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AP NSL Media Journal Week #9 (1)

AP NSL Media Journal Week #9 (1) - New voters are'X-factor...

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October 26, 2004 New voters are 'X-factor' of election By Susan Page, USA TODAY If President Bush wins re-election, he'll owe it to voters who regularly go to the polls. If Sen. John Kerry prevails, he'll have new voters to thank. Likely voters who cast a ballot in 2000 lean toward Bush, 50%-46%, according to USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup surveys during the past four months. But likely voters who didn't go to the polls four years ago are overwhelmingly for Kerry, 59%-40%. These get-off-the-bench voters could be a decisive factor in the election, and they introduce an unpredictable element in a close race. There probably will be more of them than usual: Fifty-two percent of those who didn't vote in 2000 say they are almost certain to go to the polls this year - though only half of them meet the survey criteria to be identified as "likely voters." Janis Jones, 46, of Prichard, Ala., can't recall why she didn't vote four years ago. "Maybe it was raining that day," she suggests. But she is determined to vote this time, rain or shine.
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