NEW YORK – The presidential race remains tight in four swing states, according to FOX News polls released Monday.
In Iowa, George W. Bush (search) leads 48 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Last month, a FOX News poll of Iowa voters also had Bush ahead of John Kerry (search) (by three points). Former Vice President Al Gore (search) won the state of Iowa by less then 5,000 votes in 2000.
Likely voters in Florida give Kerry the lead, 49 percent to Bush’s 44 percent, Nader at 1 percent.
In Ohio, a state Bush won in the 2000 election by less than four percent, the president has a narrow 50 percent to 47 percent margin. Two weeks ago in the Buckeye state Bush had a five-percentage point lead over Kerry (Oct 17-18). Independent candidate Ralph Nader (search) failed to get on the Ohio ballot.
Voters in the Badger state give the edge to Bush (48 percent to 45 percent), with Nader at 1 percent. Wisconsin gave its electoral votes to Vice President Gore in the 2000 election — but his margin of victory was less than one percent.
"As we all know from 2000, the national popular vote does not determine the president, the Electoral College does," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "These swing state results show several very close races — races that will not be decided by persuasion but will be decided by mobilization. The party that gets its voters to the polls in these states is the party that will win the election. This puts a heavy emphasis on phone banks, canvassers and poll workers in the next 36 hours."
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the state polls (approximately 700 likely voters in each state) for FOX News on October 30-31. Each poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Taken together, the four states make up a total of 64 electoral votes.
In the four toss up states surveyed, President Bush’s overall job rating is highest in Iowa (51 percent) and lowest in Florida (44 percent). In Wisconsin 49 percent approve of the job Bush is doing, as do 49 percent in Ohio.
With a slight variation in exact order, overall the same two or three issues top the list for voters in each state. In Ohio, terrorism (22 percent) and the economy (21 percent) are essentially tied as the most important issues voters are considering when deciding their vote for president. In Iowa, the economy is chosen by 21 percent, terrorism by 19 percent and Iraq by 19 percent.
The top issues to Wisconsin voters are terrorism (22 percent) and the economy (20 percent). In Florida, voters also cite terrorism (29 percent) and the economy (20 percent) as their two priority issues.
The polls find that voters in each state think Bush would do a better job on the war against terrorism, while Kerry is seen as the candidate that would do a better job handling the economy. These results closely match those on the national level.
As is the case nationally, in each of the four states more voters think the economy is not getting stronger.
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In all four states Bush leads Kerry as being seen as “a stronger leader,” with the president’s widest edge in Ohio (+12 points) and the closest in Florida (+4 points).