George Bush and John Kerry are again deadlocked, 45% Bush – 45% Kerry, among likely voters in the three-way race, as they head into tonight's town hall meeting, according to a TIME Poll taken Oct. 6-7. Nader is down to 3%.
On being "likeable," a key strength for Bush in 2000, Bush now trails Kerry, 70% - 65%. (Bush had a slight 4 point lead on likeability before the debate.) Bush still leads Kerry by a wide margin, 81% - 42% on "sticking to his positions."
It's pretty astounding, really. No matter who people intend to vote for, they do tend to buy into the meta-narratives the media feeds them. Even people who are diehard Kerry supporters can find themselves mentally parroting, "Well, yes, I do agree that Bush is more likeable but I don't think that's very important when it comes to choosing a president." And, the "Bush is a likeable guy" [and Kerry isn't] theme has been shoved down our throats more than any of them.