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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Monday, August 30, 2004

    Polls: Close, closer, closest 

    The Columbus Dispatch Poll (link requires subscription) puts President Bush and challenger John Kerry in a dead heat in Ohio. Each candidate owns 46 percent of the vote, with two percent for independent Ralph Nader. (The margin of error is two percentage points.)

    Those numbers tell less than the full story. They are, writes Thomas Lang of Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign, the ``margin of ignorance.''

    To get most accurate picture of where the race stands, study the ``internal numbers.'' In the case of the Dispatch Poll, those numbers would include the responses of the undecided six percent to questions asking whether the country is on the right track and whether they approve of the president's handling of the economy.

    The answer: ``72 percent say the country is on the wrong track and 75 percent disapprove of Bush's handling of the economy (carped with 54 percent of all respondents to both questions.''

    ``That group,'' the Dispatch's Darrel Rowland points out, ``hardly seems poised to vote for Bush.''

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 3:15 PM

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