LANSING, Mich. – John Kerry's choice of fellow senator John Edwards (search) as his running mate has not given the Democratic ticket a big bounce among voters in Michigan, where Kerry and President Bush remain locked in a tight race, a new poll shows.
Forty-seven percent of the 600 likely Michigan voters polled by Lansing-based EPIC/MRA said they would vote for Kerry and Edwards if the election were held today. Forty-four percent said they supported Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Ralph Nader (search) and his running mate, Peter Camejo, got 3 percent, and 6 percent were undecided.
Results of the telephone survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, were released Friday. It was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday. Kerry announced Edwards as his running mate on Tuesday.
The numbers in Friday's poll are similar to one conducted in early June, which had Kerry at 47 percent and Bush at 45 percent.
Each side received another 1 percentage point when voters were asked to select a president-vice president ticket.
The Kerry campaign said Friday it never expected a significant bounce in the polls after the U.S. senator selected his running mate.
"Nobody expects a landslide," spokeswoman Kathy Roeder said. "We feel very good about our campaign in Michigan. George Bush (search) has yet to offer voters any clear plan on how to bring back the jobs lost."
But Bush spokeswoman Merrill Smith called the Kerry-Edwards ticket "the most liberal in history. ... Their records reveal a distinct disconnect with the values and concerns of the hard-working people of Michigan."
The poll indicates that Bush's job approval rating in Michigan increased some since the last poll, but more than half of the voters continued to give him a negative job rating.
Forty-eight percent gave him a positive job rating, while 52 percent gave him a negative rating. In early June, 45 percent gave Bush a positive rating, and 55 percent gave him a negative rating.
Pollster Ed Sarpolus of EPIC/MRA said Michigan voters remain concerned about pocketbook issues such as jobs and health care, and not as worried about terrorism and the conflict in Iraq.
Fifty-seven percent said they were dissatisfied with the nation's economy, and one in four were most concerned about improving the economy and providing jobs.
Sarpolus said 42 percent of the people surveyed said Democrats will do a better job of addressing those concerns. Thirty-five percent said Republicans would handle them better.
However, Bush has the edge on issues such as fighting terrorism and homeland security.
Fifty-five percent said Bush would keep the nation safe and secure, while 32 percent gave the nod to Kerry.
Bush also gained a bit in voters' impression of his handling the economy.
Forty-one percent said he did a positive job handling the economy, compared with 36 percent a month ago. Still, 59 percent gave Bush a negative rating on the economy.