Bush Ahead in Gallup – CNN – USA Today Poll

Drudge reports that President Bush leads Senator Kerry 50-47 (a statistical dead heat) in the latest Gallup poll, commissioned by CNN and USA Today. I’ve checked the USA Today and CNN sites and, so far, the poll isn’t posted.

Drudge offers the following transcript from CNN’s “Late Edition Primetime”

WOLF: we’re also getting new information, the first new poll numbers since the democratic convention. they’re coming in right now and they’re showing an apparent difference between registered voters and likely voters. here to explain exactly what’s going on our senior political analyst bill schneider. bill, this is the latest cnn/””usa today””/gallup poll. these are numbers that were completely taken, this poll since john kerry’s acceptance speech. i want to show our viewers what the numbers show so far. among registered voters, this is important, registered voters, john kerry is now at 50% compared to george w. bush at 47%. you see what it was before the convention, 49/45 in favor of kerry. among likely voters, though, take a look at this. a difference, likely voters, 50% for bush, 47% for kerry. a reversal, the margin of error, though, 3% in this poll you see. well, first of all, explain the difference between registered and likely voters.

SCHNEIDER: wolf, about three-quarters of americans are registered to vote but in the presidential election typically only about half or a little bit over half will turn out to vote. so what the gallup poll does is screen people according to their interests, their intention to vote, their enthusiasm and screen out the 50% who in the typical presidential election are likely to vote. so, if this election is a typical presidential election, the likely voters show a slight lead for bush but if turnout is higher than that, and we get more registered voters actually voting that should help kerry.

WOLF: what do these numbers say about the so-called bounce out of this democratic convention?

SCHNEIDER: no bounce and that’s striking. they show there might have been a very brief bounce, not a bounce but a blip i’d call it among people interviewed on friday after the convention kerry was ahead by five points. we continued to interview on saturday and those people — bush moved into a slight lead of two points. we will continue to interview people but this looks like the shortest bounce on record.

Combined with Newsweek numbers that show Kerry getting only a four point bounce–in a poll that has always been an outlyer this election cycle, seemingly oversampling Democrats–and Zogby showing no bounce at all, this is striking indeed.

UPDATE (1500): Steven Taylor has located the actual poll online:

USA TodayPoll: No boost for Kerry after convention

The Democratic National Convention boosted voters’ perceptions of John Kerry’s leadership on critical issues, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds. But it failed to give him the expected bump in the head-to-head race against President Bush. In the survey, taken Friday and Saturday, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and John Edwards trailed the Republican ticket of Bush and Dick Cheney 50% to 46% among likely voters, with independent candidate Ralph Nader at 2%. Before the convention, the two were essentially tied, with Kerry at 47%, Bush at 46%.

The change in support was within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points in the sample of 763 likely voters. But it was nonetheless a stunning result, the first time in the Gallup Poll since the 1972 Democratic convention that a candidate seemed to lose ground at his convention. USA TODAY extended its survey Sunday night and tonight to get a fuller picture of what’s happening with the electorate.

A Newsweek survey taken Thursday and Friday showed the Democrats with a lead of 49% to 42%, a four-point bounce compared with a poll taken three weeks earlier — the smallest in the history of the Newsweek poll.

Analysts say the lack of a boost for Kerry may reflect the intensely polarized contest. Nearly nine of 10 voters say in the survey that they are confident they won’t change their mind between now and the Nov. 2 election. That leaves little room for a candidate to gain support even when major events occur.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I can’t believe there are no comments here yet. Where are the usual spin merchants?

  2. bryan says:

    I think everyone’s burned out by the DNC convention.

  3. McGehee says:

    Or its aftermath…

  4. Rachel Lidbeck says:

    The DNC was so scripted, it was boring. Very difficult to watch it and stay awake for any length of time. The speakers were not very relational or compelling. To be blunt, they don’t seem like the kind of people I would seek out for friends.