Kerry "On the Ropes"?

|

Pollster John Zogby insists that the election is a lot closer than the 11-point Bush lead that two newsweeklies have reported. He has Bush "leading by 2 points in the simple head-to-head match up—46% to 44%." (It's a three-point lead with Nader.) Yet he also believes that "Kerry is on the ropes." Why?

Zogby points out that "The President was behind 50% to 43% in my mid-August poll and he essentially turned the race around by jumping 3 points as Mr. Kerry lost 7 points. Impressive by any standards." He adds that "For the first time in my polling this year, Mr. Bush lined up his Republican ducks in a row by receiving 90% support of his own party, went ahead among Independents, and now leads by double-digits among key groups like investors. Also for the first time the President now leads among Catholics."

Bush's lurking problems include "a net negative job performance rating, a negative re-elect (i.e. more voters think it is time for someone new than feel he deserves re-election) and a net negative wrong direction for the country." The issues that work for Kerry, according to Zogby, are "the economy, health care, and the execution of the war in Iraq." Zogby thinks that Kerry "has a lot of work to do to refocus the campaign" on such issues.

Thanks to: The Command Post

NEXT: The Grasshopper, The Ant And The Bureaucrat

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. News magazines’, newspapers’ and TV networks’ polls were good enough when they were all that we had, but now that Zogby, ARG, and Rassmussen are on the scene, they do a much better job.

    It’s pretty clear what goes on from here; Kerry tries to steer the election towards issues, Bush tries to scare the hell out of everyone. Did everyone see Cheney saying that a Kerry victory would cause a mega-terror attack?

  2. Why in God’s name would Kerry cede the terror issue to Bush? The president uses that issue to respond to everything else – deficits, mistakes, deaths are all just symptoms of his rock-solid leadership on terror. And not attacking him on that issue lets Bush get away with bullshit statements like “We were RIGHT to go into Iraq and America is SAFER!” Manifestly untrue, but if there’s no rebuttal, they’re accepted as fact.

    Kerry has got to use Bush’s on-the-record fuckups and lies on terror to destroy his credibility on that issue, if for no other reason than to restore the balance of the universe. I mean, right now the guy who didn’t read terror reports before 9/11 and hasn’t caught bin Laden is leading on the terror issue. This is insane.

  3. Bin Laden is paste smeared on the wall of a cave in Tora Bora.

  4. Matthew Cromer,

    Really? You have evidence of this? Or this just wishful thinking?

  5. If Bin Laden’s kidneys are as bad as they say, maybe he smeared ass paste on a Tora Bora cave wall, but, he is alive. If he wasn’t, Bush would be waging a landside election victory that even the old gipper couldn’t match.

  6. “Bin Laden is paste smeared on the wall of a cave in Tora Bora.”

    Captured AQ leaders who were at TB say he escaped into Pakistan, along with about a bajillion of his comrades, to fight another day.

  7. “It’s pretty clear what goes on from here; Kerry tries to steer the election towards issues, Bush tries to scare the hell out of everyone.”

    And Kerry has really demonstrated that. At the DNC for instance, I got sooooo sick of hearing them go on and on and on about terrorism and defense.

    joe, I’m not questioning your right to post here, by all means have at it. I’m just really curious why a died-in-the-wool northeastern liberal hangs out at H&R. Seems like an odd choice, though it can be entertaining at times.

  8. Given the effect of the Electoral College on the election of the President, national polls tell us almost nothing about the likely outcome of this election.

  9. Kerry has got to use Bush’s on-the-record fuckups and lies on terror to destroy his credibility on that issue

    Given the various terror warnings, you’d think that illegal aliens who were captured crossing from Mexico and who are from terrorist nations would NOT be released into the community on their own recognizance to await their deportation hearing. However, as a few congressmen from Texas have pointed out, that’s exactly what’s happening.

    Of course, Kerry would never point this out as they might be potential voters.

  10. Todd, I already know what liberals think. I don’t get to expand my horizons very much by attending mutual admiration societies.

    steve, Rasmussen has a great Electoral College page. Reds, Blues, and Tossups.

