Republican Party officials planning the presidential nominating convention in New York expressed surprise that most new polls now show President Bush ahead of Sen. John Kerry. "August was supposed to be Kerry's," one official told the US News Bulletin, referring to the post-Democratic Convention period when the Massachusetts senator was expected to build on his convention bounce and surge ahead of Bush. Bush officials said the poll lead is also surprising considering the millions of dollars of TV ads that Democratic 527 groups have poured into the 19 battleground states ads which voters say are very effective. But Republican officials said that Kerry has failed to present new programs that wow voters and hasn't been able to push aside the swift boat controversy, fueled by the two ads the anti-Kerry Vietnam War vets have been running in the battleground states. Add to that, said the GOP officials, the possibility of a good Republican Convention, and the prospects are making the party giddy. In fact, an official today even said that the protests expected in New York City could help Bush by helping the Republicans portray Democrats as radicals. "All in all, a fantastic August for Bush," a White House adviser told the US News Bulletin. "I would not have dared to dream August would go so well."
Bush Leads Kerry By Two Points In NBC News/WSJ Poll.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Bush with 47%, Kerry at 45%, and Nader with 3%. The important internals helping Bush: 53% approve of the way he's dealing with the war on terrorism, 42% disapprove; 55% say Bush "is easygoing and likable," 27% disagree.
Bush Leads Kerry By Three Points In USA Today/CNN Poll. USA Today reports President Bush "enters his convention week holding a slight lead over Democrat John Kerry and regaining ground he lost after Kerry's convention on the key issues of handling terrorism and Iraq, a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows." In a head-to-head matchup, Bush "led Kerry 50%-47% among likely voters, while Kerry led Bush 48%-47% among registered voters." The President's "job-approval rating, 49%, is lower than Bill Clinton's 53% in 1996 or Ronald Reagan's 54% in 1984. But it is higher than the ratings scored by recent losing incumbents George H.W. Bush at 35% in 1992, Jimmy Carter at 32% in 1980."
In a separate story based on an interview with the President, USA Today reports that as President Bush "prepares for the Republican convention in New York next week, he says losing the election has never crossed his mind and the Iraq war was worth putting his political future at risk."
Kerry Leads By One In Three-Way Fox Poll. Fox News reports that the presidential race "is tied with Kerry holding a one-point advantage over Bush among likely voters, down from a five-point edge immediately following the Democratic National Convention."
Bush Opens Leads In Three Key Midwest States In LA Times Polls.
The Los Angeles Times reports its new polls show President Bush "is leading Sen. John F. Kerry in three hotly contested Midwestern states." In Missouri, Bush "leads among registered voters, 46% to 44%; in Wisconsin, he leads 48% to 44%; in Ohio, the president holds a 49%-to-44% advantage."
Veterans Trust Bush More As Commander In Chief.
The Washington Post reports that despite John Kerry's "courting, veterans say they trust President Bush more than Kerry as commander in chief, 56 percent to 38 percent, according to a report released yesterday by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey."