army of interest groups is pumping at least $350 million into get-out-the-vote campaigns that are rewriting the tactics of elections. The efforts are part of the most expensive voter-drive ground war in history. It includes the major parties and their allies, the independent but partisan groups known as 527's, whose attack advertisements have played a big role in both President Bush's and Senator John Kerry's campaigns.
    • NY Times. October 20, 2004. By Katharine Q. Seelye, Polls Show Gains for Kerry Among Women in Electorate. Senator John Kerry appears to have reversed his slide among women who are voters and has taken a lead over President Bush in this crucial category, new polls show. In early September, Mr. Bush led Mr. Kerry among women, 48 percent to 43 percent in the CBS News poll. As of Sunday, in The New York Times/CBS News poll, Mr. Kerry was leading among women who are registered voters, 50 percent to 40 percent. Other polls show Mr. Kerry with a smaller lead among women, but a lead nonetheless.
    • NY Times. October 19, 2004. By David Brooks, Kerry Off the Leash. John Kerry wasn't nominated because of his sparkling personality. He wasn't nominated because of his selfless commitment to causes larger than himself. He was nominated because he's a fighter. At the end of every campaign he comes out brawling. This was the guy who could take on Bush. So nobody could imagine how incompetent, crude and over-the-top Kerry has been in this final phase of the campaign. At this point, smart candidates are launching attacks that play up the doubts voters already have about their opponents. Incredibly, Kerry is launching attacks that play up doubts voters have about him. Over the past few days, he has underscored the feeling that he will say or do anything to further his career. In so doing, he has managed to squelch any momentum he may have had coming out of the first two debates. Some polls have him stagnant against Bush. More polls show Bush recovering from the debate season and now pulling slightly ahead. The blunt truth is that Kerry is losing the final phase of this campaign.
    • NY Times. October 19, 2004. By Adam Nagourney And Janet Elder, Poll Shows Tie; Concerns Cited on Both Rivals. Two weeks before Election Day, voters hold a sharply critical view of President Bush's record in office, but they have strong reservations about Senator John Kerry, leaving the race in a tie, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
    • NY Times. October 19, 2004. By Jim Rutenberg, Bush? Kerry? Why Pollsters Cannot Agree. What is going to happen on Election Day? It depends on which pollster you ask.
    • Washington Monthly. October 14, 2004. By Kevin Drum, WHO WON?....The post-debate polls are solidly in Kerry's favor:
      CNN/USA Today/Gallup: Kerry wins 53%-39%.
      CBS News poll of uncommitted voters: Kerry wins 39%-25%
      ABC News: Kerry wins 42%-41%, even though their audience leaned heavily Republican.
      Democracy Corps: Kerry wins 41%-36%.
      That's by far the biggest win for Kerry of the three debates. By next week I'll bet Kerry is 3-4 points ahead of Bush in nearly every poll. Needless to say, this means that Karl Rove's October Surprise will be unveiled soon. But what will it be?
    • NPR. October 13, 2004. Campaigns Work to Get Out the Vote in Florida. [This should link you to to a page where you can hear the story.] In Tampa, efforts are under way to turn out the vote in Florida. Both campaigns are going door-to-door, posting signs and bringing in the stars of their parties to rally the faithful. Barbara Bush visited the area Tuesday. In a tight presidential race, both sides are trying hard to win Florida's 27 electoral votes. NPR's Melissa Block reports.
    • Washington Post. October 12, 2004. By Dana Milbank, Diverse Tactics on the Stump. As Bush Pumps Up His Base, Kerry Aims for Middle. A couple of days spent with each candidate last week -- including a day each here in Ohio -- indicated a clear difference in approach as they entered their final month of campaigning. Following the Bush campaign's calculation that the election will be determined more by the turnout of each party's faithful, Bush's speeches and their settings are largely emotional celebrations of conservatism. The Kerry campaign, figuring the election will be determined as much by centrist "swing voters," is making more of an overt appeal to the middle class.
    • USA TODAY. October 4, 2004. By Susan Page, Bush, Kerry in a draw, poll says. Favorable public reaction to his performance in the first presidential debate has boosted Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and narrowed the contest with President Bush to a tie, according to a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.
    • New York Times. October 3, 2004. By Thomas L. Friedman, Iraq: Politics or Policy? We're in trouble in Iraq. ...Here is the cold, hard truth: This war has been hugely mismanaged by this administration, in the face of clear advice to the contrary at every stage, and as a result the range of decent outcomes in Iraq has been narrowed and the tools we have to bring even those about are more limited than ever. What happened? The Bush team got its doctrines mixed up: it applied the Powell Doctrine to the campaign against John Kerry - "overwhelming force" without mercy, based on a strategy of shock and awe at the Republican convention, followed by a propaganda blitz that got its message across in every possible way, including through distortion. If only the Bush team had gone after the remnants of Saddam's army in the Sunni Triangle with the brutal efficiency it has gone after Senator Kerry in the Iowa-Ohio-Michigan triangle. If only the Bush team had spoken to Iraqis and Arabs with as clear a message as it did to the Republican base. No, alas, while the Bush people applied the Powell Doctrine in the Midwest, they applied the Rumsfeld Doctrine in the Middle East. And the Rumsfeld Doctrine is: "Just enough troops to lose." Donald Rumsfeld tried to prove that a small, mobile army was all that was needed to topple Saddam, without realizing that such a limited force could never stabilize Iraq. He never thought it would have to. He thought his Iraqi pals would do it. He was wrong.
