President Bush Now Leads John Kerry Despite John Edwards Pick

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

President Bush Now Leads John Kerry Despite John Edwards Pick

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 9, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Likely Democratic nominee John Kerry may have thought he was going to carve into President Bush’s base with Southern voters by selecting North Carolina Senator John Edwards as his running mate. However, a new poll, conducted in part after the selection, shows President Bush has turned an even race into a four point lead.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press and the Ipsos-Public Affairs polling center shows Bush now has a 49 to 45 percent lead over the pro-abortion Massachusetts senator. Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who also backs abortion, has three percent.

Bush’s lead comes outside of the 3.5 percent margin of error and is a change from an AP poll a month ago showing the two presidential candidates tied at 45 percent apiece. Nader’s support dropped from seven percent in the last poll.

The three-day long survey started on Monday, but was also conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, after Kerry had selected the multimillionaire trial lawyer as his vice-presidential running mate.

When asked about the tickets of Bush-Cheney versus Kerry-Edwards, as opposed to asking only of the presidential candidates, the registered voters AP polled supported Bush over Kerry by a 50-46 percentage point margin.

That’s a change from a month ago when the AP poll found a hypothetical Kerry-Edwards ticket leading Bush-Cheney 47 to 44 percent.

However, the poll also found that Kerry has solidified his supporters. The percentage of Kerry backers who say they definitely will vote for him increased from 55 to 64 percent.

The president continues to fare well in state polls conducted in key battleground states.

Despite losing Pennsylvania by 5 points in 2000, Bush is tied with Kerry there. In Arizona, Bush leads by 12, in Missouri he leads by a small percent, in Nevada he is up by 3 percent, Bush leads Ohio by 4 percent, in West Virginia Bush holds a 6 point lead, and he is up by 4 percent in Wisconsin.

However, Kerry also does well in some states that could decide the election.

Polls in Florida range from a Bush lead of 4.2 percent to a Kerry lead of five percent, showing the state is a tossup. Kerry has a small lead in Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota, all states that went for Gore in 2000. Should Bush win any of these states, he will likely do well nationwide.

Kerry also has a small lead in New Hampshire, a state Bush won in 2000.