I’ve also been looking at the latest Washington Post/AP poll – again, it looks very bad for Kerry.
In a three-way race with Nader, Bush wins against Kerry 47% to 42% if the election were held today. Granted, some (or most) of that Nader support will bleed off tightening the margin. However, what is more interesting is in the strength of support. 84% of Bush voters strongly support the President. Only 65% of Kerry voters strongly support Kerry, and 34% do not strongly support Kerry. That figure is fairly shocking given the level of Democratic partisanship. Given that voter turnout in the primaries was one of the lowest on record this is another major problem for Kerry. The Democrats are united in their dislike of Bush, but they don’t have near the level of support for Kerry that Republicans have for Bush. Tradition what data like this shows is that if the election is percieved as being favorable to Bush many Democrats will stay home on Election Day. Even though Democrats hate Bush with a passion, they don’t particularly care that much for Kerry either – if Kerry seems like a lost cause, they’ll simply stay home.
As always, the usual caveat applies, and polling data can and will change. However, the dynamics of this election are certainly in Bush’s favor, and unless the Democrats can translate anti-Bush sentiment into a coherent message, something they have not been able to do at all during this campaign, Kerry may be joining his former boss in the Hall of Failed Massachusetts Politicians.