by Steven Ertelt
October 23, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With just over one week to go in the presidential race, President Bush is surprising John Kerry in a few states that Al Gore won in 2000 with polls show him taking the lead. Meanwhile, the battles in key battleground states continue with polls showing the race extremely tight.
Nationwide, a Time magazine poll saw President Bush increasing his lead to a 51 to 46 percent margin. Bush also leads 47-45 percent in the latest Reuters Zogby three-day tracking poll ending Friday. He had an identical lead the previous day.
According to the Zogby poll, Kerry continues to struggle with women voters despite abortion advocates spending millions of dollars on television advertising touting his pro-abortion position.
The Zogby tracking poll showed Kerry ahead by only three points among likely women voters, 48 per cent to 45 per cent, while Bush led among independents 44 per cent to 41 per cent.
Looking to the top battleground states, Kerry is closing the gap in Ohio. A new Survey USA poll shows Kerry with a 49 to 47 percent advantage over the president while a Scripps poll shows Kerry with a 4 percent lead.
Bush carried Ohio’s 21 electoral votes in 2000, with 50 per cent of the vote. The state has supported the eventual president in every election since 1964.
In Florida, Bush’s lead is slipping and he now holds a tenuous lead over Kerry while Kerry has had a lead in each of the last seven polls in Pennsylvania.
Surprisingly, Bush is faring well in states Gore won in 2000. This could cause Kerry problems and prevent him from winning the election, even if he wins in battleground states like Ohio or Florida.
The latest New Jersey poll shows the president behind Senator Kerry by just one percent, 44 to 43. President Bush now holds leads in Iowa (51 to 45), New Mexico (49 to 44) and Wisconsin (50 to 44).
Meanwhile, Bush now has a 43.3 to 42.6 percent lead in Hawaii, according to a new Honolulu Advertiser poll.
The latest polls show Bush keeping states he won last time such as Missouri, Nevada, West Virginia and Colorado and Kerry holding on to Gore states such as Michigan, Maine, Oregon and Washington.
What does all this mean?
The previous conventional wisdom has been that either candidate must win two of the three biggest battleground states (Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania) to win the election.
However, because Bush maybe be able to pick off three Gore states, totaling 22 electoral votes, that would be enough to offset a loss in either Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Should Bush pick off Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico, retain Florida, and lose only New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Ohio, he will win a 277 to 261 electoral vote majority.