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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

 Presidential race tightens in battleground states

In the latest Zogby Interactive poll, Mr. Bush musters a lead in just two battleground states. The other 14 states in the poll go to Senator Kerry. If these results were to play out on Election Day, Kerry would score an easy victory. Here's the math:
  1. Assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battlegrounds poll will vote for the same political party that they did in the 2000 election gives Bush 189 electoral votes and Kerry 172 votes.

  2. A total of 177 votes are up for grabs in the 16 battlegrounds (a candidate needs 270 to win the White House). Adding the 152 votes from the 14 states that Kerry leads in the latest poll gives him a total of 324 electoral votes. Bush's two states have 25 electoral votes and give him a total of 214.
However, there are a lot of caveats to consider:
  1. Kerry's lead has narrowed in five states since the Aug. 2 poll, moving inside the margin of error in two relative strongholds, Michigan and Minnesota. Bush increased his lead in Ohio, moving outside the margin of error for the first time since June.

  2. Kerry's lead is outside the margin of error in only three states -- Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington -- and the president in just Ohio. If one considers only those results that are outside the margins of error, Kerry would cling to a lead of 211-209 -- with 118 votes still up for grabs.

  3. In Florida and Missouri Kerry's lead is less than a percentage point. If both of those states, which have moved back and forth between the candidates over the course of Zogby's polling, were to go Bush's way in the end, Kerry's lead would shrink to 286-252.

  4. Finally, in five states, Kerry leads by fewer than three percentage points. If all of those states went to Bush on Election Day, Bush would win the election 274-264.
So in case you haven't been paying attention, we have a horse race, folks.


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