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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

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 Zogby shows Bush ahead in battleground states

With his best showing since June, the Shrub has taken a narrow lead in four more states in the days following the third and final presidential debate. The latest Zogby Interactive poll puts Senator John Kerry ahead in nine states and the president up in seven states. Bush's improvement erases the gains that Kerry had made just after the first debate on September 30th.

All of Bush's leads are within the polls' margins of error, but if they held up, he would secure a scant Electoral College majority and four more years in the White House. Here's how:
  • Assuming that DC 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 begins with 189 electoral votes and Kerry with 172 (a candidate needs 270 votes to win).
  • Add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margin or error or the spread between the candidates. Kerry's nine states have 92 electoral votes; Bush's seven control 85.
  • Adding up the votes from battleground and non-battleground states, Bush would win by a slim 274-264. This 10 electoral-vote margin between Bush and Kerry is the narrowest Zogby has found since beginning their battlegound analyses.
The bright side for Kerry is that his numbers are on more solid ground than Bush's. While none of Bush's leads are greater than the polls' margins of error, six of Kerry's are.

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