Daily Poll Roundup: Bush 260, Kerry 238

The head-to-head polls out today diverge substantially, with WaPo showing Bush up 6 and AP showing Kerry up 3 (and, surprisingly, calling it a “tie”). The state polls and resultant Electoral College maps, however, are leaning back toward the president after a few days of trending Kerry.

RealClear Politics has it at Bush 227 – Kerry 189, with Michigan moving out of the Kerry column and into toss-up limbo. Indeed, RCP’s last five state updates have moved in the toss-up direction, with four Kerry states and one Bush state moving into contention:

10/21: MI – Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 – Kerry 189)
10/20: NH – Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 – Kerry 206)
10/19: MN – Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 – Kerry 210)
10/18: FL – Leaning Bush >> Toss Up (Bush 227 – Kerry 220)
10/17: PA – Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 254 – Kerry 220)

Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio still being toss-ups this late in the game is just stunning.

Slate’s Election Scorecard has it Bush 271, Kerry 267. And that’s giving Kerry Ohio and Pennsylvania and Bush Florida. So, Bush could win even losing 2/3 of the key states.

Big lift for Bush in this morning’s polls. He’s safer in West Virginia, he’s in better position to take Ohio, he’s in good position to take New Hampshire, and he has taken Wisconsin outright. He loses one electoral vote in Maine, but the 10 from Wisconsin bump him up from 261 to 271, giving him the election.

Wisconsin is, of course, home to the famous Lambert Field.

You want close? How about 267-267? So says Electoral-Vote.com, which gives Bush Florida and Wisconsin and Kerry Pennsylvania and Ohio. He issues a huge caveat, though:

The seesaw keeps going up and down. Yesterday, Bush was ahead in Ohio and behind in Florida. Today he is behind in Ohio and ahead in Florida. A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll in Florida puts Bush a whisker ahead there, 45% to 43% among registered voters and 48% to 47% among Quinnipiac’s idea of likely voters, both well within the margin of error. A new Gallup poll in Ohio puts Kerry ahead there, 50% to 44 among registered voters, but only ahead 48% to 47% among those people Gallup considers likely voters. Given that the presidency is likely to be determined by a few thousand Florida and Ohio voters, it is somehow hard to imagine that vast numbers of registered voters in those two states are going to sit this one out though. The electoral college is now tied at 264 votes each, with Minnesota being an exact tie. It is going to be a real squeaker. Every vote is going to count in a large number of states this time.

Dale’s Electoral College Update adds in new polls from Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, North Dakota, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Montana. He puts it at Bush 227, Kerry 186 including only “safe” states and Bush 276, Kerry 228 when leaners are added.

OTB Average of Averages: Bush 260.25, Kerry 237.75 (or 260-238 if you prefer your Electors whole). Granted, the methodology is a bit dubious since it includes three projections that include leaners and one that doesn’t, but it does have the advantage of aggregating the outliers. (I include only those with updates in the last day, so the projections included in the average will not be constant.)

Two new head-to-head polls came in overnight as well. WaPo’s daily tracking poll has a Bush surge, to 51-45.

AP Poll: Bush, Kerry in Dead Heat (AP)

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are locked in a tie for the popular vote, according to an Associated Press poll, while a chunk of voters vacillate between their desire for change and their doubts about the alternative. Bush’s strength continues to be a perception by many voters that he is better qualified to protect the country, though his advantage on that has dwindled in recent weeks. A majority consider Kerry indecisive, less solid on national security. Kerry’s strengths are Bush’s weaknesses — most voters believe the country is on the wrong track and disapprove of the incumbent’s handling of the economy, domestic affairs and Iraq. The result is deadlock. In the survey of 976 likely voters, Democrats Kerry and Sen. John Edwards had 49 percent, compared to 46 percent for Republicans Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. That’s within the margin of error for the poll conducted Oct. 18-20.

Very interesting: A 3 point Kerry advantage is reported as a tie. That’s a fair way to interpret the margin of error, although not the most accurate reading of the poll.

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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. Paul says:

    “Very interesting: A 3 point Kerry advantage is reported as a tie. That’s a fair way to interpret the margin of error, although not the most accurate reading of the poll. ”

    AP Knows they are the outlier.

  2. Bill says:

    There are going to be a lot a suprised Kerry people come election day when many of the 2000 Blue Gore States go Red. How can any Democrat spin or explain how close such strongholds like WI,PA,MI,& NJ are so close or in the case of IA already lost? This is most likely only a MSM fabricated close race.