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dude1394
04-19-2004, 08:12 PM
Hit me with your best shot, why don't you hit me with your best shot...Even with Iraq going to heck in a hand-basket the American People would rather be led by a straight-talking texan than a flip-flopping liberal from Massachusetts. If Kerry can't make hay after this, then when will he?


Bush Holds Advantages Over Kerry, Poll Shows
Washington Post, by Richard Morin and Dan Balz

President Bush holds significant advantages over John F. Kerry in public perceptions of who is best equipped to deal with Iraq and the war on terror and has reduced the advantages his Democratic challenger held last month on many domestic issues, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

Max Power
04-20-2004, 08:36 AM
By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
Updated: 11:21 p.m. ET April 19, 2004

President Bush holds significant advantages over John F. Kerry in public perceptions of who is better equipped to deal with Iraq and the war on terrorism, and he has reduced the advantages his Democratic challenger held last month on many domestic issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

The poll also found that Iraq and the war on terrorism have surged in importance, and rank with the economy and jobs as top voting issues. Despite signs of concern among Americans about the violence in Iraq, the poll showed Bush's approval ratings holding steady and Kerry's slipping on a variety of issues and attributes.

By 49 percent to 44 percent, Bush is viewed as better able to deal with the country's biggest problems. Five weeks ago, those numbers were reversed. By comfortable margins, voters see Bush as stronger than Kerry on key national security issues.

On the economy, Bush has erased Kerry's 12-point edge and is tied with the senator from Massachusetts on who can better deal with the country's economic problems.

In a matchup, Bush holds a lead of 48 percent to 43 percent over Kerry among registered voters, with independent Ralph Nader at 6 percent. In early March, shortly after he effectively wrapped up the Democratic nomination, Kerry led Bush by 48 percent to 44 percent.

Bush's improved political standing has come during a difficult period for the president. Nearly 100 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq this month, more than in any month since major combat ended last year, and Bush faces growing criticism that he does not have a plan to stabilize the country.


'A close horse race'
At the same time, the independent commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has heard testimony from former Bush White House counterterrorism head Richard A. Clarke that Bush ignored the threat of terrorism during the first eight months of his presidency.

During the past five weeks, however, Bush's reelection campaign has spent about $50 million on television ads, many of them critical of Kerry. At the same time, Kerry has been less visible than he was during the heat of the Democratic primaries and has struggled to get out his message over the volume of news about Iraq and terrorism.

Tad Devine, a top Kerry adviser, said he questions the Post-ABC News poll's findings.

"That's not the way we see the race at all," he said. "We see a close horse race where, if anything, Kerry may have a small advantage or tied. We see the Iraq issue as one that is hurting the president right now, not helping."

Matthew Dowd, senior strategist for Bush's campaign, disagreed. Dowd said the findings underscore the depth of Bush's support, despite bad news from Iraq and Kerry's inability to convince voters that he has an acceptable alternative to Bush's policies.

Asked how much Bush's advertising has affected the race, he said: "Some. Probably less than some consultants say it does but more than the Kerry people say." Dowd said external events have had a greater impact on the race.

Nearly half of Americans rank the situation in Iraq or the war on terrorism as their biggest concerns this election year. About one in four singled out Iraq as their most important voting issue, more than double the proportion who expressed a similar view five weeks ago. Almost as many said the war on terrorism is the issue that will determine their vote, also up from last month.

At the same time, the proportion who said the economy and jobs are most important dropped by 10 percentage points, to 26 percent, in the wake of data that suggest the economy is growing and beginning to create large numbers of jobs.

Despite increased uncertainty in Iraq and fierce attacks by critics over the way his administration handled the terrorist threat before Sept. 11, 2001, the survey found Bush's job approval rating has remained unchanged at 51 percent. That is lower than Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan at this point in their reelection campaign years but higher than the ratings for presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, who went on to lose their reelection bids.


