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Newsweek- Breaking to Bush?

In an election where the perception game is as important as anything, stories like this are worth their weight in gold.

Breaking to Bush?
It’s still a statistical dead heat, but a new Newsweek poll gives Bush a boost

Oct. 30 - After months of the tightest presidential election contest in recent memory, a new NEWSWEEK poll suggests momentum may be moving toward President George W. Bush. As the bitter campaign enters its final days, against the eerie backdrop of a surprise appearance by Osama Bin Laden, Bush’s lead is still within the poll’s margin of error, but larger than last week. If the election were held today, 50 percent of likely voters would cast ballots for Bush and 44 percent for the Democrat, Sen. John Kerry. (Ralph Nader would receive 1 percent.) That compares to a Bush lead last week among likely voters of 48 percent to Kerry's 46 percent.

In a two-way trial heat, excluding Nader, Bush/Cheney would defeat Kerry/Edwards 51 percent to 45 percent among likely voters. Last week Bush led 48 to 47 in the two-way contest.

The poll finds the race closer among registered voters. Forty-eight percent of registered voters would vote for Bush and 44 percent would vote for Kerry. One percent would vote for Nader. In a two-way race, 48 percent would vote for Bush/Cheney and 45 percent would vote for Kerry/Edwards. The worse news for Kerry: in the last lap of the race, the number of “persuadables” is falling. Now, 9 percent of registered voters say they haven’t made up
their minds, down from 13 percent last week. And just 6 percent of likely voters say they haven’t decided.

The candidates are still neck and neck. Will the election be too close to call on Tuesday? Tell us what you think. Click here to take our poll.

With a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent (meaning any support number could be up to four points higher or down to four points lower) anything less than a nine-point lead is a statistical dead heat. So to the statisticians and professional pollsters, Bush’s six-point lead is a tie. But for a closely divided electorate, any movement at all in this fiercely fought race looks huge.

This was AFTER the Al Qa Qaa story so it is another big hunk of evidence that the story is helping Bush.

Semi-Update: Over at Steven Taylor's blog I made the following comment,

Ok so the last Newsweek poll (10/21 -10/22 or 3 days before Al Qa Qaa) had Bush +2.

This Newsweek poll (27th thru 29th or days 3,4, and 5 of Al Qa Qaa) have Bush +6 with Bush going up 2 and Kerry down 2.

Margin of error, smargin of error, Kerry went backwards.


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Comments (9)

- Erm...Paul....nothing to ... (Below threshold)

- Erm...Paul....nothing to click?

oh geez! same mistake 2 tim... (Below threshold)
Paul:

oh geez! same mistake 2 times in 2 days. fixed.

must... get... sleep...

The idea that a lead this g... (Below threshold)
Jack:

The idea that a lead this great is a "statistical dead heat" is as false as it is true. That is, the margin of error that is "plus or minus four points" refers to a an interval of two "standard deviations." People talk of two standard deviations as a statistically significant margin because there is a 95 cases out of a hundred -- 95% of the time -- the results will fall within the predicted range. However, a single standard deviation -- two points in this poll -- is correct 50% of the time. So there is a 50% chance that Bush is at least two points ahead of Kerry, and essentially no chance that Kerry is ahead of Bush.

Of course, I'm just a lowly corporate tool, so if any of you statisticians out there think I'm wrong and want to bitch slap me, whack away.

I think the DNC has planted... (Below threshold)
Dan:

I think the DNC has planted a story on these polls and Drudge is running with it here.

Dan I commented on your blo... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Dan I commented on your blog but I'll paste it here as well.

---------------------
Dude, you completely missed what was going on. Drudge indicated it was a Dem polling agency. If you look at the bottom of the press release it says "Paid for by Kerry/Edwards."

It is a political hack poll that is indeed intended to "Keep hope alive" but it did not require your BS detector, it is blatant.

Hey gang, I was at the Repu... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Hey gang, I was at the Republican headquarters in Hackensack, NJ working the telephones today for the Bush campaign(forget NYC, I working in Jersey because Bush has a shot in that state). Guess who paid a surprise visit? The Bush daughters. They are so cool.

I love the selective use of... (Below threshold)
thatcoloredfella:

I love the selective use of polling utilized! It's like Fox on the Internet!

Where are Bush personal numbers? Right/Wrong Track? Independents? Battleground states? You know the significance of the incumbent's 50% percent bar?

You know the significanc... (Below threshold)

You know the significance of the incumbent's 50% percent bar?

We know what the pundits tell us the significance is -- but them folks don't have much credibility anymore.

I still say Bush 52-47.... (Below threshold)

I still say Bush 52-47.

This election is a referendum on the GWOT. We know where voters stand on that.

There's a good chance Bush will take IA, WI, and MN redering Ohio unimportant. If you ignore the Trib poll and take Zogby with a grain of salt, Bush looks very good in those states.




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