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Digging into the polls showing Bush's unexpectedly big bounce

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Page 3: Bush Takes Big Bounce Toward November

Digging into the polls showing Bush’s unexpectedly big bounce

The conventional wisdom two weeks ago was that the number of truly undecided voters in this presidential election was simply too small for President Bush to get a big bounce coming out of the Republican National Convention in New York. But at least two major polls indicate the conventional wisdom was wrong.

A Newsweek poll conducted on the last night of the convention and the following night showed Bush opening up an 11-point lead over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. In the same poll a month earlier, Bush had trailed Kerry by two points. A Time magazine poll conducted the last three nights of the convention also gave Bush an 11-point lead. In that poll, Bush had trailed Kerry by 5 points only a month before.

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup conducted on the three nights immediately following the convention also showed Bush getting a bounce, although not as big as the one in the polls by Newsweek and Time. In this poll, however, Bush was actually leading Kerry before the convention started.

As the results of the Newsweek poll indicate (see details below), Bush’s comeback seems to be buoyed by the popular perception he is more trustworthy than Kerry, would do better in a national security crisis, and is more likely to share the values of the voters.

Newsweek Poll

August 5-10, 2004

  • Bush: 45%

  • Kerry: 47%

    September 2-3, 2004

  • Bush: 54%

  • Kerry: 43%
    Time Poll

    August 3-5, 2004

  • Bush: 43%

  • Kerry: 48%

    August 31-September 2

  • Bush: 52%

  • Kerry: 41%
    USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll

    August 23-25

  • Bush: 50%

  • Kerry: 47%

    September 3-5

  • Bush: 52%

  • Kerry: 45%
    Candidate Qualities
    Newsweek Poll
    September 2-3
    Percentage who answered, “yes,” to the following questions about each candidate
    √?‚?? ¬†

    BUSH

    KERRY

    Has strong leadership qualities

    65%

    47%

    Is honest and ethical

    62%

    47%

    Cares about people like you

    53%

    49%

    Is personally likeable

    67%

    59%

    Says what he believes, not just what people want to hear

    66%

    42%

    Would trust him to make the right decision during an international crisis

    57%

    44%

    Shares your values

    54%

    42%

    Is too conservative

    32%

    Is too liberal

    45%

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