    • Los Angeles Times. October 3, 2004. By Ronald Brownstein and Kathleen Hennessey, Kerry's Image Gets Boost From First Debate. John F. Kerry improved his image with voters who watched his debate with President Bush last week but didn't significantly shift their choice in the presidential race, a Los Angeles Times Poll of debate viewers has found.
    • Newsweek. Oct. 2, 2004. By Brian Braiker, The Race is On. With voters widely viewing Kerry as the debate’s winner, Bush’s lead in the Newsweek poll has evaporated. With a solid majority of voters concluding that John Kerry outperformed George W. Bush in the first presidential debate on Thursday, the president’s lead in the race for the White House has vanished, according to the latest Newsweek poll. In the first national telephone poll using a fresh sample, Newsweek found the race now statistically tied among all registered voters, 47 percent of whom say they would vote for Kerry and 45 percent for George W. Bush in a three-way race.
    • Washington Post. September 30, 2004. By Richard Morin and Christopher Muste, The Enthusiasm Gap. Forget the gender gap. The chasm that yawns the widest this election year is the Enthusiasm Gap. Nearly two in three likely voters who support President Bush - 65 percent - said they were "very enthusiastic" about their candidate while 42 percent of Sen. John F. Kerry's supporters express similarly high levels of enthusiasm for their choice, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll. ...The (Other) Great Divides: The Grad-School Divide.. The Party Divide.. The Gender Divide.. The Ideology Divide.. The Racial-Ethnic Divide.. The Veterans Divide.. The Generational Divide...
    • New York Times. September 21, 2004. Talking Sense, at Last, on Iraq. After weeks of politically damaging delay, John Kerry finally seems to have found his voice on what ought to be the central issue of this year's election: the mismanaged war in Iraq and how to bring it to an acceptable conclusion.
    • New York Times. September 21, 2004. By David Brooks, Finally, Kerry Takes a Stand. Yesterday John Kerry came to New York University and did something amazing. He uttered a series of clear, declarative sentences on the subject of Iraq. Many of these sentences directly contradict his past statements on Iraq, but at least you could figure out what he was trying to say.
    • Wall Street Journal. September 20, 2004. By John Harwood, Divergent Opinion Polls Reflect New Challenges to Tracking Vote. Widely divergent poll results in recent days underscore a paradox of the 2004 presidential race: Despite all the surveys, it may be the toughest election in memory for anyone to track. Opinion polls themselves had been getting harder to conduct long before the matchup between President George W. Bush and his Democratic rival, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. The reasons range from growing reluctance to participate in surveys to increasing reliance on cellphones rather than the land lines pollsters have long used to ensure demographic and geographic balance in surveys.
    • New York Times. September 18, 2004. By Adam Nagourney And Janet Elder, Bush Opens Lead Despite Unease Voiced in Survey. Senator John Kerry faces substantial obstacles in his bid to unseat President Bush, with voters saying he has not laid out a case for why he wants to be president and expressing strong concern about his ability to manage an international crisis, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. Less than seven weeks before Election Day, Americans continue to think that the nation is heading in the wrong direction and are distressed about how Mr. Bush has handled the economy. Yet the president, apparently lifted as much by what Mr. Kerry has done wrong as by what Mr. Bush has done right in the campaign, has an eight-point lead among registered voters, the poll found.
    • New York Times. September 18, 2004. By Carl Hulse, Varying Polls Reflect Volatility, Experts Say. With national public opinion surveys showing the presidential race to be anywhere from a dead heat between President Bush and Senator John Kerry to Mr. Bush's holding a commanding lead, potential voters have their choice of what to believe. But survey experts say such disparities in the polls are not unusual at this stage of a campaign and reflect both a volatile electorate and methodological differences between the polling organizations.
    • Gallup News Service. September 17, 2004. Bush Bounce Keeps On Going. President leads Kerry by 13 points among likely voters; 8 points among registered voters. In a new Gallup Poll, conducted Sept. 13-15, President George W. Bush leads Democratic candidate John Kerry by 55% to 42% among likely voters, and by 52% to 44% among registered voters. These figures represent a significant improvement for Bush since just before the beginning of the Republican National Convention.
    • Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. September 16, 2004. Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even. Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry. However, polling this past week finds that Bush's edge over his Democratic rival has eroded. Reflecting this new volatility in the race, the size of the swing vote has increased slightly since the summer, rather than contracting as it typically does as the election approaches.
    • LA Times. August 26, 2004. By Ronald Brownstein, Bush Edges Ahead of Kerry for the 1st Time. The president gains in several measurements but remains in a statistical tie. Ads on the senator's war record seem to have an effect. President Bush heads into next week's Republican National Convention with voters moving slightly in his direction since July amid signs that Sen. John F. Kerry has been nicked by attacks on his service in Vietnam, a Times poll has found.

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