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August 19, 2004
CBS Poll: Kerry Losing Ground In August

The new CBS poll shows that support for John Kerry in the weeks following the convention has eroded when expectations should have him gaining strength after the nomination, falling back into a virtual tie with George Bush in a poll that traditionally oversamples Democrats:

he race for the presidency is now essentially tied, with a gap between the two major party candidates within this polls margin of error. Voters are paying more attention to this campaign now than at this point four years ago, and their overall opinions about each candidates strengths and weaknesses remain relatively stable.

Just after the Democratic convention, John Kerry led President George W. Bush by a small margin; the recent tightening of the race reflects a loss of support for Kerry among some of this elections most contested groups: Independents, veterans and Catholic voters.

Translation: if this is what CBS shows, then the Democrats are in deep weeds. If he's losing ground on Catholics, he's vulnerable in Ohio and maybe even Pennsylvania. If veterans have jumped off Kerry's boat, it's because he's beached it on the border of Cambodia. And if independents start walking away, all he has left is the lunatic fringe to reverse the momentum -- not an appealing prospect for convincing swing voters to return.

My bet is that Hugh Hewitt was completely correct in his assessment today with Peter Beinart -- the Democrats' internal polling must be setting off warning bells all over the place. That's why you suddenly see Kerry calling over 200 combat veterans from his own unit out as liars. Unfortunately for Kerry, desperation in politics is usually as attractive as it is in dating.

Suddenly, that Torricelli option looks pretty good, I'll bet, to some Democrats. Does anyone know Hillary's schedule over the next couple of months?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 19, 2004 10:00 PM

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