WASHINGTON — The two presidential front-runners in New Hampshire, Republican George Bush and Democrat Michael S. Dukakis, show signs of vulnerability, according to independent analyses of a poll of voters in the nation's first primary state released here Thursday.
Bush enjoys almost universal name recognition and was favored by 50% of those surveyed, a 4% gain over a similar survey in May. But only 40% of the vice president's supporters classified themselves as "strong," pointed out William Galston, director of economic and social programs at the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies, a nonpartisan think tank that co-sponsored the survey along with WMUR-TV in New Hampshire.
"That translates into a base of only 20%," Galston said. He said the fact that Bush had not made greater gains during the last six months, while enjoying high recognition, indicated that his support had reached a "ceiling" in the state.