Jewish World Review June 8, 2000 /5 Sivan, 5760
Has Gore Caught Bush?
Whether or not Vice President Al Gore really has
caught up with Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) in
national polls, he's doing OK where it counts - in the country's key
According to The Hotline's electoral scoreboard, Gore is either slightly
ahead of or behind Bush in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Missouri and
Pennsylvania, five of the six states where presidential elections are often
Ohio is the lone large, contested state where Bush enjoys a lead outside
the latest poll's margin of error - and even there, an early-May American
Research Group survey gave Bush just a 6-point lead.
Meantime, the most recent set of national polls show that Gore has
narrowed Bush's lead to practically nothing. The Zogby/Reuters poll last
week showed Bush ahead 42 to 41 percent. In early May, Bush led by 5
points in the Zogby poll.
The bipartisan Hotline Bullseye poll by the Global Strategy Group and the
Polling Co. in late May showed Bush leading 43 to 41 percent.
The Bush campaign declares these to be "outlying" polls and disputes
that the race really has narrowed yet, although Bush aides expect it to do
One Bush spokesman said the GOP candidate led by an average of 5.8
points in national surveys conducted in May, up from 5.5 points in April
and 1.9 percent in post-primary polls in March.
The Bush campaign distributed charts showing that from late April to late
May - a period during which Gore was constantly criticizing Bush while the
governor was making "positive theme" speeches - Bush's net favorable
ratings increased, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll.
For sure, Gore's attack strategy garnered him heaps of criticism, mainly
from Democrats. One Democratic Member, for instance, said, "People
want their president to be a father figure, not an attack dog."
Even President Clinton let it be known through intermediaries that Gore
would be better off letting surrogates, including Clinton himself, go after
Bush instead of doing the dirty work alone.
In an elaborately advertised shift, Gore last week started making positive
speeches and leaving negative commentary to others, including White
House spokesman Joe Lockhart and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
Gore barely mentioned
JWR contributor Morton Kondracke is executive editor of Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
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