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September 16, 2004
Could New York Really Be In Play?

Yesterday's news that Bush edged ahead of Kerry in New Jersey, a Democratic stronghold, shocked election observers (via Kerry Spot). However, today's Albany (NY) Times-Union notes an even more ominous turn for Kerry's campaign:

Republican President George Bush has gained significantly on challenger John Kerry in Democrat-dominated New York, according to two statewide polls released Wednesday.

Bush trails Kerry 47-41 among registered voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. An Aug. 13 poll showed Bush at 35 percent to Kerry's 53. A Marist College poll of registered voters found Kerry leading Bush 48-40 -- a far cry from an April poll that put Kerry ahead 13 points.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by a 5-3 advantage. That would translate to 62-38 on a party-line vote. Apparently, the Republican convention and the Kerry meltdown in August has put the Empire State back in play, as Bush has wooed Democrats to cross the aisle in significant numbers and away from John Kerry.

Kerry still leads outside the margins of error in both polls, but all of a sudden, New York needs a lot more attention -- and money -- than previously thought. And since these polls measured registered voters instead of likely voters, Kerry's lead is likely to be narrower than even these poll results show. The more money and attention the Democrats have to pour into New York, of course, the less they can spend elsewhere, and right now the bleeding looks pretty bad all the way around.

All along, we have considered the coasts to be a lock for John Kerry, especially the critical states of California and New York. If Kerry can't hold a lead in ultraliberal New York, the Democrats may be looking at a tremendous electoral disaster, one that will swamp out their candidates up and down the ticket in November.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 16, 2004 12:16 PM

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