Kerry Wins By Polls

Everybody pat WickedTribe on the back. I gave him the story that Kerry had won in the 3 major polls, but he went out and got the links for the post. Anyway, first up is CNN's big poll:

Sen. John Kerry appeared to gain more momentum heading toward November 2, easily beating President Bush in the third and final debate, a poll taken late Wednesday night suggests.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup snap poll taken immediately after the presidential debate found that respondents gave a significant edge to Kerry over Bush, 52 percent to 39 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The numbers were similar to the results of a poll taken the night of the first debate September 30 in Miami, Florida. That night Kerry was favored by a 53 percent to 37 percent margin.

Kerry and Bush were almost even in the second debate on October 5, with the numbers falling with the margin of error.

The respondents Wednesday were 511 registered voters who watched the debate. Their political affiliations broke down as 36 percent Republican, 36 percent Democratic and 28 percent independent.

The poll is a reflection of immediate impressions of only those voters who saw the debate on television, and cannot be applied to all registered voters. Views of all Americans can change in the days after a debate.

Kerry scored big gains, as 42 percent of respondents said they had a more favorable opinion of him after the debate. Bush only increased with 27 percent of those polled.

When asked who would handle domestic issues better, Kerry scored higher in health care (55-41). There was no clear leader on the economy (Kerry 51, Bush 46), education (Kerry 48, Bush 47) or taxes (Bush 50, Kerry 47).

Kerry's biggest win came on the question of who expressed himself better, where 61 percent of respondents chose him over Bush (29 percent).

The president was viewed as more likeable, but Kerry appeared to respondents as having the better understanding of issues (49-37).

I'm still not quite sure who could think of Bush as more "likeable." Anyone that scowls and wears that (you-know-what)-eating grin all the time won't win any popularity contests with me. I think it's important to note that basically Republicans are picking Bush and Democrats are picking Kerry every time. The important demographic here is the independents. They're leaning heavily toward Kerry and unless they choose someone else(Nader if he's available), they'll be on the Democratic side Nov. 2.

Next up, CBS news and their well known poll of the uncomitted:

Uncommitted voters who saw the third and final debate between President Bush and John Kerry gave the Democrat the edge over the president by a margin of 39-25 percent, according to a CBS News poll. Another 36 percent called it a draw.

Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of more than 200 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were "uncommitted voters" - voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.

Some 71 percent of these voters said the debates had helped them decide whom to vote for this year. The remaining 29 percent said the debates were not helpful in this way.

While the uncommitted voters came away from the debate believing that both men had clear positions on the issues, Kerry's position improved dramatically.

The percentage that thought he had clear positions almost doubled during the debate: Before the third debate, only 31 percent said Kerry had clear positions on the issues. After the debate, that number jumped to 59 percent.

Mr. Bush also gained. After the debate, 64 percent said he had clear positions on the issues. Forty-seven percent thought so beforehand.

There you have it. The undecideds heavily favored Kerry in this debate as well. we're talking not even really close. As well, 71% said the debates helped them make up their minds. That's a large margin that should certainly help in the election of John Kerry. Those 29%, I guess, are waiting for a sign from God or something. At this point, you'd have to have an opinion of some kind.

Lastly, ABC has a poll page heavy on the visuals that you can see over here:

John Kerry and George W. Bush battled to another draw in their last debate of the 2004 campaign, with perhaps more bragging rights to Kerry, since more Republicans tuned in.

Among registered voters who watched the debate, 42 percent called Kerry the winner, 41 percent said Bush won and 14 percent called it a tie. That's similar to the outcome of the second debate, while Kerry won the first among viewers by a nine-point margin.

The audience for the third debate was a bit more Republican in its allegiance: Among viewers, 38 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 30 percent as Democrats and 28 percent as independents. That makes the draw more of an accomplishment for Kerry.[emphasis added by blog editor]

It occurred in part because Democrats who watched were more apt to stand by their man. Among Democratic viewers, 81 percent called Kerry the winner, and five percent said Bush won; among Republicans who watched, 73 percent said it was Bush's win, and 12 percent gave the win to Kerry. Independents divided by 42-35 percent, Kerry-Bush.

As is customary, there were no immediate changes in vote preferences. Viewers divided about evenly between Bush and Kerry, 49-48 percent, before the debate; and absolutely evenly, 49-49 percent, after it.

Kerry runs evenly with Bush in vote preferences, despite the Republican advantage in political allegiance among debate viewers, in part because the independents who tuned in were more Democratic-leaning in their vote preference, breaking 52-43 percent, Kerry-Bush. (Kerry also was supported in vote preference by 13 percent of the Republicans who watched, while Bush was supported by fewer Democrats, six percent.)

Sampling, data collection and tabulation for this poll were done by TNS.

The audience for a debate poll can depend on a variety of factors, including, for instance, whether viewers find it interesting enough to stay tuned, and what else is on television. Part of doing well in a poll of debate viewers means getting people who support you to tune in.

That's one reason Dick Cheney won the vice presidential debate by eight points, 43-35 percent over John Edwards; the audience was seven points more Republican. (Cheney also did better with his side's supporters than Edwards did with his.) While not a win, getting a draw among a more-Republican audience adds luster to Kerry's performance in Tempe.

As noted, there was also a draw between Kerry and Bush in their second debate. Kerry's win in the first debate breathed new life into his campaign, promoting an eight-point rise in his personal favorability rating and a closer contest between the two candidates.

So, despite the fact that it was a "draw" for ABC, their polling audience wasn't exactly unbiased. This is why I put more faith in polls either based on equal parts Democrat and Republican or more importantly on those of the independents.

Things are going good right now guys. Keep it up, put the pressure on the Sinclair Broadcasting Group and let people know who should really be the President. Here's a hint: there's no 'W'.
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