Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Collateral Damage

The new Pew poll is out with the following findings:

George W. Bush has reopened a significant lead over challenger John Kerry over the past week, even as voters express less confidence in the president on Iraq and he continues to trail Kerry on the economy. Two successive nationwide surveys of nearly 1,000 registered voters each show Bush's margin over Kerry growing steadily since mid-September (Sept. 11-14), when the two men were tied at 46%-46%. Bush's slight 45%-42% advantage in the Sept. 17-21 survey has grown to 48%-40% in the current poll (Sept. 22-26).

The poll finds that Bush's gains in support are being driven more by perceptions of Kerry's weakness - especially on leadership and other personal traits - than by improved opinions of Bush. Fewer voters favor Bush over Kerry on handling Iraq than did so earlier this month (46% now, 52% Sept. 11-13). But Kerry's rating in the head-to-head evaluation on Iraq is no higher (38% now, 40% then).

The Democratic challenger continues to inspire more confidence than Bush with regard to improving the economy, which 60% of Americans believe is in only fair or poor shape. But even here, the percentage favoring Kerry has not increased since the Sept. 11-13 survey (46% now, 47% then).

Despite Bush's lukewarm evaluations on the issues, he maintains a significant advantage on most personal traits. Kerry has slipped slightly on some key personal assessments, including honesty and empathy. Overall, 32% of voters say the phrase "honest and truthful" better describes Kerry than Bush, down from 36% a few weeks ago (Sept. 11-13). Bush's rating in that period is unchanged at 41%.

It's interesting that personal evaluations of Kerry have slipped in the past few weeks. I wonder if Kerry paid an indirect price for the Rathergate/memo forgeries.


Anonymous said...
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Palooka said...

Dang, what "anonymous" say?

Yes Rathergate hurt him, but it could have also boosted Bush more than it hurt Kerry. Any damage that the AWOL baloney already caused good have been ameliorated a bit. Especially to the casual observer of politics, who really had only a temporary opinion.

More than that, I hope it's because Kerry's "wrong war" rhetoric. I'm not one too get nuanced to death. But, honestly, my head spins when I try to reconcile all of his statements. It's crazy. Bush may be at a slight disadvantage because he doesn't know which John Kerry he's going to be facing Thursday.

MWS said...

I find it utterly bizaare and depressing that people find Bush more trustworthy than Kerry despite the fact that they seem to realize he lied on virtually everything relating to the Iraq war. I guess the lesson is, if you are going to screw up, screw up big time, obfuscate and refuse to admit any mistakes.

Palooka said...


Please. The whole "Bush lied" mantra is a bit tired, don't you think?

Every major intelligence agency thought Saddam had WMD. Did they all lie,too?