11/01/2004 - President George W. Bush holds a slight edge over Sen. John Kerry in the final days of Campaign 2004. The Pew Research Center's final pre-election poll of 1,925 likely voters, conducted Oct. 27-30, 2004, finds Bush with a three-point edge (48 percent to 45 percent for Kerry); Ralph Nader draws 1 percent and 6 percent are undecided.
The poll finds indications that turnout will be significantly higher than in the three previous presidential elections, especially among younger people. Yet Bush gets the boost Republican candidates typically receive when the sample is narrowed from the base of 2,408 registered voters to those most likely to vote. (Among all registered voters, Kerry and Bush are in a virtual tie: 46 percent Kerry, 45 percent Bush).
Pew's final survey suggests that the remaining undecided vote may break only slightly in Kerry's favor. When both turnout and the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken into account in Pew's final estimate, Bush holds a slight 51 percent-48 percent margin.
The poll, taken over a four-day period, found the recent video tape from Osama bin Laden had no clear impact on voter preferences. Interviews conducted after the tape was released on Oct. 29 generally resembled the polling conducted on the two previous days. The potential still exists for changes in voter opinion and, equally important, in the composition of the electorate on Nov. 2. While 6 percent of likely voters are undecided, another 8 percent still leave open the possibility of changing their vote.
Read the full report Slight Bush Margin in Final Days of Campaign on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.