  11. “It’s pretty clear what goes on from here; Kerry tries to steer the election towards ISSUES, Bush tries to scare the hell out of everyone.”

    True enough, about Bush. But the only issues Kerry wants to discuss are ones that ended before I was born.

    We have no one talking about issues, here in the worlds greatest democracy.

  12. Kerry’s problem is he illustrates how one can be facile with the tongue and still be a dim bulb.

  13. Kerry’s Iraq policy remains, essentially, that he’d do what Bush has been doing, just better. Without giving any specifics. I don’t see how he can possibly convince undecided voters to support him with that position. If he wants to talk about issues in his campaign, I’d wager that’s a good place to start.

  14. What Kerry has been doing is trying to run from his record. This, in turn, has made this a two issue campaign – the Bush issue and the Kerry issue. Kerry can’t even debate the war in Iraq. He had an opportunity to distance himself and, instead, said that he would have voted for it even knowing that the entire basis was wrong! Its the major issue for the voters with who he is, obviously, out of step.

    If he is to win, and I don’t think he will, he needs some professional managers who are going to script this guy to the nth degree (not unlike Bush is now). I don’t think, unfortunately, this is going to happen. This is an election for the democrats to lose and they seem to be working VERY hard at it and its a shame Jesse Ventura didn’t run (by this time he would have been waaaay ahead!)

    As an added thought. Whaddyuthink about banning firm pre-convention commitments. Some of the commitments come from a year before the convention! Its lunacy. But, if all delegates come to the election with a preference, not locked in, and the ability to vote for the best candidate, I suspect that lots of things would change (and, under those circumstances, I don’t think Kerry would have won) Just a thought…….

  15. “facile with the tongue?”

    Huh? Are you talking about John Kerry?

  16. Matthew Cromer,

    Really? You have evidence of this? Or this just wishful thinking?

    Yeah, it’s called Occams Razor. No one can prove Bin Laden is alive, including Bin Laden.

    Given all the ways Bin Laden has shown up in the media after tora bora (scratchy voice recordings
    down questionable phone lines tied to 15 year old videos of Bin Laden vacationing along the Black Sea). It all evokes a ‘Shyah, right” response.

    Oh, by the way, in the beginning (about, oh december of 2001) it was pretty much, ME who believed Bin Laden was killed in Tora Bora. But the voices are getting louder- names more prominent that mine (aka Christopher Hitchins). And there are Jihadist elements (Al Qaeda chatter, I believe it’s called) who have basically admitted as much.

    The Bush administration entertain the idea because they need the Threat of Bin Laden(tm) as much as Al Qaeda needs the TOBL(tm).

    Paul

  17. This Viet Nam thing sounds like it could blow up in Kerry’s face. Douglas Brinkley, Kerry’s very friendly biographer is now changing his tune and is saying that a Navy investigation could well doom Kerry’s candidacy. Why is Brinkley being so even handed? One has to think that, anticipating the worst, Brinkley is engaging in some damage control out of concern for his own credibility.

  18. joe,
    Yeah, Kerry has a facile tongue. Tereza told me.

  19. Kerry tries to steer the election towards issues

    Yeah, that explains why Kerry’s been hiding from the media and harping on how he was self-declared war hero 35 years ago — he’s trying to steer the election towards the issues.

    Please. The only issue he cares about is the issue of who’s going to be President in 2004 — and the polls indicate that his solution to that issue doesn’t play well with the public.

    Kerry has got to use Bush’s on-the-record fuckups and lies on terror to destroy his credibility on that issue

    The tiny minority of Americans bitter and rabid enough to interpret Bush’s actions as “lies and fuckups” are already voting for Kerry. Appealing to the Leftie Wingnut Vote isn’t going to win Kerry this election. He’ll have to appeal to the majority of Americans who think Bush hasn’t done a good job, but who don’t ascribe his failures to his Inherent Evilness and Corruption(tm).

