The PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR PEOPLE AND THE PRESS ISSUED A SURVEY REPORT this evening titled “Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even.”
It seems that the controversy over Bush’s National Guard service has taken its toll.
The report starts:
Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry.
However, polling this past week finds that Bush’s edge over his Democratic rival has eroded. Reflecting this new volatility in the race, the size of the swing vote has increased slightly since the summer, rather than contracting as it typically does as the election approaches.
Other findings of the survey included:
— Slightly more voters think that President Bush did not meet all of his service obligations while in the National Guard than say he did (43% vs. 33%). But only about a quarter (26%) say it bothers them.
— John Edwards’ favorable ratings have declined from 58% in August to 49% and he runs about even with Dick Cheney in a match-up of vice-presidential running mates (46% Edwards/44% Cheney).
— The questions surrounding Bush and Kerry’s service during the Vietnam war have drawn much more attention from committed voters than swing voters. Fewer than one-in-five swing voters are following either story very closely.
— More than half of all voters and 64% of swing voters agree with the statement: “It’s not clear what George W. Bush is going to do about Iraq if he is reelected.”
— This month’s tragedy at a Russian school, during which scores of children were killed by Chechen separatists, has drawn wide attention in the U.S. About the same number followed the school tragedy very closely as followed the opening of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
This is the first good news I’ve seen for John Kerry’s campaign for weeks. The report is worth reading in full.
— Steve Clemons