Monday, March 01, 2004

Bush Country? I think it's a bit early for Daily Kos to be more or less declaring Florida a lost cause for the Democratic presidential nominee in November. Still, the Sun-Sentinel's poll numbers are striking:
Asked to choose between the president and his likely Democratic challenger, Florida voters favored Bush over John Kerry by 47 percent to 42 percent. Bush held a slightly wider lead over Democratic candidate John Edwards, 49 percent to 41 percent.

As Kos points out, that's one the best recent results for Bush in a battleground state.

But let's keep things in perspective: 23% of the likely voters polled had no opinion of John Kerry (compared to 4% for Bush); a plurality chose "Economy/Jobs" as the most important issue in picking the next president (a situation, if it holds, that is likely to help the Democrats); and the margin of error was + or - 4%.

So Kerry is somewhere between 1% and 9% behind in a historic swing state where nearly a quarter of likely voters have no opinion of him and where the "Economy/Jobs" will be a central issue.

And he's likely to be the beneficiary of high turnout from an energized base, still seething over the 2000 result.

Those are odds that I'm willing to take.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.