Few Americans ready to abandon Iraq
On specific areas of performance, President Bush's standing with Americans was largely unchanged or up slightly from last month. A slight majority -- 54 percent -- disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy, down from 59 percent in March. About the same proportion disapprove of the way he is handling Iraq, unchanged in the past five weeks. Slightly more than six in 10 continue to approve of the way he is handling the war on terrorism.

While public perceptions of Bush's performance on Iraq have not changed in recent weeks, the survey suggests that Americans remain deeply ambivalent about the war, and the bloody and uncertain peace that has followed.

Barely half say going to war with Iraq was the right thing to do, while nearly as many -- 46 percent -- said it was a mistake. In the past year, the proportion who view the war as a mistake has tripled. Six in 10 say the United States and its coalition allies are "bogged down" in Iraq.

Just over half believe the administration does not have a clear plan to deal with the growing unrest, unchanged from March. Two in three say the number of casualties in Iraq is unacceptable, the highest reading since the war began 13 months ago.

Half say the Middle East is less stable as a consequence of the war, while a third disagree. When asked if the war has left the United States stronger or weaker in the world, slightly more say the United States has lost ground (35 percent) than say its international standing has strengthened (29 percent). The remainder said the war has made no difference.

But few Americans are ready to abandon Iraq. Two in three said the U.S. should stay in Iraq until order is restored, even if it means continued casualties. Only a third favored an immediate withdrawal, unchanged since late last year, while 54 percent said they would support calls from U.S. military leaders to increase the number of troops to deal with unrest in Iraq.

More than six in 10 said the United States should proceed with plans to turn over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, while fewer than one-third said the coalition should delay. But nearly six in 10 said the transfer will be symbolic, at best.

Meanwhile, concerns about the economy have eased slightly in the face of recent positive economic news. More than four in 10 rate the economy as "excellent" or "good," a four-point increase since early March. Still, a majority of Americans -- 57 percent -- said the country was on the "wrong track"; just over four in 10 believe it is headed in the "right direction."

The survey suggests that Bush has not been significantly harmed by the Sept. 11 hearings. A majority of Americans believe he did not do enough to follow up on intelligence signaling the possibility of a terrorist attack before Sept. 11. But 62 percent agreed with the Bush administration that those reports were "too vague" to act on.

The survey found that the public's perceptions of Kerry as a person and as a candidate have dipped significantly in the past five weeks. Fifty-five percent view Bush as honest and trustworthy, similar to his rating in March, but the proportion who view Kerry as honest has dropped 10 percentage points, to 49 percent. Nearly two-thirds see Bush as a strong leader but barely half -- 52 percent -- have that impression of Kerry, down 9 points since March.

Nearly eight in 10 say Bush "takes a position and sticks with it." Four in 10 have that view of Kerry, who is being portrayed by Republicans as a flip-flopper on key issues such as the war in Iraq. The Democratic candidate still holds an edge on who better understands the problems of average people, but even there Kerry's advantage over Bush has dropped from 17 to 10 points.

A total of 1,201 randomly selected adults were interviewed April 15-18 for this telephone survey. Margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Assistant polling director Claudia Deane contributed to this report.

Mavdog
04-20-2004, 09:49 AM
Poll: Bush has lead on Kerry

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush increased his lead over Sen. John Kerry in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Monday, but fewer than half of the respondents said they approved of the way Bush is handling of the war in Iraq.

Bush led Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, 51 percent to 46 percent in the survey of likely voters, which was conducted Friday through Sunday. The survey interviewed 1,003 adults, including a subsample of 767 respondents deemed most likely to vote in November.

When consumer activist Ralph Nader's independent candidacy was factored in, the survey's results were 50 percent for Bush, 44 percent for Kerry and 4 percent for Nader among likely voters.

The previous CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, conducted April 5-8, showed Bush leading Kerry 48 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.

