[Homestead] Bush dead-cat bounce in polls fading

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Sep 14 20:46:06 EDT 2004

Kerry ahead among independents, Bush faithful more faithful. Bush 
non-military-service may prove embarassing,and unknown events between 
now and November can pop up at any time to stimulate a swing vote either 
way.  And the jobless pain in the Rust Belt, which can only get more 
painful is a wild card   Better than two squalling, clawing, biting 
wildcats in a gunnysack.

	The Christian Science Monitor - csmonitor.com 

from the September 15, 2004 edition - 

    New poll shows Bush bounce fading

*By Liz Marlantes 
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

*WASHINGTON* - More than a week after the Republican National Convention 
- and in the wake of new questions about President Bush's National Guard 
service - the race for the White House is once again tightening, just as 
pollsters and strategists for both campaigns had predicted it would.

A new Monitor/TIPP poll finds Mr. Bush and Sen. John Kerry currently 
tied among likely voters nationwide, with each receiving 47 percent of 
the vote in a two-man race, and each receiving 46 percent when 
independent candidate Ralph Nader is added to the ballot. The poll of 
674 likely voters was conducted Sept. 7-12, and has a margin of error of 
4 percent.

Immediately following the GOP convention, polls showed Bush with a lead 
of anywhere from 7 to 11 points. But that bounce seems to be fading, as 
more recent polls cut Bush's lead down to 4 or 5 points (though an AP 
poll this week still showed Bush up by 8). Analysts attribute the shift 
in large part to a natural tightening as the convention glow wears off. 
It may also reflect a more recent series of challenges for the president 
- from the renewed controversy over whether he fulfilled his National 
Guard commitments during Vietnam to the escalating violence in Iraq as 
US fatalities passed the 1,000 mark. Senator Kerry has ramped up his 
attacks, too, focusing this week on issues such as the expiration of the 
assault weapons ban, and healthcare.

Still, Bush retains certain distinct advantages as he and Senator Kerry 
head into the final stretch of the race.

Bush's score on the Monitor/TIPP presidential leadership index - a 
compilation of job approval ratings, favorability ratings, and 
leadership ratings - has risen two points since last month's poll, to 
51. Notably, the president's ratings on leadership have shot up 6 
percent, to 57 - the largest increase since last January.

More important, the intensity of Bush's support is significantly higher 
than Kerry's, with 85 percent of Bush voters saying they "strongly" 
favor their candidate, compared with 60 percent of Kerry voters. 
Likewise, there are signs Bush's attention to his base is paying off: 94 
percent of Republicans support Bush, while 83 percent of Democrats back 
Kerry. "In close elections such as this, the intensity of candidate 
support is of utmost importance" since it tends to correlate with voter 
turnout, says Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, who conducted the poll.

There are some positive notes for Kerry: He holds a 10-point edge among 
independent voters, winning 48 percent support to Bush's 38 percent. The 
poll also indicates that the economy remains Kerry's best issue: Among 
voters worried about job security, he holds a 29-point advantage.

But Bush may also benefit from a widespread perception of his political 
strength - reinforced, recently, by his lead in many post-convention 
polls. Nearly half of respondents believe the president will ultimately 
win in November; only 16 percent think Kerry will win.

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