Kerry 49%, Bush 48% Among Likely Voters

by David W. Moore

Bush job approval slips to 47%

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush remain in a tight race for the presidency, with Kerry receiving support from 49% of likely voters and Bush 48%, according to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Oct. 9-10. Independent candidate Ralph Nader gets 1% of the vote.

Among registered voters, the two major candidates each receive 48% of the vote, and Nader 1%. These results are virtually identical to those measured last week in a similar poll, when likely voters were evenly divided between the two major candidates at 49% each, and registered voters gave Bush a two-point advantage, 49% to 47%.

Bush Job Approval Slips

An ominous sign for the president is that his overall job approval has dropped to 47%, and his disapproval rating has climbed to 49%. This net negative rating of two points contrasts with the 50% approval to 48% disapproval that Bush received last week, and the 54% to 44% rating he received in a Sep. 24-26 poll, a week prior to the first presidential debate.

Political observers see the 50% approval figure as the dividing point between an incumbent winning or losing the election, though the historical record is unclear about a president with a job approval near 50%. Successful incumbents since 1950 have had job approval ratings of at least 54%, while the ratings of unsuccessful candidates have been 45% or lower.

Consistent with the closeness of the race, 52% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Kerry, compared with 51% for Bush. Americans feel about as favorably toward Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (48%) as they do toward Vice President Dick Cheney (46%), but Cheney's unfavorable rating (46%) is significantly higher than Edwards' (37%).

The rating of Edwards represents a 15-point decline in his net positive score from a Sep. 3-5 poll, when Americans rated him favorably by 56% to 30%. The other three candidates have experienced smaller declines in their net positive ratings since early September -- six points for Bush, two points for Kerry, and four points for Cheney.

Kerry Now Seen as Debate Winner

The latest poll also shows that Americans are more likely to say that Kerry (45%) rather than Bush (30%) won the second presidential debate held last Friday evening in St. Louis, with the rest making no choice (including 10% who said it was a tie, and 14% who expressed no opinion). Among respondents in the current poll who said they watched the debate, Kerry wins by 51% to 34%. These results contrast with a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of debate watchers conducted immediately after the debate on Oct. 8, which found viewers almost evenly divided, 47% to 45% in favor of Kerry.

A similar ballooning of Kerry's margin was found after the first debate on Sept. 30. The immediate post-debate poll found Kerry the winner among debate viewers by 53% to 37%. The subsequent poll of all Americans in the next three days found Kerry's margin surging, with 57% saying he did better, compared with only 25% who said Bush did better. And among people in the follow-up poll who said they had watched the debate, Kerry won by 64% to 27%.

These results suggest that the Kerry campaign won the "spin" contest that follows the debate -- the efforts by each campaign to characterize their own candidate as the winner. Among debate watchers, the spin boost for Kerry's margin was 21 points after the first debate and 15 points after the second one.

Given the perceptions of Kerry's success so far, a majority of Americans, 54%, expect that Kerry will also win the next debate, while 36% expect that Bush will.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Oct. 9-10, 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.

For results based on the 484 national adults in the Form A half-sample and 531 national adults in the Form B half-sample, the maximum margins of sampling error are ±5 percentage points.

Results based on likely voters are based on the subsample of 793 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 55% of national adults. The likely voter sample is weighted down to match this assumption.

For results based on the sample of 941 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

2. Now, suppose that the presidential election were being held today, and it included John Kerry and John Edwards as the Democratic candidates, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as the Republican candidates, and Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo as independent candidates. Would you vote for -- [ROTATED: Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, Bush and Cheney, the Republicans, (or) Nader and Camejo, the independent candidates]?

2A. As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, Bush and Cheney, the Republicans (or) Nader and Camejo, the independents]?

 

 

Kerry-
Edwards

Bush-
Cheney

Nader-
Camejo

OTHER
(vol.)

NONE (vol.)

