The Wall Street Journal says in this morning's edition that "after months of deadlock, the ground appears to be shifting in the 2004 presidential race, with George W. Bush's bid for a second term gaining momentum and John Kerry striving to energize his campaign." In a Wall Street Journal online column, meanwhile, columnist Al Hunt (seen as favorable to Kerry) says, "The president is entering the final eight weeks with a small, but clear, advantage. To be sure, these dynamics can change easily." Privately, "sources say, the Kerry campaign shows about a four-to-five point Bush margin, with the Republicans slightly larger."
The Bush campaign's charge that Kerry changes his positions on issues may be taking hold with the public. CBS Evening News reports "voters, it seems, are getting the message." Pollster Frank Luntz was shown saying: "We asked Ohio swing voters right after George Bush to give me one word to describe John Kerry. The top answer was 'flip-flop.' They succeeded. They got that message out."
ABC World News Tonight shows that possible avenues for Kerry to challenge Bush include "the economy, health care, poverty and the war in Iraq are all problems for the President. And polls show more than half the country believes Bush is leading the nation in the wrong direction. Yet, with so many avenues of attack, Kerry seized none convincingly, muddled his message and failed to make this race more about Bush than himself."
Kerry Still Leads Zogby Poll Of Battleground States, But Bush Has Momentum.
While President Bush has nosed ahead in Zogby's national poll, a Zogby Interactive Presidential Battleground Poll "shows the race almost exactly where it was in late July before the Democrats gathered in Boston. But the dynamics are different, as President Bush continues a slow advance from lows earlier this year that included nagging problems." John Kerry "leads in states he needs to win to grab the top prize, but his leads are smaller than they had been in earlier polls." This latest collection of polls "shows that Mr. Kerry would win the White House by a margin of 264 electoral votes, to 231 for Mr. Bush. The votes of three states Florida, Missouri, and Nevada are held out of the count because the candidates are within one percentage point of each other and so are too close to call. Even if Mr. Bush were to be awarded all three states, he still would lose narrowly to Mr. Kerry." Zogby concludes, "While Mr. Kerry is doing well in several states like Oregon, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, the President has the real momentum here."
Kerry Campaign Advisors Seek To Quell Congressional Discontent.
This morning's Roll Call reports that in an attempt to "staunch talk that their campaign is on the ropes, top advisers to" Kerry "will meet with House and Senate Democrats today as part of a broader effort to calm concerns and ensure a unified message over the final 55 days of the contest." Deputy campaign manager Steve Elmendorf said the "gatherings, which will be led by Kerry senior strategist Tad Devine, will cover finances, media efforts and polling." A conference call "with Democratic governors to brief them on the status of the campaign, as well as a similar meeting with members of the D.C. lobbying community, also were scheduled for today."