Three maps by scholars
page for more of their maps)
by population size
showing percentage vote
USA Today's 2000 county map here
...More 2004 maps at Princeton here
Click here for an explanation of these turnout measures
Exit Polls and Election Maps
- National -
also see these abbreviated versions from the Washington Post and the New York Times
- The South
- New York Times
- Analysis. November
7, 2004. By Marjorie Connelly, How
Americans Voted: A Political Portrait. A Lot like last
time, only more so: That is the picture that emerges of George
W. Bush's winning majority
in the 2004 presidential election. He held on to the votes
of most of the groups that supported him in 2000, while making
inroads among a few that did not. Most men, whites, Protestants,
regular churchgoers, high earners, conservatives and, naturally,
most Republicans voted for Mr. Bush. Women, blacks, Hispanics,
young voters, the lower paid, moderates, liberals and, of
course, Democrats gave John Kerry a majority of their votes.
- Los Angeles Times Exit Polls [a different poll
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,
- NY Times. December 6, 2004. By Katharine Q. Seelye, How
to Sell a Candidate to a Porsche-Driving, Leno-Loving Nascar
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
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
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
- 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,
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,
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.
- 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
- 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
- NYTimes. November 4, 2004. By Christopher Drew And Abby Goodnough,
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,
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.
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
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
- RealClearPolitics -
Links to current political news and analyses, plus polling horse
race, nationally and in battleground states.
- Polling Report - a
collection of recent surveys from all sources; updated daily (see
the current horse races here.)
States Elections Project - at George Mason University: includes
information and analysis of turnout
that Synthesize available polling and (some of them) try to
predict the Electoral College Vote outcome
Analyses based on the data
sources of polling data
- Background Analyses:
Behind the Polls
breakdowns during the campaign
in the Gender Gap during the campaign (graphic based on Gallup)
- Philly Inquirer. Oct. 24, 2004. By Jonathan
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
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."
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
- NY Times. November 1, 2004. By Adam Nagourney And Janet Elder,
Final Days, Divided Electorate Expresses Anxiety [NYT/ Poll].
The nation is girding for tomorrow's presidential election, worried
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,
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,
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
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
- 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
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
- 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
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
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
- Washington Post. September 30, 2004. By Richard Morin and Christopher
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
- 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
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
- Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. September 16,
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
- 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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