Poll: John Kerry Loses Ground to President Bush After Democratic Event

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: John Kerry Loses Ground to President Bush After Democratic Event

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 1, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — They say there’s no sure thing in politics. However, a party’s presidential candidate is supposed to receive a bounce in the polls after the national convention. Yet, a new national poll shows Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry losing ground to President Bush.

A Gallup poll sponsored by USA Today and CNN reveals that the Democratic convention failed to give John Kerry the temporary bump in the polls he expected. The survey showed Kerry and John Edwards behind President Bush and Dick Cheney 50 to 46 percent among likely voters.

A similar poll taken just before the convention had Kerry in the lead 47 to 46 percent.

The poll did find voters’ perceptions of Kerry on key leadership and election issues improving and it was within the poll’s 4-point margin of error. However, it is the first Gallup poll since 1972 showing a presidential candidate losing popular support in the wake of his political convention.

"Clearly there is no convention bounce for Kerry," Gallup said in a statement accompanying the results.

Among registered voters, Kerry holds a 50 to 47 percent advantage, but polls of likely voters are normally better predictors of the outcome.

If independent candidate Ralph Nader is included in the vote tally, Bush continues to lead Kerry by four points among likely voters. Among registered voters, with Nader in the race, Bush and Kerry tie at 47 percent apiece.

A survey taken by Newsweek seemed to confirm the lack of a convention bounce.

Taken Thursday and Friday, the poll found Kerry and Edwards with a 49 to 42 percent lead over the president. That puts Kerry only four percentage points higher than he was in a pre-convention poll Newsweek conducted weeks ago and is the smallest convention bounce ever measured by a Newsweek poll.

Gallup representatives told USA Today that they plan to lengthen the survey through Sunday to determine why Kerry lost ground during the convention.

According to Gallup, "an analysis of convention bounces since 1950 shows that on average, among registered voters, the Democratic candidate received approximately a seven-point increase in support following the convention."

After Democratic conventions, the Republican candidate normally loses about five percentage points, Gallup said.