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2 Polls Tell Different Stories on Gore Lead

Politics: Newsweek survey finds the Democratic nominee has a big edge over Bush. CNN/USA Today sees the race as virtually even.

September 10, 2000|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — A new Newsweek poll Saturday showed Vice President Al Gore maintaining a strong lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the presidential race, but a CNN/USA Today survey found the candidates virtually tied.

According to the Newsweek poll, Democratic nominee Gore leads Republican nominee Bush, 47% to 39%, among registered voters, with Green Party candidate Ralph Nader at 3% and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan at 1%.

Among likely voters, Gore led Bush, 49% to 41%, the same margin as among registered voters.

The poll was conducted Sept. 7-8 by Princeton Survey Research Associates among 756 registered voters, including 595 who said they were likely to vote in the election.

The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points for registered voters and 5 percentage points for likely voters.

Unlike Bush, Gore has held onto much of the surge in popularity that both candidates enjoyed after their parties' nominating conventions.

Still, a separate CNN/USA Today poll of 952 registered voters Sept. 6-8 showed a much tighter race.

Gore led Bush, 46% to 43%, among registered voters. But Bush led Gore, 46% to 45%, among the 675 respondents who said they were likely to vote.

The results were within the margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for registered voters and 4 percentage points for likely voters. Gallup conducted the survey.

Fifty-four percent of the registered voters in the Newsweek survey brushed off Bush's recent off-color comment about a New York Times reporter by saying it made no difference in their opinion of him.

But 27% said they now had a less-favorable opinion of Bush because of the remark, which was caught by an open microphone at a campaign event.

More voters continue to think Gore would do a better job on such key issues as health care, Social Security, education and taxes, the Newsweek poll found.

But Bush still edges Gore on leadership qualities, though more registered voters see Gore as honest, ethical, intelligent and well-informed, the survey found.

Meanwhile, a batch of state polls showed Bush with a wide lead in Kentucky and Indiana, but in a virtual dead heat with Gore in the key state of Ohio, which has 21 electoral votes. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House.

The polls for ABC affiliate WCPO-TV by Survey/USA of 500 likely voters in each state had Bush leading Gore by 52% to 38% in Indiana, 51% to 42% in Kentucky, and 48% to 44% in Ohio.

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