The latest Gallup poll is out and it shows Bush with a massive lead of 55% to Kerry’s 45% among likely voters. The complete results of the poll can be found here.
These numbers are excellent, and indicate that Bush’s momentum has continued right through the convention, while Kerry’s numbers continue to decline. Now, granted, the margin in this poll seems tilted towards Bush, but I’m not so sure it is. Gallup is a respected polling organization with a long history and a refined methodology. They’re one of the oldest and most respected polling agencies in the country and they’ve been around the block a few times. Nor are they Republican partisans. I have a feeling that their polling is more accurate than those agencies who are trying to artificially skew the data to match a preconcieved partisan balance. I don’t think that this country is as evenly divided as it was, and I think the partisan balance from 2000 or even 2002 doesn’t accurately reflect the current partisan balance anymore – and I think a lot of Democrats are abandoning Kerry right now for a whole host of reasons, the main one being his weakness on national security. The 9/11 Democrats are as much a factor in this race as the Reagan Democrats were in 1980, and we’re seeing them reflected in these numbers. As Kerry continues to drift leftwards on the war, watch as his numbers continue to sink in other polls.
Two polls in the key state of Pennsylvania also show Bush pulling ahead in that state. An ABC News poll find Bush ahead by 4 and a poll by Quinnipac finds Bush leading by 1.4% in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania is one of Kerry’s must-win states, and if that’s become a battleground state it’s indicative of a massive shift in the momentum of this election towards Bush.
Of course, none of these polls will matter unless every Republican gets to the polls on Election Day, and this welcome news should not lull Republicans into a sense of complacency. Remember, if it’s not close, they can’t cheat.
In any event, it’s clear from repeated polling that Bush has a commanding lead in this race. If he can pull off a performance in the debates of the caliber of his convention speech and if he can continue to promote his forward-looking Agenda for America those numbers will remain high. And if every Republican gets to the polls and makes sure every Republican they know does the same, George W. Bush will re-elected, and he’ll win by a much more convincing margin than anyone would have thought.