Sunday, September 05, 2004

Newsweek Poll finds similar Bush Bounce

By Brian Braiker

Coming out of the Republican National Convention in New York, President George W. Bush now holds a 11-point lead over Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry (52 percent to 41 percent) in a three-way race, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The poll was taken over two nights, both before and after Bush’s acceptance speech. Respondents who were queried only on Friday, after Bush’s speech, gave the Republican a 16-point lead over Kerry.

The 11-point lead represents a 13-point bounce for Bush since an Aug. 5 to Aug. 10 poll conducted by Newsweek’s pollster, Princeton Survery Research Associates, for the Pew Research Center. The president’s post-convention bounce was substantial vs. the two-point increase received by Kerry after last month’s Democratic National Convention and in line with the size of other post-convention bounces.

In late July, Kerry led the incumbent by 7 points. Removing independent candidate Ralph Nader from the mix actually has no significant effect on the spread between the other two candidates: Without Nader, Bush draws 54 percent of the vote, Kerry 43.

The poll shows that Bush and Cheney have gained ground, and now lead, on almost all key election issues: The president’s approval rating is back over the halfway mark (52 percent, with 41 percent disapproving) after having slipped to 45 percent in July; his favorability ratings (55 percent favorable versus 40 percent unfavorable) are the highest they have been all year, after having fallen to 48 percent unfavorable in the poll at the end of the DNC. And with perceptions of the president climbing back from a low over last month, more registered voters say they would like to see Bush reelected than not (53 percent versus 43 percent)—the most favorable ratio he has had since July, 2003.

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