Man Without Qualities

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Some Polls Are Bad For Bush

Most polls show President Bush with a substantial lead. But not all of them. For example:

Sen. John Kerry and President Bush are now enjoying almost equal levels of support, according to the latest Harris Interactive poll. ... The Harris poll, conducted by telephone Sept. 9-13, shows Sen. Kerry leading Mr. Bush 48% to 47% among likely voters nationwide. The poll also found that a slender 51% to 45% majority doesn't believe that Mr. Bush deserves to be re-elected.

The previous poll in which likely U.S. voters were asked which candidate they preferred showed Messrs. Kerry and Bush tied 47% to 47%. That survey was conducted before the Republican National Convention in New York City, which ended earlier this month. An earlier poll in June indicated a Bush lead over Mr. Kerry of 10 percentage points, at 51% to 41%.

The Wall Street Journal report on this Harris Poll curiously does not mention the "registered voters" results - which means one cannot estimate the effect of the Harris organization's definition of "likely voter" on the poll results. The report does note that Harris detected none of the convention "bounce" most other polls found. In sum, an outlier.

But the Investor's Business Daily poll of likely voters conducted Sept. 7-12 shows the candidates tied with 47% in a two-man race and 46% in a three-way race. Among registered voters, Kerry holds a two-point edge over Bush, with or without Nader.

UPDATE: The Pew Poll also finds a tie. [ This Pew Poll has been cited and, in my opinion, abused, by the Note.]

FURTHER UPDATE: An astute reader e-mails this message, which seems quite correct:

There has to be something wrong with the Pew poll. There is no way the lead goes from 16 points (Sep 8-10) to 1 (Sep 11-14) overnight. This is totally screwy, especially in light of tonight's AP report of Gallup poll to be released Friday, which shows Bush has increased his lead from 52-45 to 54-40. Also, if you look at the question of "Who's more likey to win?", Bush has actually increased his lead over the same two periods (59-22 to 61-23).

Here's the Gallup story:

President Bush has surged to a 13-point lead over Sen. John Kerry among likely voters, a new Gallup Poll shows. The 55%-42% match-up is the first statistically significant edge either candidate has held this year. (Related item: Poll results) Among registered voters, Bush is ahead 52%-44%.

STILL MORE: Jim Thomason thinks that Pew Research is blatantly and obviously spinning it's poll ... And Jim has lots of analysis to back that up.

AND STILL MORE" This Pew Poll has been cited and, in my opinion, abused, by the Note.

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