Since the breaking of the Al Qaa Qa “missing” explosives story, Kerry has hit the story hard. His next 18 speeches, (that I know of) started with it. So fixated was Kerry, that 3 days after the story broke, he gave a speech ostensibly on the economy but he spent over 1/3 of it on the Al Qaa Qa story.
After a while, he became the story. The press had nothing to add and frankly, the story was crumbling, but since that was all Kerry was talking about, it stayed front page news. Kerry was convinced he had manna from heaven in the form of a hit piece perpetrated by CBS News and the New York Times. He was sure he could ride it to victory.
But a funny thing happened on Kerry’s trip to Pennsylvania Avenue. He lost big ground in the polls. This can be seen most vividly in the Washington Post tracking poll. A tracking poll is done every night to follow the momentum of the candidate. In the closing days of a big race, tracking polls tend to be very affected by big news stories about a candidate. For obvious reasons, tracking polls are usually 24 hours behind the news cycle.
For the sake of clarity, I only show 1 week before the story.
Kerry was on a roll, gaining momentum quickly, but that changed just as quickly. As could be expected, his momentum latest 24 hours after the news broke but then his fixation on the story started working against him. It is clear that Al Qa Qaa is not helping John Kerry. From his all time peak of 50 points, he has dropped a point per day. Meanwhile, Bush who had leveled off at 48% is now up to 50%.
The effects of these changes can be seen in the Electoral College votes as well.
The day after the story broke Kerry had closed the gap considerably in the EC vote. According to RPC, the numbers looked like this.
10/26 George Bush 234 — John Kerry 228
10/28 George Bush 232 — John Kerry 207
Once they update the numbers, it will probably look even worse for Kerry.
Other sites in our tracking tool showed similar results as well. While some even put Kerry in the lead for EC votes last week, they all showed Kerry with a 15-20ish point drop as the week ended with Bush staying in relatively the same position.
Leaks from the Bush camp have been quite positive in regards to their internal polling this week and one Bush campaign spokesman “guaranteed victory” in Ohio to Bill “loofa” O’Reilly. They must be pretty confident.
Kerry’s people must see this by now. Especially with the Bin Laden tape to give him cover, look for Kerry to drop the story, it’s killing him.