- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Voting blocs haven’t changed much from past elections, pollsters and analysts say, despite outreach efforts of both Republicans and Democrats.

President Bush will probably get the majority vote of Protestant evangelicals, white males, military personnel and married women on Election Day, while Sen. John Kerry will probably get the majority vote of blacks, Hispanics, Jewish voters and single women.

“Things are aligning as you typically would expect them to be,” said Larry Harris, a principal with Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. “What is different is the intensity of feelings … and the degree of interest.”

Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, said Mr. Bush is “a lightning rod,” and interest in the election is very high, meaning there will be “a major surge in turnout this year.”

A survey released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey compared Bush supporters with Kerry supporters. It found Mr. Kerry is getting 20 percent of his support from blacks and 12 percent from Hispanics, while Mr. Bush is getting 2 percent of his support from blacks and 5 percent from Hispanics. Twenty percent of Mr. Kerry’s backers are from union households; Bush’s backing is 10 percent.



Fifty-one percent of Mr. Bush’s backers attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 34 percent of Mr. Kerry’s backers. Forty-one percent of Mr. Bush’s supporters are white, born-again Christians, compared with 11 percent of Mr. Kerry’s. Sixty percent of Mr. Bush’s backers have a firearm in their household, while 30 percent of Mr. Kerry’s did.

Mr. Harris said the majority of Arab-Americans will vote for Mr. Kerry, as will the majority of Jewish voters.

However, Mr. Bush is, “doing better this time around than last time” among Jewish voters, probably because of his “single-minded policies that favor Israel,” he said.

John McHenry, a Republican pollster, said the president may get 25 percent of the Jewish vote this year, compared with the roughly 19 percent he got in 2000. That difference could be enough in a state like Florida to push Mr. Bush over the top.

Evangelicals will vote overwhelmingly for Mr. Bush and the Catholic vote will be “close to an even split,” Mr. McHenry said, because Mr. Bush is supported by the majority of white Catholics, but that is counterbalanced by Hispanic Catholic support for Mr. Kerry.

Mr. McHenry also noted that younger voters are not flocking in droves to Mr. Kerry, as some predicted, but are almost evenly split between the two candidates. Among voters under 30, one recent survey found 44 percent support Mr. Bush and 47 percent support Mr. Kerry.

Mr. Harris said Mr. Bush may be able to secure some evangelical black voters because of his conservative stance on key social issues, namely his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage.”

Nonetheless, as in years past, the black vote will go overwhelmingly to the Democratic candidate, Mr. Harris said.

According to the latest Zogby poll — which had Mr. Bush leading Mr. Kerry 48-47 percent — Mr. Kerry leads 2-to-1 among Hispanics, and is supported by 90 percent of blacks, 55 percent of union voters and 65 percent of singles.

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