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It's down to the final polling reports before Election Day. Yesterday, Mason-Dixon published its final battleground-state results showing Bush ahead in most, some by significant margins. Zogby came out early this morning, trumpeted by the ever-vigilant Truck in one of the comment threads, showing the exact opposite -- but Zogby has earned its reputation as one of the least reliable pollsters in the business.
Now Pew Research, which enjoys a somewhat better reputation than Zogby, has issued its presumably last look at the election, and finds George Bush holding onto a three-point lead over John Kerry among likely voters in its largest polling sample of the season:
President George W. Bush holds a slight edge over Senator John Kerry in the final days of Campaign 2004. The Pew Research Center's final pre-election poll of 1,925 likely voters, conducted Oct. 27-30, finds Bush with a three-point edge (48% to 45% for Kerry); Ralph Nader draws 1%, and 6% are undecided.
Bush gained a point since the last Pew poll, while Kerry dropped two points and now sits at 45%. Pew also estimates that Kerry may attract slightly more than half of the undecideds, but when the turnout rate is considered, Pew projects that Bush will take 51% of the popular vote -- maintaining the three-point margin of victory. (Nader wins a single percentage point.)
Reviewing the demographics, Pew found that men still heavily favor Bush (52-43), but Kerry lost the significant edge that Gore held among women (48-44 Kerry). Pew shows black voters only giving Bush 7% support, which would be even worse than in 2000, while 86% support Kerry and 7% are undecided. That's disappointing, of course, but the Hispanic vote appears almost evenly split, 49-47 Kerry, which helps Bush tremendously.
The age and religion categories show some of the most interesting results. Kerry only wins among voters in age ranges of 18-24 and over 75. In every other age band, Bush wins, and he wins decisively among voters age 25-34, 58-39. Kerry narrowly edges Bush among Catholics, 49-46, while Bush predictably blows Kerry out of the water among evangelicals by twenty points. Kerry owns the "secular" vote by forty-three points, 67-24. For those who attend church once a month or more, Bush wins big, regardless of denomination.
As has been mentioned before, the real difference appears to be the marriage gap:
The poll was conducted between October 27-30, which means the Osama videotape had been seen before a portion of the voters had been questioned. It looks as if it made little difference, as I predicted earlier.Sphere It View blog reactions
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