Friday, August 13, 2004

Survey Says...

When I'm poll watching, I generally shy away from the Quinnipiac University poll, because it's always appeared (at least to me) to be slanted in the Republican direction. I'm not sure if it's their statistical sampling, the questions they ask, or what - but that's exactly why I'm rolling out a discussion of their latest poll in Florida, which was released yesterday.

Skimming the top, John Kerry is widening his lead in FLA, 47 - 41%, and that's with Nader in the mix. With Nader out, it goes 49 - 42%. But as I've said before, it's more than the mere horserace, it's the fundamentals, the numbers behind the numbers, that tell the real story. If Bush is taking this bad of a beating in Florida on the fundamentals, it's an ominous sign nationwide for the incumbent.


Here's a sampling:

Offered four choices on the most important issue in the election:

* 30 percent of voters list the economy;
* 23 percent say terrorism;
* 22 percent say health care;
* 18 percent say the situation in Iraq.

Asked who would do the best job on these issues, Florida voters said:

* 52 – 39 percent that Kerry would do better on the economy;
* 59 – 31 percent that the Democrat would do better on health care;
* 50 – 41 percent that Bush would do better on terrorism;
* 48 – 45 percent that Bush would do better on Iraq.
The only areas that Bush does better (and those are even falling like a rock) are terrorism and Iraq. But interestingly enough, those areas are not as high on the voter's agenda. And unlike the economy, where Kerry clearly has a wide lead, he's within the MOE of Bush on Iraq, and gaining on terrorism.

Questions 5 and 6 tell much more than Karl Rove wants to know.

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

6. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for President -- a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?
13% of Republicans polled in Florida disapprove of the job Bush is doing. And fully 85% of those surveyed (R and D) say they've been paying "a lot" (56%) or "some" (29%) attention to the campaign already. And it's not even September.

That tells us a couple of things. True conservative disaffection with Bush is pretty strong. And the numbers are likely fairly locked in (barring some earth shattering event).

If the results of the previous two questions are giving Rove fits, the responses to the following two questions are sending him into spasms:

10a. (If Kerry voter q8) Is your vote more for Kerry
or more against Bush?


For Kerry 51%
Against Bush 43

10b. (If Bush voter q8) Is your vote more for Bush
or more against Kerry?


For Bush 78%
Against Kerry 18
The bottom line - if Bush wants to carry Florida, he has to give the marginal Kerry supporters (the ABBer's) a reason to want to vote for him. I just don't see this happening, particularly with Bush's overwhelming weakness in the minority community (black and hispanic).

Take a look at the entire poll. It's quite revealing in its depth, and again, I don't normally pay that much attention to the Quinnipiac poll because of my own personal bias. But this poll jumped out at me so much, I felt compelled to comment.

George Bush isn't selling a second term to Floridians.