September 29, 2004

CIRCLE THE WAGONS AROUND HARVARD YARD:

Some Swing States Appear to Be Swinging to President (KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, 9/29/04, NY Times)

Days before the presidential debates begin, President Bush appears to be gaining in several swing states he lost in 2000.

Experts caution that the race is highly fluid, but Mr. Bush, for now at least, is surging ahead in several crucial states. Polls show Mr. Bush making headway in Iowa and Wisconsin, both of which he lost last time. He was also building leads in Ohio and West Virginia, states he won in 2000.

All four states have been hotly contested this year. And Senator John Kerry seems to have ceded Missouri to Mr. Bush.

The shocker in the last week was New Jersey, where three polls showed Mr. Bush pulling even with Mr. Kerry. The state, never on the battleground list, has voted Democratic since 1988 and comes with a sizable chunk of electoral votes, 15. Mr. Bush's strength there was a source of concern to Democrats.


If Democrats truly haven't figured out that they're going to have to fight a rearguard action just to hold a few core states--CA, IL, NY, MA, MD--and try to save some Senate seats--CA, OR, WA, AR, NV--then they're in even worse trouble than we all think they are. That they ever thought OH was a realistic battleground--with a Republican governor, two Republican senators, etc.--is not reassuring.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2004 10:06 AM
Comments

I love that headline's "Some swing states..."

Some?

Posted by: kevin whited at September 29, 2004 11:05 AM

Bush is ahead in the polls by about 5 pts or so. If the debates go well for Bush this lead might expand and it will be hard for Kerry to catch up in the final weeks. I'm still not sure the groundswell will be large enough to pull low probability Senate seats (i.e. NV, OH, CA, WA) to the GOP but we will see. Also if Bush feels he is in good shape toward the end of October he may spend more time campaigning for GOP senate candidates to help push them over the winning line.

Posted by: AWW at September 29, 2004 11:13 AM

oj- You might as well stop mentioning Nevada as a possible Republican gain. Harry Reid has no opposition other than 'none of the above". I don't understand why he has no credible opposition, as Ensign had him beat in 98 until they reshuffled the Vegas votes.

Posted by: ed at September 29, 2004 11:37 AM

Ed - I think I saw a recent poll showing the NV Senate race as 54-40 Reid over the GOP opponent. It would take a massive Bush win to take this seat. Also, if NV voters assume that Reid would take over as minority leader if Daschle loses then you might have some ticket splitting going on similar to what has happened for Daschle in SD.
NV was definitely a pickup opportunity for the GOP that they didn't capitalize on.

Posted by: AWW at September 29, 2004 11:54 AM

AWW:

Pew and Gallup both have him up at least 8, no?

Posted by: oj at September 29, 2004 12:16 PM

ed:

Who was Dan Quayle before he beat Birch Bayh?

Posted by: oj at September 29, 2004 12:23 PM

"Making headway in IA and WI"? I thought he was up by a bit in the former, and a bunch in the latter. Even in one thinks the NYT is ideologically pure, enough cases where they just get things horribly wrong would convince you you weren't getting the straight story...

Posted by: brian at September 29, 2004 2:42 PM

Not reassuring for who? Works for me.

Posted by: jsmith at September 29, 2004 9:40 PM
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