03/03/2004 - Heading into an eight-month marathon to Election Day, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry already command strong support from their respective parties and will now try to win over those in the middle the estimated three-in-ten voters who have not yet fully committed to either candidate. Overall, 38% of voters support Kerry and say they have definitely decided not to vote for Bush. A third of voters support Bush and say there is no chance they will vote for Kerry.
The remaining portion of the electorate (29% of all voters) have either expressed a preference for one of the candidates yet say they still could change their mind, or are truly undecided. Most of these swing voters have expressed a preference 13% favor Bush, 10% Kerry though they are still open to the possibility of changing their mind. Just 6% of voters are firmly on the fence at this early stage of the campaign.
The latest Pew Research Center national survey, conducted Feb. 24-29, shows Kerry with a slight edge in a head-to-head match up with Bush (48%-44%). The results of this survey were combined with poll conducted earlier in February (Feb. 11-16) as a way of determining the size and composition of the swing vote.