No
opinion

Likely Voters

%

%

%

%

%

%

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

49

48

1

*

*

2

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

49

49

1

1

*

*

2004 Sep 24-26

44

52

3

--

*

1

2004 Sep 13-15 †

40

54

3

2

*

1

2004 Sep 3-5

45

52

1

--

*

2

2004 Aug 23-25

46

48

4

*

*

2

2004 Aug 9-11

46

48

3

*

1

2

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

45

51

2

*

1

1

2004 Jul 19-21

47

46

4

*

1

2

2004 Jul 8-11 ‡

50

45

2

*

1

2

2004 Jun 21-23

47

48

3

*

*

2

2004 Jun 3-6

49

43

5

1

*

2

2004 May 21-23

47

46

4

*

1

2

2004 May 7-9

45

47

5

--

2

1

2004 May 2-4

47

47

3

*

1

2

2004 Apr 16-18

44

50

4

*

*

2

2004 Apr 5-8

43

47

4

1

2

3

2004 Mar 26-28

45

49

4

--

1

1

2004 Mar 5-7

50

44

2

1

1

2

             

Registered Voters

           

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

48

48

1

*

1

2

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

47

49

1

1

1

1

2004 Sep 24-26

42

53

3

--

1

1

2004 Sep 13-15 †

42

50

4

2

1

1

2004 Sep 3-5

46

48

4

--

1

1

2004 Aug 23-25

46

46

4

*

1

3

2004 Aug 9-11

45

46

5

*

1

3

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

47

48

2

*

1

2

2004 Jul 19-21

47

43

5

*

2

3

2004 Jul 8-11 ‡

50

42

4

*

1

3

2004 Jun 21-23

46

45

6

1

*

2

2004 Jun 3-6

45

42

7

1

1

4

2004 May 21-23

46

44

6

*

1

3

2004 May 7-9

46

41

7

*

3

3

2004 May 2-4

44

45

6

1

1

3

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 Oct 9-10 ^

48

46

2

*

1

3

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

46

49

1

1

2

1

2004 Sep 24-26

42

52

3

--

1

2

2004 Sep 13-15 †

41

49

4

2

2

2

2004 Sep 3-5

45

49

4

--

1

1

2004 Aug 23-25

46

45

5

*

2

2

2004 Aug 9-11

45

45

5

*

2

3

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

48

45

3

*

2

2

2004 Jul 19-21

47

43

5

*

2

3

2004 Jul 8-11 ‡

49

41

5

*

2

3

2004 Jun 21-23

45

45

6

1

1

2

2004 Jun 3-6

44

42

8

1

2

3

2004 May 21-23

46

42

6

1

2

3

2004 May 7-9

46

41

8

*

3

2

2004 May 2-4

44

44

7

1

1

3

2004 Apr 16-18

43

46

7

*

1

3

2004 Apr 5-8

45

45

5

1

2

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%

^

Beginning with October 1-3, 2004 poll, Nader/Camejo support is based only on residents from states where Nader was on the presidential ballot at the time the poll was released. In states where Nader was not on the ballot at the time of release, Nader voters' choice for president if Nader is not on the ballot (Q.3/3A) was substituted for their Nader vote.

Minor party candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), David Cobb (Green), and Michael Peroutka (Constitution) also included, put into "other" category for trend purposes.

Vice Presidential candidates Edwards, Cheney, and Camejo added beginning with the July 8-11, 2004 survey.

 

October 1-3, 9-10 polls:

Nader voters in AZ, CA, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, MA, MO, NC, OH, OK, OR, TX, VA had their Nader votes substituted for choice if Nader not on ballot from Q3/3A.

3. (Asked of Nader voters) If Ralph Nader is not on the ballot in your state on Election Day, would you vote for -- [ROTATED: Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats (or) Bush and Cheney, the Republicans]?

3A. As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats (or) Bush and Cheney, the Republicans]?

Re-calculated two-candidate race: (Q.2/2A/3/3A)

 

 

Kerry- Edwards

Bush- Cheney

OTHER
(vol.)