Neither the intensified fighting in Iraq nor the public hearings held by the independent commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks appear to have hurt Bush's overall standing -- in part, the current poll suggests, because Kerry has not convinced Americans of his ability to handle those issues.

With the current survey's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points among likely voters, Bush and Kerry remain locked in a dead heat more than six months before the November election.

A broader survey of registered voters gave the president a 50 percent to 46 percent lead over Kerry in a two-man race. And among all adults, Bush led Kerry 49 percent to 46 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Bush's approval rating held steady in the most recent poll, with 52 percent of those surveyed approving of his performance in office and 45 percent disapproving. The president's handling of terrorism-related issues remained his strongest point in the poll, with adults surveyed approving of his performance, 60 percent to 39 percent.

Forty-six percent approved of Bush's handling of the economy, while 52 percent disapproved -- but those figures were an improvement over the last survey in which 42 percent approved of his economic stewardship.

However, 48 percent said they approved of his handling of the war in Iraq -- a three-point decline from the previous survey -- while 49 percent disapproved.

When asked which candidate would do a good job handling the situation in Iraq as the next president 40 percent backed Bush, 26 percent backed Kerry and 15 percent thought both would do a good job.

A narrow majority, 52 percent, said the war in Iraq was worthwhile, while 46 percent said it was not. That number is down sharply from a year ago, when U.S. troops marched into Baghdad and forced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to flee.

At that time, 76 percent of those surveyed approved of the war. And in mid-December, when Saddam was captured, 65 percent of those polled said the conflict was worthwhile.

Among likely voters, 39 percent said economic issues would be the most important to them in deciding which candidate to vote for, while 28 percent said terrorism and 22 percent named the war in Iraq.

After more than a month of intensive anti-Kerry television commercials by Bush's re-election campaign, 54 percent of voters said they had a favorable impression of the U.S. senator from Massachusetts, and more voters said they thought Kerry would do a better job handling the economy than the president.

After weeks of Bush campaign attacks accusing Kerry of flip-flops on issues, voters were evenly split, 44 percent to 44 percent, over whether the senator "means what he says and says what he means."

On the same question, 56 percent of voters said Bush means what he says, while 42 percent said they disagreed with that statement.

Dooby
04-20-2004, 02:48 PM
Mavdog, how come you didn't play our fun "guess the author" game?

Anyway, about these polls. I think it is clear that Bush is ahead. The lead is real and solid. Consistent in most polls of actual voters. In most polls the lead is about equal to the margin of error.

I think it is also clear that the lead is soft. If Kerry could actually put forth an actual alternative, he could win. The thing is he is operating out of the standard democratic operative playbook, which is 3 campaigns old. Attack-Attack-Attack. Problem is that he isn't shoring up against the inevitable response. Can't talk about openness and not reveal your wife's tax returns. Can't say Bush should reveal all of his military records unless he is willing to do the same. Can't take the time to talk about every stupid detail that gets in the press. He's running around knocking himself off message, which is just nuts. Clinton did the same thing for a while, but he quit doing it.

Mavdog
04-20-2004, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by: Dooby
Mavdog, how come you didn't play our fun "guess the author" game?

too obvious.


Anyway, about these polls. I think it is clear that Bush is ahead. The lead is real and solid. Consistent in most polls of actual voters. In most polls the lead is about equal to the margin of error.

I see a couple of interesting items in the polls:
1) The Nader factor isn't as strong as it started out, it is clear that most voters see a vote for Nader as inconsequential.
2) The support for both is strong with low no. of undecided, odd for this early in the campaign
3) GWBush still leads but has almost as high negative as positive.
4) Kerry has not been effective in getting his message out, he's in trouble if he doen't do better.
5) Support for the troops in Iraq is solid even if the decision to go to war isn't as solidly backed.
6) The economy is a non-factor now but can be a negative as the public is nervous. A bad qtr or two and it can be a big negative.

so the conclusion is that it is GWBush's race to lose. But, the fat lady hasn't sung yet...


