MSNBC’s post-speech poll conducted last night showed 47% of voters favoring George W. Bush, and 36% favoring Al Gore. A 9-point gender gap showed in the poll, with 43% of women favoring Bush and 52% of men favoring Bush. While 40% of women favored Gore, only 31% of men favored Gore. In an earlier NBC/Wall St. Journal poll, 44% of voters overall chimed in for Bush, and 38% backed Gore. Bush’s slight lead over Gore in the MSNBC poll does not necessarily mean long-term trouble for Gore, as post-speech polls often garner similar results. The gender gap continues to show that women will be crucial to this election.
A focus group conducted by Frank Luntz after last night’s speech mirrored the MSNBC poll’s conclusion that swing voters were impressed by Bush. The group asked 36 swing voters how the speech influenced their votes, with a majority responding that the “home run” speech motivated them to become Bush supporters. Using dial technology, Luntz monitored responses to different sections of Bush’s speech. The only issue that caused voters support to crash-among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike-for Bush was when he spoke about how he would restrict abortion.