The numbers in this Gallup poll, which deliberately oversampled blacks and Hispanics to get a better picture of their leanings, has what I would call qualified good news for John Kerry. The numbers here are decent, but not as good as they could be and not quite as good as they need to be, though there's room for growth. Let's take a closer look:
In the two-way contest, Bush enjoys a 12-point lead over Kerry among whites, 53% to 41%. But among blacks, Kerry wins overwhelmingly (81% to 12%), and among Hispanics he enjoys a 19-point lead (57% to 38%).
Kerry also lags behind Gore in black voter support, but I expect that will go up. Bush's 12% number is a slight improvement over 2000. As for white voters, the 12-point gap is the same as it was in 2000. Holding steady there would be fine for Kerry if his black and Hispanic numbers improve as I think they will.
In a way, the more interesting result is the generic Congressional ballot, which seems to shed some light on the recent polls that have shown a gap in favor of the Democrats:
The generic ballot, which asks voters which party's candidate they expect to vote for in their congressional districts, shows a moderately close contest among whites, with Republicans leading Democrats by six points (48% to 42%). However, a large majority of Hispanics say they will vote Democratic (by 60% to 35%), and overwhelmingly, blacks will vote for the Democratic candidates in their districts (83% to 14%).