Poll: Bush-Kerry Dead Heat in Michigan

Bush, Kerry In Dead Heat In Latest Michigan US Pres Poll (AP) [link not yet available]

The U.S. presidential race in Michigan has tightened again, with Democratic candidate Sen John Kerry, D-Mass, back in a near-tie with President Bush, according to a poll released Tuesday. In the poll, commissioned by the newsletter Inside Michigan Politics and conducted by Marketing Resource Group of Lansing, 45% of the 600 registered voters polled said they back Kerry, while 43% back Bush. Independent candidate Ralph Nader gets 1% and 11% are undecided. The poll was conducted Sept. 20-24 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“It shows some movement by Bush in the last couple of weeks,” Inside Michigan Politics editor Bill Ballenger said. “I would have thought Bush would be getting killed right now … but he’s not.”

A poll conducted Sept. 15-19 by Lansing-based EPIC/MRA had Kerry at 48% and Bush at 44%, with Nader getting 2% and 6% undecided.


(via e-mail tip from Barry Ritholtz)

Update (1131): I’ve found a linked story via GoogleNews:

Worried Michigan voters haven’t found their man, polls show (M-Live)

Heading into their first debate Thursday, neither President Bush nor U.S. Sen. John Kerry has made a convincing argument for Michigan voters despite dozens of appearances and millions in TV ad spending. A poll released Tuesday by Marketing Resource Group of Lansing finds Kerry and Bush essentially tied. The 45-43 percent Kerry lead is within the poll’s 4 percent margin of error. The survey mirrors a Sept. 15-19 poll by the Lansing firm EPIC-MRA that showed Kerry’s lead also within the margin of error.

Paul King, pollster for Marketing Resource Group, said the data show neither candidate has completed the sale yet with the election less than five weeks away. “You don’t see a groundswell of support for either,” he said. “That shows the support for either side may be a mile wide and an inch thick.”

Broken down by region, the MRG poll saw neither candidate breaking 50 percent in any part of the state. Bush is leading Kerry 47-40 percent in West Michigan despite repeated stops in the region from Traverse City to Niles since May. Likewise Kerry is leading Bush by 49-40 percent in metropolitan Detroit, a traditional Democratic stronghold.

Intriguing. Certainly, if Bush pulls out Michigan, he’ll win the election. Michigan was a Republican stronghold for years, going to the GOP in 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1988. It has gone Democratic, though, in the last three elections.

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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. BigFire says:

    Isn’t Michigan a gimme state for Kerry. Now he has to spend money to fight off Bush.

  2. Todd says:

    Living in Michigan, I have been shocked to see the ad buy that KE’04 has run with. As a commentor prior to me pointed out, Michigan should be a no-brainer for KE’04.

    This morning, in the span of 20 minutes, there were easily 6 ads from KE’04 alone on the same channel during the same morning news program (local broadcast in SE Michigan).

    I’m buggered to come up with another reason as to the size of the buy if it is not the President’s polling numbers. KE’04 should be yanking money out of Michigan at this time of the campaign. Rather, Michigan is yanking money from other “battleground” states in the KE’04 strategery.

    So with all that, we Michiganders are blessed with both campaigns’……..er, aggressive advertising.

    Gads, I love this!


  3. Gee, you’re so lucky, Todd.

    Here in Arizona, Kerry has officially stopped running ads, though of course his proxies (Moveon, Soros) continue. So Bush has only been running minimal ads.

    I feel so neglected.

    Oh, I grew up in Dearborn Heights and Livonia. I got sick of shoveling snow.

  4. BigFire says:

    Meanwhile in Southern California, I still see Bush ads in History Channel (one of the few stations I still watch).

  5. Todd says:

    Hey look at that! Live in Michigan these days and not only do you get great political drama unfolding before your very eyes, you also get 4 actual seasons! Snow at no extra charge! =)

    Gary – I grew up in Number 6 (Novi), live in South Lyon with my office in Ann Arbor.