President Bush and John Kerry Tied in Electoral College Race

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush and John Kerry Tied in Electoral College Race

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 10, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The 2000 presidential election underscored the importance of the electoral college as opposed to the popular vote. In an analysis of the potential electoral college vote in 2004, conducted by the Associated Press and based on state-by-state polling data, President Bush and Massachusetts senator John Kerry are tied.

With six months to go before the November election, President Bush holds a lead in 24 states with an electoral vote total of 205 while Kerry holds leads in 14 states and Washington, D.C. also totaling 205 electoral votes.

According to AP, in the remaining states, having 128 electoral votes combined, there is either no reliable recent polling data or the polls show no candidate has a clear advantage.

While many states are locks for either candidates, others are considered tossups.

Kerry holds a lead in battleground states such as Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with 37 electoral votes combined, while Bush is leading in West Virginia and Arizona (with 15 votes total).

New Jersey (15 votes), Colorado (9 votes) and Louisiana (7 votes) are becoming closer races than previously expected.

Going into the 2004 elections, Bush is aided by a change in population.

The states won in 2000 by Al Gore saw a drop in population with the most recent census. As a result, the 267 electoral votes in states Gore won have dropped to 260. Meanwhile, the Bush states gained in population and have more electoral votes as a result.

However, nationally renown pollster John Zogby recently told a group of conservative political leaders that the election is Kerry’s to lose.

"I still think he will win. And if he doesn’t, it will be because he blew it," Zogby said, according to a CNS News article.

Zogby says recent polls show Kerry with an advantage.

A Zogby International poll in mid-April had Kerry leading Bush 47-44 percent. Yet, a more recent AP-Ipsos poll shows Bush ahead by a 46-43 margin and Ralph Nader, an independent candidate, at 7 percent. The Zogby poll shows Bush and Kerry tied in a three-way race.

Zogby said Kerry has an advantage because he leads Bush significantly in terms of voters who will decide their vote based on the national economy. Kerry leads Bush 54-35 percent on economic issues. People who list the war in Iraq as their main concern also favor Kerry by a 57-36 percent margin Zogby shows.

"There are still six months to go and anything can still happen. But as of today, this race is John Kerry’s to lose," Zogby concluded.

But Kerry isn’t helping himself.

A May 1-3 Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows only 38 percent said they had a very positive or somewhat positive view of Kerry, down from 43 percent in a March survey. The same poll shows 49 percent have a positive view of the president.