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Battleground June 2004
June 29, 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 48% for Bush and 48% for Kerry. In examining the most intense supporters of each candidate, 40% indicate they are "definitely" voting for Bush and 40% indicate they are "definitely" voting for Kerry.

The electorate has a similarly divided view of both Bush and Kerry. For George W. Bush, 51% of voters have a favorable view of him and 47% have an unfavorable view of him. For John Kerry, 51% of votes have a favorable view of him and 43% have an unfavorable view of him.

On key issues, voters continue to be focused on two major subjects - the economy and security concerns, including the war in Iraq. On issue handling, John Kerry has an advantage on creating jobs (49%-42%), while President Bush has an advantage on dealing with Iraq (51%-42%) and safeguarding America from a terrorist threat (55%-36%). The mixed views of voters on these key subjects and the mixed news on these topics persists in leading to divergent results on the usual key predictors about the Presidential election.

Regarding the national economy, voters appear to also have mixed views. Asked to rate the current state of the economy, 37% say "excellent" or "good", 41% say "fair", and 21% say "poor". However, when asked to rate the state of the economy six months from now, 51% say "excellent" or "good", 33% say "fair", and 14% say "poor". But when asked to rate their biggest concern about the economy, 62% select "jobs/unemployment", which is often a lagging indicator of economic growth.

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said, "One of the most encouraging signs in this data is that an improved economy, including one million new jobs created since September, has had a positive impact with voters. In a match-up with John Kerry on the issue of "keeping America prosperous", President Bush has moved from a seven-point deficit (42% to 49%) to a one-point lead (47%-46%). On the issue of "creating jobs", President Bush has moved from a seventeen-point deficit (37%-54%) to a seven point deficit (42%-49%)."

Looking to the November election, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said, "This race is extremely close. A 51 percent majority of voters now believe it is time to give someone new a chance, up from 49 percent in March. And John Kerry is well poised to capitalize on Bush's poor standing." 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. Initiated in June 1991, the Battleground Polls have gained widespread media recognition as reliable leading indicators of national opinion and voters' intentions. This nationally recognized series of scientific surveys is unique to the industry, in that it offers the distinct perspectives of two top pollsters from different sides of the aisle.

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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