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October 21, 2004
More Madness: Mason-Dixon Shows Bush Tied Or Ahead In Blue States

Now that I've warned you all about carefully vetting poll results, I'm going to through more of them at you. Mason-Dixon released its most recent polling data in those battleground states that went for Gore in 2000, and the news looks bad for John Kerry. Bush either tied Kerry or went ahead in all of the states they polled. I included the ratio of Dems/GOP MD used in each state:

PA - Kerry, 46-45 (49/44)
MI - Kerry, 47-46 (38/36)
OR - Kerry, 47-46 (41/37)
WI - Tie, 45-45 (35/35)
IA - Bush, 49-43 (37/40)

This polling took place over the weekend, Oct 15-18, a time that usually favors Democrats. Mason-Dixon sampled 625 voters in each state and normalized by county and demographics, as they usually do. I think that MD may have undersampled the GOP in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and maybe overpolled them slightly in Iowa.

Interestingly, in all five states, Bush is viewed more favorably than Kerry, and his unfavorability numbers are lower than Kerry in all five. These are two separate numbers, as Neutral was given as a valid choice. In fact, Bush's Favorable ratings exceed his Unfavorable ratings outside the margin of error in three of the five states, while Kerry only does that in Oregon. [Updated: I think MS-NBC switched the labels between Unfavorable and Neutral on their website, and I originally carried the mistake into this post.]

No gender demographics were given, which would have been very interesting to read, but the news is bad enough for Kerry as it is. Losing Iowa -- and a six-point gap looks pretty significant less than two weeks before the election -- indicates that the entire Upper Midwest is ripe for a Bush win. The momentum in the battleground states appears to be going exclusively towards Bush. Expect Kerry and Edwards to play a lot of defense in these states over the next eleven days.

UPDATE: Kerry Spot has data on two more states than MS-NBC's report gave, showing Bush up by five in New Mexico (49-44) and two here in Minnesota (47-45). I haven't seen the data reported anywhere else or any of the internals, but if both hold for Bush, that should be a net gain of 15 more electoral votes, or 32 overall from former Gore states counting Iowa and Wisconsin (see above).

UPDATE II: Just to close the loop, here's the results in the Mason-Dixon red-state battleground polls:

CO - Bush 49-43
MO - Bush 49-44
NH - Bush 48-45
OH - Bush 46-45
NV - Bush 52-42
WV - Bush 49-44

New Hampshire and Ohio appear vulnerable at the moment, but Bush still shows an edge in both states. That represents 24 electoral votes in play from the GOP, still less than Bush claims in blue states where polls have him ahead.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 21, 2004 7:58 PM

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» 2004 Election: State Poll Update #13 from Secure Liberty
This is the thirteenth in a series focusing on our continuing exclusive feature, Tony Bauco's analysis of all the state polls. We have a changed electoral college calculation again. As usual, we'll start with Tony's comments: A lot of new polls from ... [Read More]

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