Kerry has a lead in the AP poll.
The AP-Ipsos Public Affairs poll, completed on the eve of the second presidential debate, showed a reversal from early September, when the Republican incumbent had the momentum and a minuscule lead. With bloodshed increasing in Iraq, Kerry sharpened his attacks and Bush stumbled in their initial debate.
Among 944 likely voters, the Kerry-Edwards ticket led Bush-Cheney 50 percent to 46 percent. The Oct. 4-6 survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The race was tied 47-47 percent among all voters, with a 2.5 point margin of error. Other polls show the race just as tight. While national polls gauge the potential popular vote, the real race for the White House is playing out one state at a time.
That competition is remarkably close, with analysts saying both candidates are within reach of the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the presidency.
Bush is threatening Kerry’s claim to Democratic-leaning states such as Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and New Jersey.
Kerry is pressing Bush’s advantage in the two most critical states, Florida and Ohio, as well as GOP-leaning Colorado.
With two more debates to go, the wheels coming off the administration’s arguments for going to war, and the general decline in undecided voters having confidence that Bush has a grip on anything, I’m guessing that this isn’t an early peak but the beginning of momentum for Kerry.