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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    There are polls and then there are the polls 

    The presidential race is knotted, and Ohioblog doesn't mean a granny. Or is it? The New York Times is honest enough to ask that question two weeks before election Day and on the day its most
    recent poll,
    done with CBS News (no, Dan Rather didn't personally screw it up), was published.

    Although President Bush's approval rating has fallen to 44 percent, one of the lower points of his presidency, he is tied at 46 percent with Sen. John Kerry among registered voters. Likely voters given the president a one percentage point edge, 47-46. And therein lies the question. Pollsters come up with different numbers when they focus on likely voters, and that their function is more art than science. Who is a likely voter in this period when record number of new registrants have signed up to vote? Will they follow through? Those who do will decide this election.

    The Washington Post also found that Bush does better among likely voters (50 percent to Kerry's 47 percent) but that Kerry wins (50 percent to 46 percent) if all registered voters surveyed are considered. Every pollster's margin of error makes the results even more dicey.

    So how to figure where the race stands: Ohioblog goes to's national average of all polls. It, too, favors Bush (48.6 percent to 45.6 percent to 1.8 percent) in a race that includes independent Ralph Nader (he won't be on the ballot in Ohio). Against just Kerry, Bush leads 48.3 percent to 45.4 percent.

    The best thing about the polls is that these are nearly over and the real ones have opened, the conclusion of the race within sight.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 4:58 PM

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