Little Change in Presidential Contest

by David W. Moore

Bush approval still at 52%

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Despite a spate of high-profile political events in the past week and a half -- President George W. Bush's nationally televised press conference, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission, and media appearances by Richard Clarke, the author of a new book criticizing the Bush administration for its handling of the war on terrorism -- a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey finds little change in the presidential contest. Among likely voters, Bush continues to enjoy a slight lead over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, as he has since the end of March. Also, Bush's job approval rating as well as the favorable ratings of both Bush and Kerry are all essentially the same as they were three weeks ago.

The poll, conducted April 16-18, shows Bush leading Kerry among likely voters, 51% to 46%. In an April 5-8 poll, Bush's lead was three points, while he had a four-point lead in a March 26-28 poll. In the past three weeks, the figures have fluctuated within a small range, suggesting no real change in the preferences of American voters over that time.

Presidential Preference Among Likely Voters
(Nader not included)

The same conclusion can be drawn by looking at the results of a voting choice question that includes independent Ralph Nader. In the current poll, Bush leads Kerry by six points, 50% to 44%. In the early April poll, Bush led by four points, as he did in the poll at the end of March.

Presidential Preference Among Likely Voters
(Nader included)

An analysis of vote preferences by how people voted in 2000 shows that Bush leads 62% to 33% in the "red" states (where he won in 2000 by more than five percentage points), but trails 57% to 41% in the "blue" states (won by former Vice President Al Gore by more than five percentage points). In the "purple" or competitive states (where the margins of victory were five percentage points or less), Bush and Kerry are tied at 49% of the vote each.

Support for Candidates Among Likely Voters
Compared by States Won in 2000

(Nader not included)
April 16-18, 2004

When Nader is included in the matchup, Bush receives 47% of the vote in the competitive states, Kerry 45%, and Nader 6%. These results suggest that Nader's candidacy is more likely to hurt Kerry's chances of winning the election than Bush's chances.

Support for Candidates Among Likely Voters
Compared by States Won in 2000

(Nader included)
April 16-18, 2004

Approval and Favorable Ratings Remain Steady

Another indication that little has changed politically in the past three weeks is that Bush's job rating has remained in the low 50% range, and his and Kerry's favorable ratings are essentially unchanged as well.

Bush's approval has fluctuated within a narrow range since the middle of January, from a low of 49% to a high of 53%, suggesting no significant change in the public's evaluation of the job Bush is doing over this three-month period.

Bush Approval Ratings -- 2004

Similarly, Bush's favorable rating has remained within a narrow range during that period, from a low of 52% (at the end of January) to the 56% to 57% level where it is now.

Favorability Ratings of Bush and Kerry

When Kerry first emerged as a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in late January, his favorable rating was at 61%. But as the Bush re-election campaign criticized Kerry, the senator's rating slipped. Today, at 54%, it is just about the same as Bush's rating (56%). Kerry's unfavorable rating moved up at the end of March, coincident with an effort by the Bush campaign to define Kerry negatively through speeches and advertisements. Since that time, Kerry's unfavorable rating has remained the same.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 16-18, 2004. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Results based on likely voters are based on the subsample of 767 survey respondents deemed most likely to vote in the November 2004 general election, according to a series of questions measuring current voting intentions and past voting behavior. For results based on the total sample of likely voters, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. The likely voter model assumes a turnout of 50% of national adults, consistent with recent presidential elections. The likely voter sample is weighted down to match this assumption.

2. If Massachusetts Senator John Kerry were the Democratic Party's candidate and George W. Bush were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for -- [ROTATED: John Kerry, the Democrat (or) George W. Bush, the Republican]?

2A. As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: Kerry, the Democrat (or) Bush, the Republican]?

 


Kerry


Bush

NEITHER (vol.)

OTHER
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Likely Voters

2004 Apr 16-18

46

51

2

*

1

2004 Apr 5-8

45

48

4

1

2

2004 Mar 26-28

47

51

1

--

1

2004 Mar 5-7

52

44

2

1

1

2004 Feb 16-17

55

43

1

*

1

2004 Feb 6-8

48

49

1

*

2

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

53

46

*

--

1

2004 Jan 9-11

43

55

1

*

1

Registered Voters

2004 Apr 16-18

46

50

2

*

2

2004 Apr 5-8

48

46

3

1

3

2004 Mar 26-28

46

49

2

*

3

2004 Mar 5-7

50

45

2

1

2

2004 Feb 16-17

51

46

2

*

1

2004 Feb 6-8

49

48

1

*

2

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

51

46

1

--

2

2004 Jan 9-11

40

57

2

--

1

2003 Nov 10-12

46

52

1

--

1

2003 Sep 19-21

48

47

2

1

2

National Adults

2004 Apr 16-18

46

49

2

1

2

2004 Apr 5-8

46

47

3

1

3

2004 Mar 26-28

46

48

3

*

3

2004 Mar 5-7

50

45

3

*

2

2004 Feb 16-17

51

44

3

*

2

2004 Feb 6-8

48

48

2

*

2

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

52

44

2

--

2

2004 Jan 9-11

40

57

2

--

1

2003 Nov 10-12

44

53

1

--

2

2003 Sep 19-21

47

48

2

1

2

(Vol.) Volunteered response

* Less than 0.5%



3. Now suppose Ralph Nader runs as an independent candidate, who would you be most likely to vote for -- [ROTATED: Kerry, the Democrat, Bush, the Republican,(or) Nader, the independent]?

