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Battleground August 2004
August 26, 2004

WASHINGTON, D. C. –The most recent George Washington University Battleground 2004 Poll continues to show an intensely divided electorate. The aided Presidential ballot stands at 49% for Kerry and 47% for Bush. This survey finds fully 84% of “likely” voters have made a “definite” choice for President with 43% definitely voting for Kerry and 41% definitely voting for Bush.

Despite being deep into a highly polarized campaign, both candidates for President enjoy favorable ratings above 50%. For Kerry, 54% of voters hold a favorable view of him. Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters hold an favorable view of Bush.

On the handling of key issues, voters believe that Bush would do a better job dealing with Iraq (53%-41%), holding the line on taxes (53%-37%), and safeguarding America from a terrorist threat (54%-37%). Voters believe Kerry would do a better job making prescription drugs affordable (55%-31%), improving education (49%-43%), strengthening Social Security (51%-37%), and creating jobs (51%-40%). Voters deadlock on the issues of holding down federal spending and keeping America prosperous.

On personal qualities, voters believe that Bush better represents the qualities of strong leader (53%-41%), is honest and trustworthy (47%-42%), says what he believes (53%-40%), and steady, consistent leader (54%-40%). Voters believe that Kerry better represents the qualities of cares about people like me (48%-42%) and will lead our country in the right direction (50%-46%).

This high level of voter intensity in this election is also seen in the already high level of campaign activities. Fully 85% of the electorate has seen at least one political ad on TV or on the radio in the last week. More than two-fifths (44%) of the electorate reports having already received phone calls, mail, or personal contact from political campaigns or party organizations.

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said, “With ten weeks remaining in the 2004 Presidential Election, the campaign remains an extremely tight and polarized race. The current political environment could make voter intensity and voter turnout the final determinants of which candidate will win on Election Day.”

Looking to the November election, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said, “This is a serious situation for the Bush campaign. He is currently trailing Kerry and at no point in any of our 2004 Battleground Polls has Bush broken 50% on the aided ballot.”

This bipartisan GW-Battleground 2004 poll surveyed one thousand registered likely voters nationwide and yields a margin of error of + 3.1%.

The George Washington University is the sponsor of the “2004 Battleground Poll,” a highly regarded, bi-partisan election survey conducted by top polling firms Lake Snell Perry and Associates and The Tarrance Group. GW’s role in the Battleground Polls is guided by the University’s Graduate School of Political Management. The University was also recently recognized as the “Hottest School for Political Junkies” in the 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek How to Get Into College Guide for the second time in three years.

For more information about the poll, please contact Daniel Gotoff at Lake Snell Perry & Associates at (202) 776-9066 or e-mail Daniel at dgotoff@LakeResearch.com.

Democratic Strategic Analysis by Celinda Lake

Republican Strategic Analysis by Ed Goeas

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