Two new Florida polls found the race deadlocked in a three-way race, suggesting that independent Ralph Nader again could play a pivotal role in the essential swing state of 2000. Bush won the disputed Florida election by a margin of a few hundred votes, and Democrats blamed Nader, who had more than 97,000 votes, for tipping the balance in the state and awarding Bush the presidency.
In Pennsylvania, a key swing state won by Democrat Al Gore in 2000, Kerry was up over Bush by 48 percent to 38 percent, while Nader was at 5 percent, in a state poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times.
In Oregon, Kerry led Bush 50 percent to 42 percent, while Nader had 4 percent, according to a poll by the American Research Group. Gore narrowly won Oregon in 2000.
In Florida, a Mason-Dixon poll found Bush at 48 percent, Kerry at 46 percent and Nader at 2 percent. The race was equally close in a Los Angeles Times poll, with Bush at 45 percent, Kerry at 44 percent and 2 percent for Nader.
In other competitive states, Kerry and Bush were tied in ARG polls in New Hampshire and Ohio. Bush won both states in 2000.
In New Hampshire, Kerry had 47 percent, Bush 45 percent and Nader 3 percent. In Ohio, Kerry and Bush also were deadlocked in a three-way race.
Most of the polls had margins of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Some other details on the poll methods:
—The ARG Oregon poll of 600 likely voters was taken July 19-22, and the ARG New Hampshire poll of 600 likely voters was taken July 19-21. The ARG Ohio poll of 600 likely voters was taken July 20-22.
—The Mason-Dixon Florida poll of 625 likely voters was taken July 19-21.
—The LA Times Florida poll of 401 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, and the poll of 499 likely voters in Pennsylvania has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Both were taken between July 17-21.