The latest Zogby/WSJ poll shows the challenger enjoying a substantial VEEP bounce:
Battleground States Map
Click for Larger Map
Look for the Kerry campaign to attempt to build on this bounce for the next two weeks, straight through his party’s convention in Boston at the end of the month. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, this will probably be the first time in decades that Wall Street will be paying attention to a Democratic convention.
The WSJ observed:
John Kerry improved his standings in the latest Zogby Interactive poll of likely voters in 16 battleground states, apparently helped by his selection of his onetime rival, John Edwards of North Carolina, as running mate. Of the 16 states, Mr. Kerry now leads in 12, up from the nine states he held three weeks ago. Mr. Bush holds three states, down from seven, and the candidates are tied in one state, Tennessee. The poll, conducted July 6-10, started the same day Mr. Kerry announced his choice for his No. 2.
The candidates’ leads in 10 of the 16 states are within the polls’ margins of error, which vary between +/- 2.7 and +/- 4.9 percentage points. All three of Mr. Bush’s leads are well within the margin of error, while Mr. Kerry’s lead is in the clear in half of the states he holds, including the key battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Florida — though that state was in Mr. Bush’s column in the previous poll.
Mr. Kerry’s biggest boost in recent weeks came from his July 6 announcement of Sen. Edwards as his running mate. The first-term senator, has been criticized by Republicans for his lack of experience, but others say his easy charisma could fill a gap in the Kerry campaign. A weak jobs report just before the holiday weekend might also have stolen some of the president’s thunder.
Zogby/WSJ does a very good job explaining the underlying assumptions as to why they are focusing only on these battleground states for their polling: “
To recap, here’s how our analysis works: We start by assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren’t in the Battleground analysis go for the same political party they did in 2000. Thus, President Bush starts with 189 of the 270 electoral votes that are needed to win the White House, and Mr. Kerry begins with 172.
Then, we add in the electoral votes from the latest Battleground poll, regardless of the margin of error or the spread between the candidates. In the latest poll, Mr. Kerry leads in 12 Battleground states (worth 150 electoral votes) and Mr. Bush in three (worth 16 votes). One state, Tennessee (with 11 electoral votes), is a tie.
The bottom line: Mr. Kerry would beat Mr. Bush 322 electoral votes to 205. This marks a big turnaround for the Massachusetts senator. In the prior Zogby poll, Mr. Bush came out ahead in our Battleground analysis, 285-253.”
Swing State BattleGround Poll
WSJ, July 12, 2004