Sunday, October 03, 2004


Pre-debate Dispatch poll gives Bush lead

The Dispatch's most recent poll of 2,859 potential voters gives Bush a 51-44 lead with a MoE of 2%. The poll was "conducted" Sept. 22 through Oct. 1. Since the Dispatch does this poll by mail, I assume this means they accepted responses through Oct. 1, so technically this included one post-debate day, but this has got to imply that this poll includes virtually no reflection of the debate.

As always, it must be noted that the Dispatch has a unique polling (via mail) - but historically accurate - methodology. Its last poll from late August showed the candidates in a dead heat.

The Dispatch adds several caveats. The first, of course, is that it captured none of the presumed post-debate bounce for Kerry. More importantly, the newspaper points out that its poll does not capture the sentiments of those who registered to vote since May.

The Dispatch says, "But a crucial dynamic of this year’s campaign is that Kerry has not made the sale with many Ohioans who disapprove of Bush’s performance." At the same time, the editors point out that respondents only give Bush a 50% approval on his handling of Iraz and 48 % approval on the economy.

Obviously, that's the benefit of the debates: The heavy margin that gave the debate win to Kerry undoubtedly went far to make that sale.

The poll also shows that independents break for Kerry 47% to 41% for Bush.


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