I think it is also clear that the lead is soft. If Kerry could actually put forth an actual alternative, he could win. The thing is he is operating out of the standard democratic operative playbook, which is 3 campaigns old. Attack-Attack-Attack. Problem is that he isn't shoring up against the inevitable response. Can't talk about openness and not reveal your wife's tax returns. Can't say Bush should reveal all of his military records unless he is willing to do the same. Can't take the time to talk about every stupid detail that gets in the press. He's running around knocking himself off message, which is just nuts. Clinton did the same thing for a while, but he quit doing it.

Against an incumbent one must attack to overcome the advantage of incumbency. Notr like the Bush campaign has kept their gloves off mind you...

I don't feel that Theesa Heinz's tax returns will be anything that gets traction. She actually is a bright person who has a strong record as a philanthropist (if I had millions of $ I could be a good one too!) Kerry's military records will be reviewed.

I do agree that Kerry has yet to get a focus on the campaign issues that he will pound, partly cuz he still is putting his positions together (hard to do without a team) and second due to the fact we are just in April. With the situation unclear on Iraq and also the economy, its good politicking to wait for the hot issue to reveal itself nearer the election.

Dooby
04-20-2004, 03:12 PM
Actually, one would say that is terrible poiticking. Better to define the campaing and set the agenda yourself (caveat: when possible).

madape
04-20-2004, 03:45 PM
I disagree on the Nader issue being inconsequential. At some point, Kerry is going to have to come out and comdemn the anti-war faction of his party. To these people, Iraq is the #1 issue in this election. In my opinion, they will not vote for someone who promises to keep our troops there. Nader is the only anti-war candidate on the ballot.

The more pro-Iraq Kerry becomes, and he's becoming more and more pro-Iraq every day, the more people will begin to look at Nader as a viable alternate candidate. People will vote for him.

dude1394
04-20-2004, 08:08 PM
5) Support for the troops in Iraq is solid even if the decision to go to war isn't as solidly backed.
6) The economy is a non-factor now but can be a negative as the public is nervous. A bad qtr or two and it can be a big negative.

The last great gasp of the democratic party. Praying for unemployment and american deaths. Because.......

He's got NOTHING to run on but anti-bush. He's going to create 10 million jobs.....How....Hell the only way I see that he can actually, honestly do it is to hire everyone to a government job, which would be fine by him.


I do agree that Kerry has yet to get a focus on the campaign issues that he will pound, partly cuz he still is putting his positions together (hard to do without a team) and second due to the fact we are just in April. With the situation unclear on Iraq and also the economy, its good politicking to wait for the hot issue to reveal itself nearer the election.

I am shocked that you can accept this from your candidate who has been in public office for 20 years!!!!! The problem with kerry is that he IS putting his positions together and has nothing in his gut that he believes in. At least nothing that he's willing to admit to:

- I'm the most liberal senator in the senate.
- I want to raise your taxes dude.
- I want to load up the court with MORE liberal idealogues because we democrats can't get the rest of the stupid country to see that we are right about kyoto, welfare, gas-guzzlers, etc.
- I did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it.

He's toast and it's only your own hate for bush that has you defending him.

dude1394
04-20-2004, 08:11 PM
The problem I see with nader is that he's not a part of the green party and there will be a lot of democratic court battles to get him on the ballot. I don't think he will reach nearly the critical mass he did last year.

Nader Has Qualified Nowhere, Plans to Everywhere
A Reform official says the party is likely to endorse him. And some in the Green Party still want their 2000 nominee atop their ticket again.

dude1394
04-20-2004, 08:22 PM
Another kerry flip-flopping article from the asia times no less.

