Andrew Sullivan:

My sense of the mood among Washington neocons is something bordering on real depression. Bush is campaigning in Ohio and Michigan as if he were in real trouble and knows it. Moreover, his approval numbers are now below 50 percent. In most critical states, the candidates are neck and neck, but Kerry keeps being nominally in the lead…

Ryan Lizza:

Bush’s approval ratings are also the worst Gallup has ever recorded for him on the economy (41%), foreign affairs (42%), the situation in Iraq (42%), and terrorism (52%). And note that these numbers were only partially affected by the prison abuse story because the poll was conducted Sunday through Tuesday, before Bush’s Arab television interviews. But the most interesting finding in the poll is that while Bush and Kerry are essentially tied nationally (Kerry 49%, Bush 48%), in the purple battleground states–where voters are seeing and hearing more from the two candidates than anywhere else–Kerry leads Bush 48% to 44%. And this is after Bush has taken his best shot at Kerry with his $60 million ad campaign in those states, yet before Kerry’s own ad campaign has really even started.

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