September 8, 2004


Bush gains in 2 key states (Susan Page, 9/08/04, USA TODAY)

President Bush holds clear leads over Sen. John Kerry in the battlegrounds of Missouri and Ohio — states the president probably needs to hold to win re-election — according to USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup polls.

Kerry is ahead in Washington state and tied with Bush in Pennsylvania, swing states that are similarly important to Democratic chances for victory. [...]

[Bush's] 14-point edge in Missouri raises questions about whether the traditional bellwether is still competitive. The Kerry campaign hasn't purchased air time for ads in the Show Me State this month.

In the state-by-state polls:

• Missouri, which was tied in a USA TODAY poll taken just before the Democratic National Convention in July, puts Bush ahead of Kerry by 55%-41% among likely voters. Bush carried the state in 2000 by 3 percentage points.

• Ohio, where Bush lagged by 6 points in July, now favors him by 9 points. [...]

• Pennsylvania was even two weeks ago and remains essentially tied. Al Gore carried the state by 4 points in 2000.

• Washington state is a bright spot for Kerry. He leads Bush by 8 points. Gore carried the state by 5 points in 2000.

Mr. Kerry's retreat to an openly anti-war position suggests that the campaign is switching to a defensive posture, trying to hold the base and stem Democratic congressional losses. Now they need to start heavy ad buys in Blue states.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2004 10:47 PM

Pennsylvania is "essentially tied." Hmmm...perhaps it's the skeptic in me, but why do I suspect this means that Bush is ahead, but within the margin of error? Upon clicking on the poll results, why yes it does. Funny that.

Posted by: brian at September 8, 2004 11:10 PM

Kerry at least gets a two-fer with the Philly ad buys, since that market covers southern New Jersey. But if he starts having to sink a ton of money into ads with the sole purpoe of holding California, it's hard to see how he has much cash left to turn any of Bush's swing states from Red to Blue, without some major catastrophe/scandal in the final 55 days.

Posted by: John at September 8, 2004 11:25 PM

Add to these Oregon (noted below) and Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Jersey which Rasmussen has put into the toss up category. I believe this leaves only Florida as the contested red state and I think Bush was starting to pull away there.

I thought Bush would be closer in Washington. Bush will probably not need Washington to win but it would be good for the GOP to pick up the Senate seat and governorship there.

Posted by: AWW at September 8, 2004 11:44 PM

If Kerry is going down in flames, why would he bother to try to "hold the base and stem Democratic congressional losses"? Has he ever shown any signs of being willing to take a bullet for the Party?

Posted by: ray at September 9, 2004 12:05 AM

I'd like to see some comparisons between Sept 2004 and Sep 2000 instead of Nov 2000.

The primaries here in the Upper Left Washington are next Tuesday. Once those vote totals are in, we will have a better idea as to how accurate the polls really are, especially in the results of the open governor's race, which is constested on the Dem side while Rossi is going to get the GOP nod. Another factor is the new closed primary, where you have to declare a party and only vote on that party's ballot. A lot of so-called independents are going to have to choose for once...

Remember: Vote early, vote often!!!

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 9, 2004 12:42 AM

I'm with Ray on this. Kerry doesn't care a whit about the fortunes of his Party: the election is about him taking his rightful place as JFK v2.0.

The last three Democratic candidates have shared an incredible sense of entitlement. With Gore and Kerry, it is compounded by the conviction that they were/are simply destined to be President.

The main difference between the two seems to be that Gore wanted to be perceived as an alpha male, whereas Kerry thinks he is one.

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at September 9, 2004 1:29 AM

The Philly media market is one of the most expensive in the country. NJ is tightly contested this year because of disgust over the antics of Gov. James/Jane McGreedy.

I don't understand the dynamics of the Seattle area. It's just a cesspool to me. They've even let Boeing relocate to Texas without a fight.

Posted by: Bart at September 9, 2004 7:16 AM

The reason Kerry will spend some money to 'hold the base' is that he's such an unsatisfactory candidate the campaign is starting to worry about people staying home -- maybe not in huge numbers, but enough to worry in places like Pennsylvania and Florida.

In Pennsylvania, my favorite online market (Tradesports/Intrade) has Bush with only a 41% chance to carry (vs.61% to win overall). The state has an uncanny ability to turn out Democratic voters when it counts. Florida is shaping up solidly for Bush, apparently (64%). So is Missouri (67%).

Posted by: Dave Sheridan at September 9, 2004 8:33 AM

If he were really that selfish he'd have kept his Senate seat and not concentrated full bore on the presidential race.

Posted by: oj at September 9, 2004 8:33 AM

The Boeing HQ went to Chicago. Part of that was that the merger with McDonald-Douglas was actually a takeover by the latter, so that the company management no longer had any sentimental ties to the Northwest. The gov and legislature have shown an unwillingness to clean up the state's tax system, which is designed to penalize large and successful corporations. And the Northwest is too isolated from the companies major buyers,who are located in Washington City area. (Congress and DoD) So it was a sound business decision.

"The state [Pa.] has an uncanny ability to turn out Democratic voters when it counts."

You mean like in the last election when in some precincts in Philadelphia where the voter registration was greater than the number of adults found in the 2000 census, and those same precinctsthen went over 99% for Gore?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 9, 2004 11:23 AM

re. Philly -- that's exactly what I mean. Boss Tweed would be proud.

Posted by: Dave Sheridan at September 9, 2004 1:08 PM

Raoul, Dave:

Philly should be much quieter this time around - John Street is a confession or two away from being indicted and the city council keeps passing new laws and then rescinding them a few weeks later. And Kerry isn't exactly down with the inner-city community (a problem for him in Baltimore, Newark, Memphis, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and even Chicago). Donna Brazile won't be delivering this time.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 10, 2004 11:38 PM