    I mean, right now the guy who didn’t read terror reports before 9/11 and hasn’t caught bin Laden is leading on the terror issue

    Because his opponent is a guy who skipped almost every intelligence committee meeting, slashed intelligence agency and military budgets, and opposed allowing the United States to assassinate enemy leaders. Our military is stretched thin and our intelligence-gathering capabilities are pathetic, and it’s all thanks to people like John Kerry. Yeah, Bush, like Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton, didn’t take terrorism seriously enough prior to 9/11. But Kerry devoted his career to fucking the military and the intelligence community in the ass at every available opportunity, and followed that up by offering a completely incoherent strategy for the war on terror.

    All we know about Kerry’s plans is that Bush’s plan sucks. That’s nice, John-John. Now supposing Bush wasn’t around — got a plan then? Or are we just supposed to trust a flip-flopping vote whore with a 30-year history of loathing and contempt for the military and the CIA to come up with a brilliant secret plan to win the war? And then when we’re done, we can dig up Strom Thurmond’s rotting corpse and appoint it head of the Civil Rights Commission. Ted Kennedy can be our designated driver on the way to the cemetary.

  20. David Tomlin-

    I’d also like to see Kerry win the EC while Bush wins the popular vote. The reaction of conservatives would probably be every bit as hypocritical and hilarious as the reaction of liberals.

    However, conservatives might skirt hypocrisy by questioning the validity of Kerry’s victory rather than the validity of the Electoral College. They could always unearth their favorite conspiracy theory and insist that the Democrat only won because of massive voter fraud.

  21. You mean, phony accusatons of civil rights violations like the Democrats did 4 years ago?

  22. Todd Fletcher writes:
    At the DNC for instance, I got sooooo sick of hearing them go on and on and on about terrorism and defense.

    It’s interesting to compare what the parties talked about at their national conventions. It’s true that Republicans focused on terrorism and especially That One Act of Terrorism more than Democrats, which is odd, because it used to be common wisdom that you can’t run on a mistake. The only major domestic issue Republicans mentioned more often than Democrats was taxes. Democrats talked more than Republicans about health care, jobs, and their own candidate. Republicans countered by also talking about the Democrats’ candidate. Neither party cared much about defense, other than assuring the American people that they’d defend America from terrorists – which would be nice, for a change.

    Rob writes:
    Kerry’s Iraq policy remains, essentially, that he’d do what Bush has been doing, just better.

    Well, unless you ask the more rabid wing of Bush supporters, in which case you’ll learn that Kerry plans to abandon Iraq to the Evil Terrorists. In truth he’s proposing to internationalize the effort to keep peace – not that Bush’s policies seem to leave any peace to be kept – and perhaps slightly accelerate handing the power to Iraqis – although it’s difficult to tell, because Bush has left his plans rather vague to say the least.

    In any case, considering how badly the Bush administration has handled the conflict, replacing them with a more competent alternative should be a winning proposition. Even if you’re unsure whether a Kerry administration would be more competent (and you must be a huge pessimist if you doubt it), you ought to try *something* to stop the country from sliding into the hands of insurgents.

    metoo writes:
    What Kerry has been doing is trying to run from his record.

    The Bush campaign, on the other hand, has embraced Bush’s record. Hardly a campaign stop goes by when Mr Bush doesn’t mention how he attacked a country that wasn’t a threat to the US, how the budget deficit has ballooned because of his borrow-and-spend fiscal policies, and how his tax breaks for the wealthy have failed to create jobs. When he lists his proposals for the next four years, he always brings up how he proposed much of the same shit four years ago and has failed to make it a reality despite having a friendly Congress.

  23. “Given the various terror warnings, you’d think that illegal aliens who were captured crossing from Mexico and who are from terrorist nations would NOT be released into the community on their own recognizance to await their deportation hearing.”

    That’s the problem with laws that don’t distinguish between terrorists and peaceful migrants – the people who enforce the laws tend not to distinguish between terrorists and peaceful migrants.

  24. I hope Bush ‘wins’ the popular vote, and Kerry is chosen by the electoral college. I can’t wait to see how ‘will of the people’ liberals react to that.

  25. “Kerry’s problem is he illustrates how one can be facile with the tongue and still be a dim bulb.”

    Didn’t Teresa say that once?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.