President George W. Bush currently enjoys high approval ratings and a sharply divided electorate according to the Cook Political Report from Ipsos-Reid. 43% of registered voters would definitely vote to reelect Bush in 2004, 29% would definitely vote for someone else, and 25% are swing voters who would consider voting for someone else (and 3% are not sure). That translates into a 14-point margin (Gap) for Bush. The “Gap” is the difference between those who would definitely vote to reelect Bush minus those who would definitely vote for someone else.
And the “Gap” exists in almost every demographic and psychographic. There is a 14-point gender gap, as Bush enjoys a 22-point margin among men (47% would definitely vote to reelect Bush, only 25% would definitely vote for someone else) but only an 8-point margin among women (40% definitely for, 32% definitely against). That gender gap persists across social classes (it is a 15-point gender gap between non-college-educated men and women, and a 14-point gender gap between college-educated men and women), and, generally speaking, across age breaks (it is a 18-point gender gap between men and women age 18-44, and an 11-point gender gap between men and women age 45 and older).
As broad as the 14-point gender gap is the 12-point gap between the pro-Bush margins in the Northeast and West regions, the regional gap is twice as large, exceeding 30 points between smaller geographic regions. And there are even stronger divisions between married (+25) and unmarried people (-2), especially the 48-point gap between married parents (+32) and single mothers (-16) —gaps that cannot be explained by income and economics alone.
By age, Bush does best among Baby Boomers (+20) and Generation X’ers (+23), and Bush does worst among the oldest voters, the Depression Era Babies (+8), and the youngest voters, the Generation Next voters (-3).
The key group going forward are undecided voters, who would consider voting for someone other than Bush but have not yet definitely made up their mind to do so. Nationwide, they represent 25% of all registered voters, and are equally likely to be men or women. They are Independents (36%), Generation X’ers age 28 to 37 (34%) and active investors who make 5 or more changes in their portolio each year. (36% of active investors are undecided on how they will vote for President in 2004, mirroring the fact that they appear somewhat unable to decide on what stocks to keep in their portfolios!)
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