A Fox News poll released yesterday finds that Bush's convention bump in the polls has smoothed out, and the two men are nearly in a dead heat in nationwide polling: "Thoughts of the Republican National Convention (search) appear to have faded as quickly as memories of Labor Day at the beach, as less than a week after the GOP gathering in New York City the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows the presidential race in a dead heat. Clearly President George W. Bush made gains in critical areas such as leadership and trustworthiness, but just days after his convention ended, Bush's edge over Democrat John Kerry(search) is razor thin." ...
"After the Democratic Convention, Kerry got a small bump in vote and a larger increase in some underlying attitudes,' comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. 'Now Bush is getting a small bounce in votes and a larger increase in some underlying attitudes. It is likely this will fade as the give-and-take of everyday campaigning continues. 'When we look at the small number of undecided voters we see that 36 percent have a favorable view of Bush, 34 percent an unfavorable view and 30 percent are undecided. At the same time, 37 percent are favorable toward Kerry, 24 percent are unfavorable and 39 percent not sure."
"Since the undecided voters who like Kerry appear to be the same people who dislike Bush and vice versa, this means only a little more than a third of the already tiny undecided vote can be said to be 'in play'."
"Though overall support is evenly divided, the reason behind each candidate's support is somewhat different. A large 82 percent majority of Bush supporters describes their vote as "for Bush;" however, Kerry supporters are more divided in how they describe their vote — a slim 51 percent majority says their vote is 'against Bush' and 41 percent 'for Kerry.'"
New York Times reports"
Mr. Bush has not agreed to any debates, and though his campaign says nothing is final, some aides have indicated that they would like the president to participate in no more than two. Mr. Kerry's aides, who have already agreed to the one vice-presidential and three presidential debates the debate commission scheduled, have said he would like to do even more.