3A. As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: Kerry, the Democrat, Bush, the Republican,(or) Nader, the independent]?

 


Kerry


Bush


Nader

NONE (vol.)

OTHER
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

%

Likely Voters

2004 Apr 16-18

44

50

4

*

*

2

2004 Apr 5-8

43

47

4

2

1

3

2004 Mar 26-28

45

49

4

1

--

1

2004 Mar 5-7

50

44

2

1

1

2

Registered Voters

2004 Apr 16-18

44

47

5

1

*

3

2004 Apr 5-8

46

45

5

2

*

2

2004 Mar 26-28

43

48

5

1

--

3

2004 Mar 5-7

47

45

5

1

*

2

National Adults

2004 Apr 16-18

43

46

7

1

*

3

2004 Apr 5-8

45

45

5

2

1

2

2004 Mar 26-28

44

46

7

1

--

2

2004 Mar 5-7

47

44

5

1

1

2

(Vol.) Volunteered response

* Less than 0.5%



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

 

 

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

%

%

%

2004

2004 Apr 16-18

52

45

3

2004 Apr 5-8

52

45

3

2004 Mar 26-28

53

44

3

2004 Mar 8-11

50

47

3

2004 Mar 5-7

49

48

3

2004 Feb 16-17

51

46

3

2004 Feb 9-12

51

46

3

2004 Feb 6-8

52

44

4

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

49

48

3

2004 Jan 12-15

53

44

3

2004 Jan 9-11

59

38

3

2004 Jan 2-5

60

35

5

2003

2003 Dec 15-16

63

34

3

2003 Dec 11-14

56

41

3

2003 Dec 5-7

55

43

2

2003 Nov 14-16

50

47

3

2003 Nov 10-12

51

45

4

2003 Nov 3-5

54

43

3

2003 Oct 24-26

53

42

5

2003 Oct 10-12

56

40

4

2003 Oct 6-8

55

42

3

2003 Sep 19-21

50

47

3

2003 Sep 8-10

52

43

5

2003 Aug 25-26

59

37

4

2003 Aug 4-6

60

36

4

2003 Jul 25-27

58

38

4

2003 Jul 18-20

59

38

3

2003 Jul 7-9

62

34

4

2003 Jun 27-29

61

36

3

2003 Jun 12-15

63

33

4

2003 Jun 9-10

62

34

4

2003 May 30-Jun 1

64

32

4

2003 May 19-21

66

30

4

2003 May 5-7

69

28

3

2003 Apr 22-23

70

26

4

2003 Apr 14-16

71

24

5

2003 Apr 7-9

69

26

5

2003 Apr 5-6

70

27

3

2003 Mar 29-30

71

26

3

2003 Mar 24-25

69

27

4

2003 Mar 22-23

71

25

4

2003 Mar 14-15

58

38

4

2003 Mar 3-5

57

37

6

2003 Feb 24-26

57

37

6

2003 Feb 17-19

58

37

5

2003 Feb 7-9

61

34

5

2003 Feb 3-6

59

35

6

2003 Jan 31-Feb 2

61

35

4

2003 Jan 23-25

60

36

4

2003 Jan 20-22

58

36

6

2003 Jan 13-16

61

34

5

2003 Jan 10-12

58

37

5

2003 Jan 3-5

63

32

5

2002

2002 Dec 19-22

61

32

7

2002 Dec 16-17

63

33

4

2002 Dec 9-10

63

32

5

2002 Dec 5-8

64

29

7

2002 Nov 22-24

65

28

7

2002 Nov 11-14

66

26

8

2002 Nov 8-10

68

27

5

2002 Oct 31-Nov 3

63

29

8

2002 Oct 21-22

67

28

5

2002 Oct 14-17

62

31

7

2002 Oct 3-6

67

28

5

2002 Sep 23-26

68

26

6

2002 Sep 20-22

66

30

4

2002 Sep 13-16

70

26

4

2002 Sep 5-8

66

30

4

2002 Sep 2-4

66

29

5

2002 Aug 19-21

65

28

7

2002 Aug 5-8

68

26

6

2002 Jul 29-31

71

23

6

2002 Jul 26-28

69

26

5

2002 Jul 22-24

69

24

7

2002 Jul 9-11

73

21

6

2002 Jul 5-8

76

18

6

2002 Jun 28-30

76

19

5

2002 Jun 21-23

73

21

6

2002 Jun 17-19

74

20

6

2002 Jun 7-8

74

18

8

2002 Jun 3-6

70

23

7

2002 May 28-29

77

17

6

2002 May 20-22

76

17

7

2002 May 6-9

76

19

5

2002 Apr 29-May 1

77

20

3

2002 Apr 22-24

77

17

6

2002 Apr 8-11

75

20

5

2002 Apr 5-7

76

19

5

2002 Mar 22-24

79

17

4

2002 Mar 18-20

79

16

5

2002 Mar 8-9

80

14

6

2002 Mar 4-7

77

18

5

2002 Mar 1-3

81

14

5

2002 Feb 8-10

82

14

4

2002 Feb 4-6

82

14

4

