Damage Inflicted. Damage Sustained

WaPo/ABC Poll is out. You get the sense from the writeup that the reporters are grasping at straws trying to say something positive about the Kerry campaign.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, registered voters by a 27-point margin now say Bush has taken a clearer stand than Kerry on the issues, by 27 points call Bush the stronger leader and by 19 points say he would make the country safer. Bush also has a 22-point advantage in trust to handle terrorism, a 16-point lead on Iraq and perhaps a slight edge even on the lukewarm economy.

These and other ratings have either reversed or eroded Kerry’s position. After the Democratic convention Kerry had a six-point lead as more honest; now it’s Bush 13. Kerry had a 13-point lead on a 13-point lead on a “vision for the future”; now it’s Bush +9. Kerry had a 14-point lead on understanding people’s problems; now they’re essentially even (Bush +1).

Moving these underlying views has enabled Bush to break out of the virtual dead heat that’s defined the contest: Among likely voters in this ABC News/Washington Post survey, Bush has 52 percent support, Kerry 43 percent, Ralph Nader 2 percent. It’s Bush’s first lead beyond the margin of sampling error in any ABC/Post poll since Kerry seized his party’s nomination in March. The race is 50-44-2 percent among all registered voters.

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Erick Erickson

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