Flippy (http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,246864,00.html)


WASHINGTON - The Democratic challenger for the United States presidency, Senator John Kerry, has a huge problem. It is called Iraq.
Senator John Kerry speaking to New York students as protesters criticise his confusing stand on the Iraq war. -- AFP
And the problem is largely of his own making.
Back in 1991, Mr Kerry voted against using force to liberate Kuwait after it was invaded by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He believed economic sanctions would compel Saddam to leave.
Instead, then president George Bush assembled a US-led coalition army that drove Saddam out of Kuwait.

More than a decade later, although Saddam had been essentially contained and had not invaded any other nation, Mr Kerry voted for military action by the current President George W. Bush on the grounds that Iraq had developed weapons of mass destruction. Another US-led coalition invaded Iraq last March and deposed Saddam.

Then, perplexing many Americans, Mr Kerry voted against approving US$87 billion (S$147 million) in funds for post-war work in Iraq.

Mr Kerry thus voted against the first Iraq war, for the second one, but against funds to support the second one. As if that record were not bad enough to defend, the presidential contender now argues that since US troops are already in Iraq, they must 'stay the course'. In other words, if Mr Kerry is elected president, US forces will stay in Iraq until the situation has stabilised. This is essentially the same position as that of Mr Bush.

And when Mr Kerry tries desperately to argue that it is not, it tends to reinforce his image as a wishy-washy, flip-flopping liberal.

That is his problem. And he has come under fierce criticism for it, notably by members of his own party.
Campaigning in New York last week, Mr Kerry was greeted with signs demanding 'troops home now', while derisive cries of 'stay the course' were followed by booing and hooting.

At another New York meeting attended by Senator Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats, Mr Kerry endured a tirade of brutal heckling over his inconsistent Iraq policy.
Retired mathematics professor Walter Daum said Mr Kerry's stance was criminal, imperialistic and put him on a par with Mr Bush.
Said Mr Daum: 'I want the Americans out.'
'Yes, and I want the Americans out,' said Mr Kerry.
'No, you don't, you say, 'Stay the course',' said Mr Daum.
'Stay the course of leaving a stable Iraq,' said Mr Kerry.
But that line merely echoed the position of Mr Bush. So why would voters who seek a way out of the Iraq morass want to switch to Mr Kerry in November's presidential election?
This is a question that Mr Kerry has been unable to answer satisfactorily.

And it helps explain why he has made such little headway in the opinion polls against Mr Bush.

Given the bad news that the President has endured over Iraq and the 9/11 hearings, this is a disastrously bad reflection on Mr Kerry's performance.
It bodes ill for his chances in the polls.

The problem for Mr Kerry is that many, including fellow Democrats, increasingly complain that when he says something, they do not know if he means it.
His tortured Iraq policy is a prime example of that.

FLIP
In 1991, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Mr Kerry voted against using force against Saddam Hussein and instead recommended economic sanctions to drive the Iraqi dictator out.

FLOP
In 2002, Mr Kerry had a change of heart. He backed an invasion of Iraq although it had not invaded any country but was believed to be developing weapons of mass destruction.

FLIP
Then in a move that confused many Americans, he voted against disbursing money for post-war operations in Iraq but will let US troops stay in Iraq should he become President.

Sounds like the Asia times has a pretty good ear to the ground.

reeds
04-20-2004, 09:21 PM
I think BUSH is in trouble for two reasons...#1 is simple, he has shot most of his WAD already- meaning he has saturated the radio and TV stations with MILLIONS of dollars in ads already, with all the Air time he has had, his lead should really be much larger than it is now.. #2 IRAQ...the more Americans that die and the longer it take for a peaceful IRAQ, the more Americans are going to say they have had enough...obviously just my honest opinion....

dude1394
04-20-2004, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by: reeds
I think BUSH is in trouble for two reasons...#1 is simple, he has shot most of his WAD already- meaning he has saturated the radio and TV stations with MILLIONS of dollars in ads already, with all the Air time he has had, his lead should really be much larger than it is now.. #2 IRAQ...the more Americans that die and the longer it take for a peaceful IRAQ, the more Americans are going to say they have had enough...obviously just my honest opinion....


