Bush Leads Every National Poll

At least eight significant polls came out today looking at a three way race between President Bush, Senator Kerry, and Mr. Nader. Bush has a slight lead in seven and a substantial lead in another; Nader’s showing is negligible across the board, although perhaps significant in a handful of swing states. The RealClear Politics average, which I’ve long maintained is the best indicator, has it Bush 49.0, Kerry 45.0, and Nader 1.7.

The constituent polls:

    Rasmussen has it 48-46 with President Bush garnering 213 solid Electoral Votes to 194 for Senator Kerry.

    The Washington Post tracking poll shows Bush up 50-46.

    Gallup-USA Today has Bush up 50-44 among likely voters but only 46-49 among registered voters.

    Zogby‘s tracking poll has it 46-44.

    CBS: 48-45.

    Newsweek: 48-46 (“too close to call”) among registered voters but 50-44 among likely voters.

    Time: 48-47

    TIPP: 48-45.

Of course, as we saw in 2000, this is a series of state elections rather than a national one. While Bush also maintains a slight lead in the prominent electoral vote projections, Kerry has some encouraging news as well. Most analysts continue to believe that whoever takes two states from Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will win the election. Kerry currently maintains a slight lead in Pennysylvania and Ohio with Bush maintaining and edge in Florida. It’s conceivable that Bush could win even without Ohio or Pennsylvania–indeed, he’s leading without them right now–but he’d have to win essentially every state where he’s got even a slight lead for that to happen. Winning Ohio–which he had led until the debates–and holding Florida would virtually assure him the election.

Update: Fixed RCP average to show Kerry at 45 rather than 47.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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:

    My Magic 8-Ball® says to wait and see how things look a week from now in Ohio.

  2. Paul says:

    “has it Bush 49.0, Kerry 47.0, and Nader 1.7. ”

    psst I think you meant to type Kerry 45

    Never make a typo in Kerry’s favor- It makes me nervous.

  3. Dean Esmay says:

    Yeesh. Newsweek is such trash. Their numbers fluctuate so wildly it’s ridiculous. I just automatically ignore their numbers these days.

    RCP’s averages are nice but keep in mind they keep two, one that averages ALL polls and another on the battleground states that just averages a handful of the most reliable ones. The latter is more meanignful, because there are a lot of trash polls out there and only a few really reputable polling outfits–Mason-Dixon, Zogby, Gallup, and a few others.

    The state-by-state polls matter most of course but historically it is extremely rare for someone to win the popular vote but not the electoral college, so it’s your best general indicator of where things are swinging. It’s much like the fact that the team that scores the most runs usually wins the World Series, although occasionally they don’t.

    Mind you, you knew that, but I wanted to point it out anyway. 😉

  4. paladin says:

    I think the Dems are getting desperate – first they try to scare young people and their moms with the draft canard, then they try to scare blacks with the canard that their votes are being suppressed, now they’re falling back on the Dem classic of scaring old people with the “January Surprise” bit about privatizing Social Security. Sheesh – like GWB could just wave a magic wand and make it so. Pathetic.

  5. Bithead says:

    I would argue though that the issue of who won that last debate would seem to have been answered.

    Think; Going into the debate, they were by all accounts, tied. Early returnsthat night, showed Bush pulling ahead, and more recent returns confirmed and expanded this movement, to the point where now he’s up in every national poll.

    Should I expect the NYT to report this anytime soon?

  6. Mike says:

    I think I’ll wait for the main poll on 02NOV04.