In what some political observers might view as shocking news, a poll of America Online members is currently forecasting a landslide victory for President Bush, who collects 48 of the 50 states in this year’s electoral race.
The unscientific survey, whose results change in real time as more people vote, reveals with more than 34,000 participants, Bush takes a whopping 58 percent of the popular vote compared to 40 percent for Sen. John Kerry and 2 percent for Ralph Nader.
According to AOL’s electoral map of the United States, there’s a massive sea of red marked in favor of the Republican president, while only two states – Connecticut and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia – are marked in blue for the Democrat from Massachusetts.
That’s a total of just 13 electoral votes for Kerry, compared to 525 for Bush. The magic number of electoral votes to win the White House is 270 .
“I find voters are blinded by their hatred of Bush and ignore the true issues,” wrote AOL member Tarraballa on a messageboard related to the poll. “That is scary to me. Kerry may be winning in the war of ‘hating Bush,’ but he is not the best man for president. Do you honestly want Kerry in office when 9-11 hits again? I wouldn’t.”
Another member, Rme22567, took Bush to task for the past four years.
“He is treasonous, traitorous, too cowardly to even go to his cushy stateside assignment during Vietnam, and is the single most evil and incompetent, hateful president ever. Impeachment alone is too easy a sentence, he needs life in prison and should be charged with 928 counts of murder on U.S. soldiers.”
AOL’s interactive map allows users to click on each state, and view the total number of votes for that state.
For instance, in California, the biggest prize with 55 electoral votes, there was a virtual tie between Bush and Kerry, though the president had a razor-thin 39-vote margin as of 12:20 a.m. Eastern time this morning. Thus, California was counted in the Bush column. Ralph Nader got 2 percent of the California vote, though he has not made it onto the Golden State’s ballot yet.
According to AOL voters, Kerry is not even carrying his home state of Massachusetts, where Bush takes 51 percent of ballot-casters.
While no one from AOL returned WorldNetDaily’s request to comment on its straw poll by press time, the Internet service provider says on its site that each month, the voting starts over for candidates, and that AOL members are allowed to vote once per month.
Conceivably, someone with more than one screen name could cast more than one ballot, but such a “vote early and vote often” technique is open to people of more than one political persuasion.
Year 2000 map of election returns. Counties won by Bush appear in red. Gore’s counties appear in blue. (source: USA Today)
The 2000 map shows a county-by-county breakdown, with red areas supporting Bush, and blue regions backing Gore. The final tally had Bush winning 2,434 counties nationwide to Gore’s 677. The population of the Bush counties was 143 million as opposed to Gore’s of 127 million.
Though the 2000 race was among the closest ever, sweeping landslides in presidential elections are not unheard of.
Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984
In 1984, Republican Ronald Reagan won 49 states, while his opponent, Democrat Walter Mondale, took only his home state of Minnesota.
In 1972, Republican Richard Nixon won 49 states, while Democrat George McGovern collected only Massachusetts.
The last time a Democrat saw such sweeping landslides was in 1940 and 1944, when Franklin Roosevelt collected more than 400 electoral votes against Republicans Wendell Wilkie and Thomas Dewey, respectively.
During this year’s political season, professional pollsters using scientific methodology have shown a close race between Bush and Kerry.
A Gallup survey following the recent Democratic convention had Bush receiving 50 percent support among likely voters, and Kerry with 47 percent. Among the larger group of registered voters, Kerry held a 50-47 lead.
According to a poll published Aug. 5 by Rasmussen Reports, Kerry held an electoral lead over Bush of 228-197, with 113 votes listed as toss-ups.
Rasmussen also puts out a daily tracking poll on the presidential contest, and yesterday’s results had Kerry leading the incumbent in the popular vote 49 to 46 percent.
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