Peter Hart

Peter Hart, whose Washington polling firm works for many Democratic candidates as well as for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the state of the 2004 Presidential race:

" I have no idea who is going to win.... It is that close."

On his personal opinion of the contest so far:

"[This is] the single best election since Kennedy-Nixon in 1960. No other election matches it in terms of intensity or interest or division within the American public."

On the status of President Bush's campaign with two weeks to go:

"We make a mistake if we say this is a president who is clearly down and out. All we know is, he is on the cusp of victory, he is on the cusp of defeat."

On the "undecideds" who may determine the outcome:

"They tend to be the 30- somethings. These are people that are much less likely to go to church. They tend to be more Democratic: 28 percent of them are minority. Half of them are moderates."

On the demographic groups that are most important to watch:

"The most interesting and central group is regular church- goers. The president has ... done a brilliant job in terms of reaching out to people who go to church on a weekly basis. That is 40 percent of all voters.... In our latest poll, we have [Bush leading among that group] 61 to 36. John Kerry still needs to be able to improve among this group.... They need an understanding of what is the inner core of John Kerry."

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