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Battleground Week I Tracker
September 21, 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 Bush and 45% for Kerry. This survey finds fully 80% of "likely" voters have made a "definite" choice for President. Coming out of the Republican convention, Bush enjoys a slight advantage over these highly intense supporters - 43% of "likely" voters are "definitely" voting for Bush and 37% of "likely" voters are "definitely" voting for Kerry.

It appears the past few weeks of the campaign have had a negative impact on the image of Senator Kerry. Forty-nine percent (49%) of likely voters hold a favorable view of him. This represents a six-point decrease in his favorable score since the last Battleground in August.

On the handling of key issues, voters believe that Bush would do a better job safeguarding America from a terrorist threat (58%-33%), dealing with Iraq (55%-37%), and keeping America prosperous (48%-44%). Voters believe Kerry would do a better job creating jobs (48%-42%).

On personal qualities, voters believe that Bush better represents the qualities of strong leader (56%-35%) and shares your values (49%-43%). Voters believe that Kerry better represents the quality of representing middle class values (48%-43%).

On key issues, the top concerns of voters continue to be the War in Iraq/terrorism (40%) and the economy/health care (30%).

The Democratic Party enjoys a slight advantage on the generic Congressional ballot (45%-41%) and voters continue to be concerned about the direction of the country - 53% say the country on the wrong track and 41% say the country is headed in the right direction.

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said, "While the overall numbers still indicate a very intense, close race - the underlying data would indicate that George W. Bush has gained a strategic advantage."

Looking to the November election, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said, "With the voters' focus returning to their concerns about the war in Iraq, and problems here at home, the Presidential race is back to a dead heat. The data indicates this race is historically close, with Kerry remaining strong on key domestic issues."

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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