DES MOINES — A poll indicated Sunday that the race between Kansas Sen. Bob Dole and Vice President George Bush in Iowa remains a close one, six weeks before the state's precinct caucuses provide one of the first major tests of the 1988 Republican presidential campaign.
A poll by the Des Moines Sunday Register indicates 37% of Iowans who say they are likely to attend the Feb. 8 Republican caucuses support Dole, and 33% favor Bush. The poll has a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points.
Eight percent of respondents said they were undecided.
The other Republican presidential candidates lagged behind, the poll found. New York Rep. Jack Kemp was supported by 9% of likely GOP caucus-goers; former TV evangelist Pat Robertson, 8%; former Delaware Gov. Pierre S. (Pete) du Pont IV, 5%, and former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr., less than 1%, the poll said.
Sunday's poll showed little change since a Nov. 15 poll in which Dole led Bush, 36% to 30%. Since then, Bush has campaigned hard in Iowa, stressing his support for the U.S.-Soviet arms treaty and his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
Bush's support remains strongest in metropolitan areas and among younger Republican caucus-goers, while Dole's strength is in rural areas, the poll indicates.