President Bush, John Kerry Still Close in Key Battleground States

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 24, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush, John Kerry Still Close in Key Battleground States

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 24, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush and likely Democratic nominee John Kerry are still locked in a tight battle in several key battleground states. While national polls show a close race between the two — with some giving the president an edge and others showing Kerry with a slight lead — polls in key states show the electoral college battle is close as well.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Bush and Kerry fighting for a lead in Pennsylvania, a state Al Gore won by only 4 percent in 2000.

Kerry had the support of 44 percent while Bush had 43 percent and independent candidate Ralph Nader, who backs abortion, tallied 7 percent. The one-point lead for the Massachusetts senator is within the margin of error.

In May, Kerry led by three points, 44 to 41 percent, while Bush had a small lead in April, also according to Quinnipiac polls.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a state Al Gore won by 16 percent in 2000, pro-abortion candidate John Kerry has only a 6 percent lead.

Kerry polls 46 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll while Bush has 40 percent and Nader has 7 percent. In May, Kerry led the president 46 to 43 percent.

Clay Richards, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, told the Associated Press that Kerry is not doing as well as he should be in the northeastern state.

"There’s a combination of things hurting Kerry,” Richards told AP. "His own image problems, Nader and terrorism. There’s still a lot of people who feel more protected under Bush than they would under Kerry."

Florida, home of the contentious post-election battle, is still a key battleground state. A new Zogby International poll shows Bush has taken the lead from Kerry there.

President Bush now has a 4 point lead in the state, leading Kerry 50 to 46. Backing for Kerry dropped by 3.4 percent since early June, while support for Bush increased by 2.4 percent.

Florida’s 27 electoral votes decided the 2000 presidential election, after weeks of recounts and court injunctions concluded in a 537-vote victory for Bush over Democrat Al Gore

In Missouri, according to the Zogby poll, Bush holds a one point lead, 48-47, over Kerry. Bush won the state and its 11 electoral votes in 2000.

Though no Republican has won the state of Minnesota since 1972, the Zogby poll shows Kerry with only a 4 percent lead over President Bush in the northern state. Support for Kerry dropped from the last poll and support for Bush increased.

In North Carolina, Bush holds a 5 percentage point lead over Kerry, with a 47 to 42 percent advantage. When Nader is thrown into the mix, the lead increases to 7 percent. Bush carried the state in 2000.