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Inside Politics

Latest presidential polls vary widely

Gallup, Pew Research polls get different results

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CNN's Carlos Watson on the latest polls.
America Votes 2004

(CNN) -- Two new national polls are giving widely divergent views as to whether President Bush's post-convention bounce has solidified or evaporated.

A Gallup Poll released Friday showed the president widening his lead over Kerry among likely voters to 13 percentage points, with 55 percent for Bush and 42 percent for Kerry.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. (Special report: America Votes 2004, poll tracker)

The race narrowed to 8 points among registered voters, with 52 percent choosing Bush and 44 percent picking Kerry.

The level of support for the president was the highest he has seen in the Gallup Poll since January, when he was enjoying a bump from the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Bush's job approval rating also rose to its highest level since April, with 52 percent saying they approved of his performance and 45 percent saying they did not.

However, a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released Thursday, showed the race between Bush and Kerry now a dead heat.

Among registered voters, the two candidates were tied at 46 percent in the Pew poll; among likely voters, Bush led by a statistically insignificant margin of 47 percent to 46 percent.

The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The Pew Center conducted two waves of polling over a seven-day period between September 8 and Tuesday.

In the first wave, Bush had a double-digit lead, but by the final wave of polling, the race had become a dead heat, indicating that the president's momentum had eroded.

The Gallup Poll, which showed no erosion of momentum, was conducted at roughly the same time as the second wave of polling done by the Pew Center.

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