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Thursday, October 07, 2004

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 Kerry leads Bush is 13 of 16 battleground states

The latest Zogby Interactive poll puts Kerry ahead of Bush in 13 of the 16 closely contested states -- two more states than the Massachusetts senator led before the debate and the most since August. The latest survey was conducted between last Thursday, after the debate ended, and Tuesday afternoon, before vice-presidential contenders Dick Cheney and John Edwards debated.

Mr. Kerry moved ahead in two states (Ohio and Nevada) and increased his lead in seven others -- though Mr. Kerry's margin over Mr. Bush in Ohio, Arkansas and Florida was negligible -- less than one percentage point. Mr. Bush's lead narrowed in the three states (Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia) that he remains ahead of Mr. Kerry. Overall, seven of Mr. Kerry’s leads are within the margins of error, while all of Mr. Bush’s leads are.

If the election were today, Mr. Kerry would win. Here's how:
  • Assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election, Bush starts with 189 electoral votes and Kerry with 172 (a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win)
  • Add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margins of error or the spread between the candidates. Kerry's 13 states have 150 electoral votes; Bush's three have 27 votes.
The bottom line: Kerry would have 322 electoral votes and the president would have 216. This 106-vote margin is far wider than the last analysis, on Sept. 20, when Bush was just 56 electoral votes behind Kerry.

Note that he results from 10 of the 16 states fall within the margins of error. All six of the states whose results were outside the margin show Kerry in the lead.

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