Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Uber Pollsters View: You're Guess is as Good as Ours

Just got back from a great luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce. Peter Hart, Uber Dem. Pollster and Frank Luntz (Uber Republican Pollster) sharing their views on the electorate and the upcoming presidential campaign. Both agreed that the country is divided on their choices right now and that the campaign will be ugly.

Peter Hart:
Bush's main strength is that people can connect with him and would feel comfortable hanging out with the President. Kerry seems a bit above it all to many voters who still aren't sure if he can relate at all to 'regular folks.' But according to Hart, Bush is not invulernable. Most voters still support the Iraq war, but a vast majority, 3 of 4, don't know if the endeavor was worth it and need reassurance and clarification of why we are there. More alarmingly, most voters feel that Kerry would do a better job a steward of the economy than Bush...a key republican strength that seems to have eroded.

Frank Luntz
Frank's overall view was very similar to Hart's (who says Dems and Reps can't agree). Bush needs to focus on his ability to connect with voters and define his vision rather than trying to define Kerry's. Luntz lamented the extremely ineffective ads the Bush campaign is running and shared data on how Kerry's ads have been effective not only with Dems, but also score well with Republicans. Luntz agreed that Kerry needs to focus on connecting with voters. Luntz also indicated that if Kerry were to go with Bob Grahm or Bill Nelson as a VP, that could be enough to push FL into the Kerry electoral camp which could prove fatal for Bush.

But the underlying consensus is that voters recognize the importance of the coming election and are looking for clearly articulated answers, rather than attacks before making up their minds. It is and will likely be a 50-50 proposition until late in the game.

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