NEITHER (vol.)

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

Likely Voters

         

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

50

48

*

*

2

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

49

49

1

1

*

2004 Sep 24-26

44

52

--

1

3

2004 Sep 13-15

42

55

*

1

2

2004 Sep 3-5

45

52

*

1

2

2004 Aug 23-25

47

50

--

1

2

2004 Aug 9-11

47

50

*

1

2

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

47

51

*

*

2

2004 Jul 19-21

49

47

*

2

2

2004 Jul 8-11 †

50

46

*

2

2

2004 Jun 21-23

48

49

*

1

2

2003 Jun 3-6

50

44

1

2

3

2004 May 21-23

49

47

*

1

3

2004 May 7-9

47

48

1

2

2

2004 May 2-4

49

48

*

1

2

2004 Apr 16-18

46

51

*

2

1

2004 Apr 5-8

45

48

1

4

2

2004 Mar 26-28

47

51

--

1

1

2004 Mar 5-7

52

44

1

2

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 Oct 9-10 ^

48

48

1

1

2

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

48

49

1

1

1

2004 Sep 24-26

41

54

--

2

3

2004 Sep 13-15

44

52

*

2

2

2004 Sep 3-5

48

49

*

2

1

2004 Aug 23-25

48

47

--

2

3

2004 Aug 9-11

47

48

1

2

2

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

48

48

*

1

3

2004 Jul 19-21

49

45

*

3

3

2004 Jul 8-11 †

51

44

*

2

3

2004 Jun 21-23

49

45

1

2

3

2004 Jun 3-6

49

44

*

3

4

2004 May 21-23

48

46

*

2

4

2004 May 7-9

50

44

*

3

3

2004 May 2-4

47

47

1

2

3

2004 Apr 16-18

46

50

*

2

2

2004 Apr 5-8

48

46

1

3

3

2004 Mar 26-28

46

49

*

2

3

2004 Mar 5-7

50

45

1

2

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

1

2

2

         

 

National Adults

         

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

48

47

*

2

3

2004 Oct 1-3 ^

47

49

1

2

1

2004 Sep 24-26

42

53

--

2

3

2004 Sep 13-15

45

51

*

2

2

2004 Sep 3-5

47

49

*

2

2

2004 Aug 23-25

48

47

--

3

2

2004 Aug 9-11

47

47

1

2

3

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

50

46

*

1

3

2004 Jul 19-21

48

46

*

3

3

2004 Jul 8-11 †

51

43

*

3

3

2004 Jun 21-23

48

46

1

2

3

2004 Jun 3-6

48

44

*

4

4

2004 May 21-23

48

44

*

4

4

2004 May 7-9

51

43

*

3

3

2004 May 2-4

47

46

1

3

3

2004 Apr 16-18

46

49

1

2

2

2004 Apr 5-8

46

47

1

3

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

1

2

2

(vol.) Volunteered response

* Less than 0.5%

^

Beginning with the October 1-3, 2004 survey, the two-way ballot is based on the re-calculated three-way ballot, asking Nader voters who they would vote for if Nader was not included on the ballot.

Prior to that, all respondents were asked for their choice between Bush and Kerry: "Now, suppose that the presidential election were being held today, and it included John Kerry and John Edwards as the Democratic candidates and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as the Republican candidates. Would you vote for -- [ROTATED: John Kerry and John Edwards, the Democrats (or) George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the Republicans]? As of today, do you lean more toward -- [ROTATED: Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats (or) Bush and Cheney, the Republicans]?"

Vice Presidential candidates Edwards and Cheney added beginning with the July 8-11, 2004 survey.

