Some Good News for Bush
Strategy Memo: Inter-Convention Strategic Update
As John Kerry wraps up his cross-country post-convention tour today, several new national polls shed light on the impact his campaign's efforts have had on the race.
1. A majority of Americans approve of President Bush's job performance. President Bush's job approval in the Gallup poll is now at 51%, while his disapproval is at 46%, a net increase of 6 points since the beginning of August. His 51% approval is now almost identical to President Clinton's 52% in August 1996 and President Reagan's 54% in August 1984.
As USA Today noted, "no president who has been at or above 50% at this point in an election year has lost."
2. After spending over $100 million in media, selecting a running mate, and holding a national convention, John Kerry has either stayed the same or lost ground on key presidential attributes
The Kerry campaign's main goal at the convention was to present John Kerry to the American people as a strong and decisive leader.
"But we could do very important things [at the convention], particularly convince people that he would be a strong commander-in-chief" -- Tad Devine, Kerry Campaign Senior Advisor, Inside Politics, 8/3/2004
The latest poll from the Pew Research Center shows that despite Kerry's convention fewer voters think that John Kerry is a strong leader and more voters think that he changes his mind too much.
4. Voters have increasingly favorable opinions of President Bush. The recent Pew survey also reported that 58% of voters now have a favorable opinion of President Bush, a net increase of 12 points since June, and the same as it was in May 2000. Since John Kerry locked up the Democratic nomination, President Bush's favorability has risen from a net +9 to a net +19, while John Kerry's favorability has fallen from a net +30 to a net +20.
5. John Kerry's support continues to be the most negative in recent history, while President Bush's continues to be the most positive. Just 42% of Kerry's supporters say their vote is "for" Kerry, while 51% say that it is "against" President Bush. Conversely, 76% of President Bush's supporters say that their vote is "for" him, while 18% say that it "against" Kerry. John Kerry's support continues to be the most negative of any presidential candidate since Pew began asking the question in 1988.