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October 7, 2004
Florida Pulls Into Bush Column

Two polls released in the last 24 hours show Florida swinging solidly behind George Bush, dashing hopes among John Kerry supporters of creating yet another race-based smear of Republicans in the Sunshine State. The Mason-Dixon poll conducted Oct 4-5, after the first Bush-Kerry debate, shows Bush up, 48-44. However, when you look at the polling sample, you see some interesting data:

Men 307 (49%)...Whites 491 (79%)...Democrats 279 (45%) Women 318 (51%)...Blacks 65 (10%)...Republicans 258 (41%) ..................Hispanic 65 (10%)..Independents 88 (14%)

Forgive any formatting issues (it's hard to emulate tables), but you can see that the M-D poll give a four-point sampling edge to Democrats. On the other hand, it looks like both blacks and Hispanics may be underrepresented, and with its large Cuban community, the Hispanic vote has traditionally supported the GOP.

Quinnipiac also reported results for Florida today, showing Bush up by 7 in the Sunshine State:

President George W. Bush leads Democratic challenger John Kerry 51 - 44 percent among Florida likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Ralph Nader received less than 1 percent in this tally, which includes undecided voters leaning toward a candidate.

Among registered voters, President Bush gets 46 percent to Sen. Kerry's 42 percent, with 1 percent for Nader, compared to a 49 - 41 percent Bush lead among registered voters in a September 23 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Among Bush supporters, 78 percent say they are voting mainly for the President. Kerry supporters split with 48 percent voting mainly for the Democrat and 47 percent voting mainly against Bush.

"President Bush enjoys a 7-point lead among likely voters in Florida because he is viewed as a strong leader and more capable of handling terrorism and the war in Iraq. Sen. Kerry has gained some ground on Bush in the areas of leadership and his vision of what he would do as President," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

No one doubts that Florida represented the Holy Grail for Democrats in this election. It has become their mythology that the previous election was stolen from them there, despite a number of independent recounts which clearly show Bush won, including one conducted by the national media. They hoped to win Florida not only for its big chunk of electoral votes but also to drive home that stolen-election myth.

Instead, the Democrats nominated a candidate who even after the debate can't generate more enthusiasm for his candidacy among his supporters than against George Bush. Not only does that explain Bush's seven-point lead, but it also portends a smaller turnout on Election Day that may widen the moderate gap into a rout.

Nor is that the only gap. Despite a narrow plurality of voters saying they believe the war in Iraq was a mistake, Bush holds a twelve-point lead over Kerry in fighting terrorism and a ten-point gap in leadership. Kerry's favorability numbers improved to 36%, and still trails Bush's by eight points.

The Democrats may need to go myth-shopping after November...

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 7, 2004 9:58 AM

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