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On the Weekly Standard Blog there is an interesting analysis which looks at where John McCain stands against Barack Obama today compared to where George Bush was in June/July 2004 when he was running against Senator “Why the Long Face John? ” Kerry.In both campaigns the Democrat held a 48-42 lead at the end of June.

Senator McCain also does better than President Bush on a couple of measures. For example, in June 2004, Bush and Kerry were essentially tied on the issue of fighting terrorism (Bush 48 percent/Kerry 47 percent). Today, McCain leads Obama by 14 points (53 percent to 39 percent). Bush also trailed Kerry on the question of taxes by 12 points. In June 2008, McCain closes that gap to eight. The spread between McCain and Obama on issues such as Iraq (McCain by 1 point) and healthcare (Obama by 20 points) are the same as between Bush and Kerry in 2004 (Bush by 2 points on Iraq; Kerry by 18 points on healthcare).

Bush closed those gaps in the months between the summer and the election. Of Course its not all good:

the presumptive Republican nominee in 2008 trails his opponent more on the economy than President Bush did in 2004. Senator Kerry held a five-point edge when it came to trust on the economy. Senator Obama leads his Republican rival by 16 points (52 percent to 36 percent). McCain also slumps on the question of who “represents your own personal values.” In 2004, Kerry and Bush were essentially tied on this question (Kerry led by 2 points). Today Senator Obama leads by 13 points (51 percent to 38 percent).

The most troubling numbers, however, for McCain at this point in the campaign could be the gap in “enthusiasm.” It looks as though Obama has done a better job at uniting his supporters than McCain

Supporters Who Are
“Very” or “Somewhat”
Enthusiastic
Supporters Who Are
“Very” Enthusiastic
Bush 90% 50%
Kerry 85% 34%
McCain 73% 17%
Obama 91% 54%

Source: June 2004, 2008 Washington Post Polls

Part of this gap results from lingering Republican-base indifference toward Senator McCain. He was not the “first choice” of many in this group, but he now has solid support among self-identified GOP voters. McCain needs to excite his supporters a little more to ensure GOP turnout competes with a potential Obama wave. My hunch is that McCain enthusiasm will build following the conventions. Nothing drives Republican enthusiasm like the prospect of electing the most liberal president in a generation

Read the the entire post by clicking here:Comparing Polls: June/July 2004 vs. 2008

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