Polls show Bush, Kerry in tight race

In all cases, Bush was even with or leading Kerry by a slight margin.


Published: Monday, November 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 1, 2004 at 12:22 a.m.

In the final days of the campaign, six new nationwide polls suggest that President Bush and Sen. John Kerry continued to run a tight race.

In all cases, Bush was even with or leading Kerry, though any differences were within the margin of sampling error.

Bush had the support of 49 percent in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Friday through Sunday with 1,573 likely voters. Kerry is the choice of 47 percent with Ralph Nader at 1 percent. When turnout and the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken into account, the candidates are tied at 49 percent each.

The latest ABC News tracking poll, with telephone interviews conducted Wednesday through Saturday, shows Bush ahead of Kerry 49 percent to 48 percent. Ralph Nader was preferred by less than 1 percent of the 2,615 likely voters included in the poll. The tracking poll uses new samples each day, and reports the results based on a combination of the most recent days.

A 3-point advantage for Bush was measured in both the Pew Research Poll and the New York Times/CBS News poll. Bush had 48 percent in the Pew Poll, conducted Wednesday through Saturday with 1,925 likely voters, while Kerry had 45 percent. Nader received 1 percent of support. When undecided voters are allocated, Bush has the support of 51 percent compared with 48 percent for Kerry.

The Times/CBS News poll was conducted Thursday through Saturday with 824 voters. Among likely voters, Bush was favored by 49 percent while 46 percent preferred Kerry, and Nader was the choice of 1 percent.

According to the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll conducted Friday and Saturday with 1,200 likely voters, the contest is tied. Both Bush and Kerry had the support of 46 percent, with 1 percent of those surveyed planning to vote for Nader.

Among the six polls, the Newsweek Poll reported the largest difference, a 6-point advantage for Bush.

The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday with 1,005 registered voters, reported that 50 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Bush and 44 percent for Kerry. Again, Nader received 1 percent. However, the difference between Bush's support and Kerry's was within the poll's margin of sampling error, which is plus or minus 4 percentage points for each candidate.

The margins of sampling error for the other polls range between 2 percentage points and 4 percentage points.

Unlike the ABC News Poll, the others were conducted in the conventional manner, using one sample for the length of the survey. Except for the Times/CBS News poll, the results of each survey included voters who said they supported a particular candidate and those who said they were leaning toward a candidate.

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