Pollster John Zogby of Zogby International was the guest at Friday's Monitor Breakfast. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
"Months ago I said I thought John Kerry would win.... I am still sticking with [that prediction].... The president is not polling good numbers for an incumbent [and] on four of the top five issues, Kerry leads by double digits."
"This time he goes from 2 to 1 (percent of the vote) to probably half million votes ...as opposed to his hurting or taking anything away from Kerry."
On where undecided voters stand:
"They do not like the war, they do not like how we got into the war, they appear to not want to vote for the President...They give the President high marks for leadership and decisiveness. On the other hand, they give Kerry high marks for issues and for being smart, competent, capable of being president. What is missing is electricity for Kerry and an element of trust."
"I think the president has run a better campaign ... he has played an excellent game of chess and checkmated John Kerry. So the war is at best a catastrophic success ... But the issue is OK, Senator, what are you going to do about it? Are we going to stay are we going to leave? Kerry just doesn't have a compelling, positive, clear position on that.... Nonetheless, this is a referendum on George W. Bush and we see an incumbent polling at 47-48 percent. That is not enough to win."
"Kerry's problem focusing on foreign policy was simply this: What is the alternative? I have a plan: I am going to get allies. Sure, Mr. Chirac, how many troops are you going to send? You had voters, particularly his base, looking for old-time Democratic religion about education and about healthcare.... [Kerry] should have run as a Democrat to Democrats and then focused on the undecideds in the last couple of weeks. And I think [not doing] that was an error."