Again the "strategy" for the democratic party, more dead americans and failure in iraq. Failure against currently the worst scorge of mankind, islamic terrrosim.

Mavdog
04-21-2004, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by: dude1394

5) Support for the troops in Iraq is solid even if the decision to go to war isn't as solidly backed.
6) The economy is a non-factor now but can be a negative as the public is nervous. A bad qtr or two and it can be a big negative.

The last great gasp of the democratic party. Praying for unemployment and american deaths. Because.......

He's got NOTHING to run on but anti-bush. He's going to create 10 million jobs.....How....Hell the only way I see that he can actually, honestly do it is to hire everyone to a government job, which would be fine by him.

With your viewpoint of politics every out of office party is "praying" for negative occurances, and that just isn't the case. To oppose the conduct of the Bush WH isn't analygous to wishing for bad things to happen.

BTW the size of gov employment has incresed dramactically over the last 3 years.


I do agree that Kerry has yet to get a focus on the campaign issues that he will pound, partly cuz he still is putting his positions together (hard to do without a team) and second due to the fact we are just in April. With the situation unclear on Iraq and also the economy, its good politicking to wait for the hot issue to reveal itself nearer the election.

I am shocked that you can accept this from your candidate who has been in public office for 20 years!!!!! The problem with kerry is that he IS putting his positions together and has nothing in his gut that he believes in. At least nothing that he's willing to admit to:

- I'm the most liberal senator in the senate.
- I want to raise your taxes dude.
- I want to load up the court with MORE liberal idealogues because we democrats can't get the rest of the stupid country to see that we are right about kyoto, welfare, gas-guzzlers, etc.
- I did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it.

He's toast and it's only your own hate for bush that has you defending him.

Physician, heal thyself, that hate you mention is running rampant through your comments, it's just against Kerry.

dude1394
04-21-2004, 09:42 AM
No to be honest MD, I don't believe that. The democratic party has been running away from their liberal label and ties for years. IMHO they should actually split. They are incongruous as a party right now. As much as I despised clintoons personally he was a moderate in many,many ways. Way more moderate than kerry is or will be. Even clinton ran FOR something and not just against bush. Kerry is a man adrift and so is the majority of the democratic party.

I can't figure out what in the world they stand for that isn't eithe patronage, victimhood or more government control over our lives. I just don't see it. If kerry and the folks running the democratic party WERE moderates then they could actually have a hopeful messaage but they don't. It's Anybody But Bush. So they are reduced to hoping for bad news. What is most disheartening to me is that so many folks actually support this party and this man.

Golly geez... I guess I'm questioning his partiotism or something, huh. He IS the most liberal senator in the sentate, he DOES want to raise your taxes, he DOES want to load up the court with even more liberal judges and he DID vote for the 87 billion before he voted against it. I don't hate the guy and it's not Anybody But Kerry, but the man is a career politician who cannont be trusted. He cannot even figuure out what side of an issue he is on.

At least Dean was an honest nut and edwards was honestly wrong. Kerry is just an opportunist at best.

dude1394
04-21-2004, 09:48 AM
With respect to the size of government yes, it's an issue. If there were someone on bush's right in that respect he would be having lots o' problems. But the bottom line with bush is:

- He believes in lower taxes which at the end of the day will be better for everyone.
- The things he HAS raised federal dollars on liberals and dems should love but because of politics they have to rail against the very things they would like. Increased education spending, increased aids spending.
- I do believe that the attacks caused a whole bunch o' governement spending.

But at the end of day he's a pretty conservative guy who believes in accountabilty. I also KNOW where he stands on an issue.

I believe he has taken a very long-term look at how to defeat terrorism. Not contain it, defeat it. And he will use liberty and freedom to do that. It will not be short, but IMHO he will go down as one of our greatest presidents.