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

 

 


Approve

Dis-approve


No
opinion

 

%

%

%

2004

     

2004 Oct 9-10

47

49

4

       

2004 Oct 1-3

50

48

2

2004 Sep 24-26

54

44

2

2004 Sep 13-15

52

45

3

2004 Sep 3-5

52

46

2

2004 Aug 23-25

49

47

4

2004 Aug 9-11

51

46

3

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

48

49

3

2004 Jul 19-21

49

47

4

2004 Jul 8-11

47

49

4

2004 Jun 21-23

48

49

3

2004 Jun 3-6

49

49

2

2004 May 21-23

47

49

4

2004 May 7-9

46

51

3

2004 May 2-4

49

48

3

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

7. 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... [ITEMS A-B READ, THEN ITEMS C-D ROTATED]

A. George W. Bush

 

 

Favor-able

Unfavorable

No opinion

 

%

%

%

2004

     

2004 Oct 9-10

51

46

3

       

2004 Oct 1-3

53

45

2

2004 Sep 13-15^

55

44

1

2004 Sep 3-5

55

44

1

2004 Aug 23-25

54

44

2

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

52

46

2

2004 Jul 19-21

52

46

2

2004 Jul 8-11

52

46

2

2004 Jun 21-23

53

45

2

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

*

B. John Kerry

 


Favorable

Unfavorable

Never
heard of

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

2004 Oct 9-10

52

44

*

4

         

2004 Oct 1-3

52

43

1

4

2004 Sep 13-15 ^

51

44

*

5

2004 Sep 3-5

53

43

*

4

2004 Aug 23-25

52

40

1

7

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

57

37

1

5

2004 Jul 19-21

55

37

2

6

2004 Jul 8-11

56

34

2

8

2004 Jun 21-23

58

35

2

5

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

* Less than 0.5%

C. Dick Cheney

 

 


Favorable


Unfavorable

Never
heard of

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

2004 Oct 9-10

46

46

2

6

         

2004 Sep 3-5

48

44

2

6

2004 Aug 23-25 ^

44

45

2

9

2004 Jul 19-21 ^

47

43

2

8

2004 Jul 8-11

46

42

3

9

2004 Feb 16-17

45

42

3

10

2003 Oct 24-26

55

33

3

9

2003 Sep 19-21

54

36

3

7

2003 Jun 27-29 ^

54

34

3

9

2003 Jan 31-Feb 2

61

28

2

9

2002 Sep 23-26

65

24

4

7

2002 Jul 26-28

57

30

3

10

2002 Jan 11-14

67

20

3

10

2001 Apr 20-22

64

22

3

11

2001 Mar 5-7

63

18

5

14

2001 Jan 15-16

61

23

5

11

2000 Dec 15-17

61

23

6

10

2000 Dec 2-4

58

23

8

11

2000 Nov 13-15

51

22

9

18

2000 Nov 13-15

53

22

8

17

2000 Sep 15-17

46

24

8

22

2000 Aug 18-19

54

21

5

20

2000 Aug 4-5

48

21

9

22

2000 Jul 25-26

51

14

12

23

^ Asked of a half sample.

D. John Edwards

 


Favorable

Unfavorable

Never
heard of

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2004 Oct 9-10

48

37

6

9

         

2004 Sep 3-5

56

30

3

11

2004 Aug 23-25 ^

52

28

4

16

2004 Jul 30-Aug 1

59

27

3

11

2004 Jul 19-21 ^

52

26

5

17

2004 Jul 8-11

55

24

6

15

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

54

21

10

15

2004 Jan 2-5 †

24

24

27

25

2003 Nov 10-12 †

22

18

37

23

^

Asked of a half sample.

30. Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the better job in last Friday's debate -- [ROTATED: John Kerry (or) George W. Bush]?

BASED ON 484 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A

 

 



Kerry



Bush


NEITHER (vol.)

BOTH EQUALLY (vol.)


No
opinion

           

2nd Presidential Debate

         

2004 Oct 9-10

45%

30

1

10

14

           

1st Presidential Debate

         

2004 Oct 1-3

57%

25

1

5

12

(vol.) Volunteered response

Get Articles in Related Topics:


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