by Steven Ertelt
October 7, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush’s performance in the first presidential debate erased the solid lead he had nationwide and in polls in key battleground states. A slew of new polls released Thursday shows the president and Democratic nominee John Kerry neck and neck.
Nationwide, the latest poll by Reuters/Zogby, put Bush and Kerry at a statistical dead heat. President Bush was just two points ahead of his challenger with 46 to 44%. The poll of 1,217 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9%. A crucial 8% remain undecided.
Another poll by New York’s Marist College had Bush favored by 49 percent of likely voters to 46 percent for Kerry, with Ralph Nader at 1 percent. A September poll had Bush leading 50 to 44 percent.
However, Kerry’s stronger performance in the first debate has put him in a better position in key states.
Kerry has taken the lead in New Mexico, a state that Gore won by a slim margin in 2000. According to a poll by Research and Polling Inc. published in the Albuquerque Journal, Kerry leads by a 46 to 43 percent margin. Bush had a three percent lead last month.
A poll conducted by American Research Group with likely voters in New Hampshire shows Kerry has pulled even with the president. Kerry and Bush are now tied at 47 percent each after a previous poll gave Bush a two point advantage.
Meanwhile, a News 8/Patriot News poll in Pennsylvania shows Kerry now with a six point lead after Bush led by two percent in a late September survey.
Kerry now holds a 54 to 43 percent lead in Washington, where Bush was threatening to take away a state Gore won in 2000. Kerry’s lead there was as small as 5 percent last month.
There is still some good news for the president, despite Kerry’s post-debate bounce in the polls.
In Florida, a Mason-Dixon survey of 625 likely Florida voters shows Bush leading his Democratic challenger by 48 to 44 percent. That’s two points better than the 48-46 percent lead he had in the same poll in July.
A Quinnipiac University poll shows Bush ahead in Florida by a 51-44 percent margin.
A recent North Carolina poll continues to show Senator John Edwards failing to capture his home state for Kerry. Bush maintains a 52 to 45 percent lead there.
In New Jersey, a Quinnipiac University poll shows Bush continuing to close the gap on Kerry, in a state Gore won in 2000. Kerry now leads Bush 44 to 42 percent after a 47-43 point lead last month.