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It is only the Beginning

Posted October. 14, 2004 23:18,   


The three U.S. presidential debates have all concluded as of October 13 (local time).

However, the incumbent president George W. Bush and the Democratic Party presidential candidate John Kerry are still in a neck-and-neck competition, 20 days away from the election.

D-20 Findings—

Since the five-day Republican National Convention, which was held from August 30, Bush’s 10-percent lead has almost worn out with the three presidential debates.

According to a number of opinion polls conducted since last weekend, the two candidates are in close competition within the margin of error, both failing to achieve approval ratings of more than 50 percent.

Nonetheless, as the approval ratings of President Bush fell with the proceeding of the debates while Kerry’s are rising, people are concerned over whether this trend will continue until the election.

In competing for the electoral votes, which is more important than the nationwide approval ratings, Bush remains ahead of Kerry even though results vary according to polling organizations.

However, Senator John Kerry may be able to turn the tables because some “swing states” have increasingly become in favor of Kerry lately. The number of major swing states range from eight to 14, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Nevada.


Election experts say the impact of the three presidential debates on the candidates’ approval ratings remains to be seen until the result of the public opinion poll is released early next week. They are expecting a couple of opportunities to reverse the trend.

Thus, the two hopefuls have already launched their “all-in” strategies by pouring last-minute TV commercials and election campaigns in the swing states. In particular, their strategies are to make all-out efforts in winning the states where they won in the 2000 presidential elections.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com