Get your money on while there’s still value
George Bush and John Kerry go into the final weekend of the 2004 Campaign with the polls, the betting and the electoral vote prediction on a knife edge.
It should be hard to call but we are sticking with our long-standing view that more Americans want to get rid of George Bush than want to keep him.
The Democrats are more hyped up even than the religous right (above). They still feel cheated by the 2000 result when Gore won the popular vote and there was the Florida counting debacle and will work harder to win on Tuesday.
The turnout is going to be high which traditionally helps the Democrats. Voter registration has been at record levels; 40m more Americans watched the TV debate compared with 2000; and unprecedented numbers have asked for absentee ballots to be certain of their vote.
US polls have a tendency to over-state the Republicans. This happened in the 2000 race when the majority of final surveys went to Bush- he lost the popular vote. This time the polls are more even which should be a boost for Kerry.
Iraq continues to be bad news. The longer the difficulties have gone on the more the question marks over the President’s strategy when it’s now admitted that Saddam Hussain had nothing to do with 9/11. This reinforces the antis and depresses the Bush supporters.
Kerry has not been as bad as some feared. The debates gave Kerry the chance to appear presidential and dispel the impression of him as a wind-bag. He’s still riding on those successes.
Betting round up – 9.15 pm BST
Bush 52.8 Kerry 47.2 Iowa Political Futures Market
Bush 51.5 Kerry 48.5 Tradesports exchange
Bush 1.88 Kerry 2.12 Betfair exchange
Bush 8/11Kerry 11/10 UK bookmaker best price
The Iowa Electronic Exchange had it to Bush on popular votes in 2000.
Polling round-up showing variance of margin on last poll
Bush 50 Kerry 45 Fox Kerry +2
Bush 47 Kerry 49 DCorps n/c
Bush 47 Kerry 47 Zogby tracking Kerry +1
Bush 46 Kerry 46 TIPP tracking Kerry +3
Bush 49 Kerry 48 Bush +2
Thus three out of five new national polls have positive moves for Kerry; one is no change, and the other see a move to Bush.