LANSING (AP) — The presidential race in Michigan has
tightened again, with Democratic candidate John Kerry back in a
near-tie with President Bush, according to a poll released
yesterday.

In the poll, commissioned by the newsletter Inside Michigan
Politics and conducted by Marketing Resource Group of Lansing, 45
percent of the 600 registered voters polled said they back Kerry,
while 43 percent back Bush. One percent back independent candidate
Ralph Nader and 11 percent are undecided.

The poll was conducted Sept. 20-24 and had a margin of error of
plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“It shows some movement by Bush in the last couple of
weeks,” Inside Michigan Politics editor Bill Ballenger said.
“I would have thought Bush would be getting killed right now
… but he’s not.”

A poll conducted Sept. 15-19 by Lansing-based EPIC/MRA had Kerry
at 48 percent and Bush at 44 percent, with Nader getting 2 percent
and 6 percent undecided.

Pollster Paul King of Marketing Resource Group said the fact
that the number of undecideds now is in double digits may indicate
a lack of enthusiasm among some voters for either Bush or
Kerry.

“You don’t see a lot of groundswell support for
either side,” King said. “This shows that the support
for either candidate may be an inch wide and a mile
thick.”

The Bush campaign’s chief strategist, Matthew Dowd, said
he’s glad to see the race is tightening.

“It’s good news for us that it’s extremely
competitive,” he said. “We’re going full tilt
there to try to carry it. We think we’ve got a great shot to
be in this position at this time.”

Kerry campaign spokesman Rodell Mollineau said the Democratic
candidate isn’t paying that much attention to the polls
because they vary so widely.

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