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Poll: Bush has edge in swing states

President Bush has pulled ahead of John Kerry in six closely contested swing states that he carried in 2000, shifting the electoral landscape rightward and making it more difficult for challenger Kerry to win the White House, according to a new Knight Ridder-MSNBC poll.

Bush leads in six of the seven battleground states he won four years ago. He leads Kerry in Arizona 50 percent to 39 percent; in Missouri by 48-41; in Nevada by 50-45; in New Hampshire by 49-40; in Ohio by 49-42; and in West Virginia by 45-44.

A seventh swing state from the Bush column, Florida, couldn't be surveyed accurately this week because of the hurricanes.

Colorado could be first to split electoral votes

DENVER _ If a ballot initiative called Amendment 36 is approved by Colorado voters on Election Day, a new small state's worth of definitively Democratic Electoral College votes will be created in the heart of what has been the solidly Republican West.

Amendment 36 would make Colorado the first state to distribute its electoral votes on the basis of its popular vote. The change would take effect immediately with this year's election, which means that President Bush and Sen. John Kerry would share Colorado's nine electoral votes, but neither would get all.

Poll suggests men likely to be more on top of issues

NEW YORK _ Another gender gap has appeared, this time on a poll by the Annenberg Policy Center, testing men's and women's knowledge of issues in the presidential campaign. On the eight-question quiz administered to 1,845 adults, men were more likely on every question to give the right answer.

The biggest gender gap was on the question asking which candidate supported moving U.S. troops from Europe and South Korea to other places. Sixty percent of the men correctly identified President Bush, versus 43 percent of the women. There were also double-digit gaps on questions about Social Security and taxes.

The smallest gap, 54 percent to 49 percent, was on a question asking which candidate wants to allow drugs to be imported from Canada (Sen. John Kerry).