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Poll analysis: Bush election win no sure thing

By Keating Holland

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(CNN) -- Can any Democrat beat President Bush in 2004?

Only 38 percent of all Americans think so, and Bush leads any of the active presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. But don't write off the 2004 election just yet.

Some 41 percent of all registered voters say they will definitely vote against Bush; just 29 percent say they will definitely vote for him. So Bush must woo about seven in ten swing voters -- not a difficult task for a popular incumbent, but far from a certainty.

Who will the Democrats throw into the ring against Bush in 2004? National polls are traditionally unreliable at predicting the eventual nominee at this stage of the game.

It looks like Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is benefiting from an "announcement bounce," gaining support as a result of this week's carefully choreographed appearance in front of an aircraft carrier in South Carolina to announce, yet again, that he is running for president.

We have seen these "announcement bounces" before (and seen how ephemeral they are); nonetheless, this particular bounce is enough to put Kerry at the top of the list with 16 percent of all registered Democrats to 13 percent for Joe Lieberman and 11 percent for Howard Dean.

Dick Gephardt has dropped back into single digits with 7 percent, putting him in a tie for fourth place with John Edwards.

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