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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Battleground States

By Steven Taylor @ 4:58 pm

Ads apparently help Kerry catch up to Bush in 17 states

The $25 million in TV ads he’s run the past three weeks seems to have helped pull Sen. John Kerry even with President Bush in states likely to decide who wins the White House in November.

A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll done Friday through Sunday showed that in 17 states considered to be key to the race, Kerry and Bush were tied among registered voters. Kerry spent $25 million to air two biographical ads in most of those states.

In mid-February, at the height of his success in Democratic primaries, Kerry held a 15-percentage point lead over Bush in the 17 states. But by late March, Bush was ahead by 10 points. Political scientists and communication experts said at the time that the Bush campaign’s mostly negative TV advertising, along with Kerry’s relatively small ad presence, was hurting Kerry in the polls.

Ok: up by 15, down by 10, now tied: these locales are living up to the concept of “battleground.”

I am of the opinion that this race will not start to fully crystalize for at least another two months. I think this for following reasons:

1) I remained unconvinced that voters really “know” Kerry as yet. This means numbers could go either way.

2) The Bush campaign and the pro-Republican 527s have a ton of money yet to unleash.

3) The improvement of the economy seems to not to have fully filtered into the public consciousness yet-plus gad prices are likely to start going down somewhat.

4) And there is the wildcard of how things will develop in Iraq over the summer.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign

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2 Comments»

  1. There’s a reason that the presidential campaign used to start after labor day - that’s when people start paying attention. That’s hard for political junkies to understand, but I’ll bet if polled 30% of Americans can’t name the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    The 2 presidential elections that political professionals use to prove that you should stay on the air are Bush I beating Dukakis by defining him early and Clinton beating Dole by pounding him when Dole had no money. But did Bush really define Dukakis as something he wasn’t, or would people have eventually realized he was a cold, liberal technocrat. And did Clinton really change the perception of Dole.

    Remember political consultants always say to buy early and buy big, but also remember that they profit most when that advice is followed.

    Along about then the ALCS and NLCS start people wills start to focus on the presidential race. And not one minute before.

    Comment by Buckland — Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 5:36 pm

  2. Along with those four reason, ther is another.

    Between the two conventions is the Summer Olympics.

    After leaving the convention Kerry should have a large lead that should last until the GOP convention. If the SO are enough to take away any focus it could eat into Kerry’s lead. And when America’s focus returns to America the GOP will have the stage.

    I think the SO will have an effect. If there is any kind of “event” in terms of a terrorist strike, I believe that it wil have a very strong effect.

    Anyway I could be wrong but we shall see.

    Comment by Rob M — Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 7:33 pm

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