2002 Jan 25-27

84

13

3

2002 Jan 11-14

83

13

4

2002 Jan 7-9

84

12

4

2001

2001 Dec 14-16

86

11

3

2001 Dec 6-9

86

10

4

2001 Nov 26-27

87

8

5

2001 Nov 8-11

87

9

4

2001 Nov 2-4

87

9

4

2001 Oct 19-21

88

9

3

2001 Oct 11-14

89

8

3

2001 Oct 5-6

87

10

3

2001 Sep 21-22

90

6

4

2001 Sep 14-15

86

10

4

2001 Sep 7-10

51

39

10

2001 Aug 24-26

55

36

9

2001 Aug 16-19

57

34

9

2001 Aug 10-12

57

35

8

2001 Aug 3-5

55

35

10

2001 Jul 19-22

56

33

11

2001 Jul 10-11

57

35

8

2001 Jun 28-Jul 1

52

34

14

2001 Jun 11-17

55

33

12

2001 Jun 8-10

55

35

10

2001 May 18-20

56

36

8

2001 May 10-14

56

31

13

2001 May 7-9

53

33

14

2001 Apr 20-22

62

29

9

2001 Apr 6-8

59

30

11

2001 Mar 26-28

53

29

18

2001 Mar 9-11

58

29

13

2001 Mar 5-7

63

22

15

2001 Feb 19-21

62

21

17

2001 Feb 9-11

57

25

18

2001 Feb 1-4

57

25

18



6. Next, we'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them. First, ... How about... [ITEM A READ FIRST, THEN ITEMS B-D ROTATED, ITEM E READ LAST]

A. George W. Bush

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Never heard of

No opinion

%

%

%

%

2004 Apr 16-18

56

42

--

2

2004 Mar 26-28

57

41

--

2

2004 Feb 16-17

56

42

--

2

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

52

47

--

1

2004 Jan 2-5

65

35

--

*

2003 Oct 6-8

60

39

--

1

2003 Jun 27-29

65

34

--

1

2003 Jun 9-10

66

33

--

1

2003 Jan 31-Feb 2

68

32

--

*

2002 Dec 16-17

68

30

--

2

2002 Sep 23-26

70

28

--

2

2002 Jul 26-28

71

26

--

3

2002 May 20-22

80

18

--

2

2002 Apr 29-May 1

79

19

--

2

2002 Jan 11-14

83

15

--

2

2001 Nov 26-27

87

11

--

2

2001 Aug 3-5

60

35

1

4

2001 Jun 8-10

62

36

*

2

2001 Apr 20-22

65

32

0

3

2001 Mar 9-11

63

32

0

5

2001 Mar 5-7

69

28

*

3

2001 Feb 19-21

67

27

*

6

2001 Feb 1-4

64

33

*

3

2001 Jan 15-16

62

36

*

2

2000 Dec 15-17

59

36

1

4

2000 Dec 2-4

56

40

*

4

2000 Nov 13-15

53

43

*

4

2000 Nov 4-5 ^

55

39

*

6

2000 Oct 24-26 ^

62

33

*

5

2000 Oct 23-25 ^

60

35

*

5

2000 Oct 20-22 ^

59

37

*

4

2000 Oct 5-7 ^

58

36

*

6

2000 Sep 28-30 ^

55

38

0

7

2000 Sep 15-17^

51

41

1

7

2000 Aug 18-19

60

34

*

6

2000 Aug 4-5

67

28

*

5

2000 Jul 25-26

63

31

*

6

2000 Jul 14-16

64

29

*

7

2000 Jun 23-25

60

31

0

9

2000 Jun 6-7

64

29

0

7

2000 Apr 28-30

61

33

*

6

2000 Mar 10-12

63

32

*

5

2000 Feb 25-27

57

35

1

7

2000 Feb 20-21

58

35

*

7

2000 Feb 4-6

63

31

0

6

2000 Jan 17-19

66

26

*

8

1999 Dec 9-12

68

25

1

6

1999 Oct 21-24

71

21

1

7

1999 Oct 8-10

70

25

1

4

1999 Sept 23-26

71

22

1

6

1999 Aug 16-18

68

21

1

10

1999 June 25-27

69

16

4

11

1999 Apr 13-14

73

15

3

9

1999 Feb 19-21

69

12

5

14

^ Based on registered voters

* Less than 0.5%



Q.6 CONTINUED

B. John Kerry

 


Favorable


Unfavorable

Never
heard of

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2004 Apr 16-18

54

37

3

6

2004 Mar 26-28

53

36

3

8

2004 Feb 16-17

60

26

4

10

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

61

23

6

10

2004 Jan 2-5 ^

31

32

19

18

2003 Nov 10-12 ^

31

24

26

19

2002 Dec 16-17 ^

31

13

32

24

1999 Feb 19-21 ^

30

9

39

22

^

WORDING: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry



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