A bunch of polls showed him surging. “Most concerning” to President Bush, said one wire story at the time, was a Gallup poll that showed Democrat Kerry had moved into a dead heat with the Republican incumbent.
President Bush would remain locked in a virtual dead heat with the challenger for the rest of the race, but push ahead enough, in the end, to win a second term. The recollection of that Republican “comeback,” if it can be called that, now comes as an ironic tonic to jittery Democrats.
With President Obama slipping in the polls after a weak debate showing last week, they like to hear stories about another distracted incumbent who fumbled on the public stage, yet went on to win a second term.