Now that’s more like it.
A new CNN/USAToday Gallup poll out this afternoon has John Kerry beating President Bush by a 52%-44% margin, with Nader snagging a tiny, but not insignificant 2%.
Those are certainly pretty good numbers for Kerry. And they fall in with a pattern of polls showing a president who has real difficulty getting his reelect number over 45%.
But here’s what catches my attention about this poll. It’s among ‘likely voters.’ I can’t base this on any systematic research, but having seen a bunch of polls over the last couple months my impression is that Kerry seems to be running stronger among ‘likely voters’ than among ‘registered voters’.
I could be wrong. Perhaps my memory is off and it’s just that Gallup is using ‘likely’s and their poll is favoring Kerry.
But if it is true that would be the first concrete sign of how energized Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents are, since the standard rule is that Republican candidates always do better among ‘likely’ voters.
I’d be curious if any TPM readers have seen any published discussions of this question.