Zogby Poll: Dead Heat
“Race for President Falls Back into Dead Heat, New Zogby Interactive Presidential Battleground Poll Reveals” (Zogby)
The race for President of the United States continued to tighten during the last two weeks, as President Bush continued his long, hard slog back toward parity with Democratic challenger John Kerry, throwing the race into a virtual dead heat, the latest package of polls by Zogby Interactive shows.
Based on individual polls conducted simultaneously Sept. 13-17 in 20 battleground states, neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Kerry holds a clear-cut lead in enough states to win the Electoral College votes required to capture the White House. HereÃ¢€™s the latest chart:
Two states remain too close to call: Florida (no surprise) and Arkansas, home to former President Clinton, who has recently generated sympathy with his successful quadruple bypass surgery and headlines with his emergence as a chief advisor to Mr. Kerry, fielding strategic questions from his New York City hospital bed. Arkansas, with 6 electoral votes, had been in the pocket of Mr. Bush, who won it four years ago. By itself, it is unimportant in the presidential election. However, paired with one other small state, it could make all the difference in the world. Because the race is so close this year, every little state matters. Undecided Florida and Arkansas together comprise 33 votes. Missouri and Nevada have moved from the undecided category into the Bush camp since the last polling, done two weeks ago. Colorado also moved, albeit slightly, from the Kerry column to the Bush column, where it resided in the election four years ago.
The Electoral College count compiled in this report assumes that the 30 states not included in the package of surveys would go to the candidate of the party they supported in the 2000 election. Under this assumption, Mr. Bush begins with a base of 142 votes, compared to 172 for Mr. Kerry. In the 20 states in the polls, 224 Electoral College votes are up for grabs. Each state poll contains its own margin of error, as stated at the bottom of each state chart.
Zogby has a fine track record in recent years and shouldn’t be discounted. Still, I’m skeptical of results that seem to be an outlyer. I am particularly dubious of results showing Kerry with a real chance to win Arkansas, which has only gone to a Democrat in recent years in races with an Arkansan heading up the ticket.