According to the most recent polling, Bush leads Kerry with 51% of the vote. But, when we factor in Nader, Bush still wins, but with only 48% of the vote.

Who the hell jumps from Bush to Nader?!

Also, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out in the Corner:

Despite one of the last relentlessly negative media campaigns in recent memory, Bush is ahead in the polls on various key issues and in the head to head match-up according to the latest Washington Post poll . Personally, I think the poll obsessions are overdone, but this would seem to show that Bush’s ads are working and Kerry’s attacks aren’t. Indeed, what’s more interesting is that Kerry’s buying ads in “key states” — i.e. normally safe Democratic states: New York, California, Washington, Wisconsin and New Jersey.

I can think of a bunch of reasons why Kerry would need to do that, but I can’t think of any that would count as a good sign for the Kerry campaign.

Good point, Jonah. Why, oh why, would Kerry need to advertise in those Democrat bastions? Perhaps because they aren’t bastions. Perhaps, in the case of New York and New Jersey, there really is a 9/11 effect.

UPDATE: According to this, Kerry is running the ads in California, New York, and New Jersey as part of a fundraising effort.

That seems foolish to me, if it’s true. Why? Because Kerry is going to raise money from the energized people. The energized people already know Kerry is the guy and already know he needs money to combat the “Bush machine of special interest” as the Dems so fondly call his fundraising abilities.

Based on polling trends, it seems more likely that Kerry really is in trouble in those states and the “raising money” angle can be readily digested by lazy reporters who won’t dig into the polling numbers.