boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe

Reuters Poll: Bush Keeps Four-Point Lead on Kerry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's lead over Democratic Sen. John Kerry held steady at four points for the second consecutive day, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Saturday.

Bush led Kerry 48-44 percent in the latest three-day tracking poll of the race for the White House, virtually unchanged from the previous day's narrow margin between the president and the Massachusetts senator.

Bush was aided by strong support from his fellow Republicans, 92 percent, while Kerry attracts just 81 percent of Democrats.

"Bush's strength is that he has consolidated his constituency. Kerry's weakness is that he has not consolidated his constituency," pollster John Zogby said. "Meanwhile, the undecideds are not budging."

Six percent of voters remain undecided in the tight race, which Zogby said was beginning to show similarities to the disputed 2000 battle between Bush and Democrat Al Gore.

"This is reminding me more and more every day of 2000 -- with the lead changing every few days and no candidate able to put this away," he said.

Both candidates headed on Friday to key swing states in the upper Midwest, where they accused each other of losing touch with Americans on economic and social concerns.

Bush and Kerry campaigned in Wisconsin, which along with Iowa and Minnesota have a combined 27 electoral votes -- the same as Florida. Polls show they are all too close to call.

They are among less than a dozen crucial battleground states, headed by Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, where the race for the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the White House will be decided.

The poll of 1,211 likely voters was taken Wednesday through Friday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The rolling poll will continue through Nov. 1 -- the day before the election.

A tracking poll combines the results of three consecutive nights of polling, then drops the first night's results each time a new night is added. It allows pollsters to record shifts in voter sentiment as they happen.

The poll showed independent candidate Ralph Nader, blamed by some Democrats for drawing enough votes from Al Gore to cost him the election in 2000, with the support of 1 percent of likely voters. 

SEARCH GLOBE ARCHIVES
   
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months