July 07, 2004
Good but not great news from Gallup

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%).

The top of the article notes that while Kerry is not (yet) doing as well among Hispanic voters as Al Gore did (he won 62-35 among them in 2000), the trend has been decidedly negative for President Bush lately. Bush pollster Matthew Dowd has said that Bush needs to get 40% of the Hispanic vote in 2004 to win, so both candidates now have work to do. (Note to John Kerry: Sending your new ballotmate to LULAC's 75th anniversary convention would be a smart move.)

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%).

Much better numbers for Dems among whites than in the Presidential race, better numbers among Hispanics, and roughly the same among blacks. Put this together and it's pretty easy to see that the polls that have shown a preference for Dems are not exaggerated, the LA Times' 19-point gap notwithstanding. Page 2 shows the gap in Gallup's sample as 48-43 Dems among registered voters, 49-43 among all adults. I'll be very interested to see what Gallup's next set of numbers look like here. Link via Political Wire.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 07, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack