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Poll: Gore's image remains untarnished

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Although Al Gore's public image suffered during the five weeks of electoral limbo brought on by his legal challenges to the Florida vote count, the public does not consider him a sore loser and his favorable rating has rebounded in the wake of his well-received concession speech last week, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

In early December, a majority of the public had an unfavorable opinion of Gore for the first time in his political career, but now that the election is finally over, Gore's favorable rating is up to 57 percent -- just about where it was before Election Day.

Gore's popularity is virtually the same as George W. Bush's rating, and when the two men meet on Tuesday, speculation about a rematch in 2004 may be inevitable. If Bush and Gore were on the ballot four years from now, 50 percent of all registered voters say they would choose Gore over Bush; 41% would pick Bush.

It is vitally important to note, however, that it is impossible to tell as of today which of those registered voters will be considered "likely" voters four years from now, and since we know that not all registered voters actually cast a ballot, today's results of a hypothetical Bush-Gore rematch are not and cannot be a prediction of what might happen in 2004.

Would Gore win his party's nomination? Most Democrats say it's too soon to tell whether they would support him for their party's presidential nomination in 2004, although Democrats who say they would definitely vote for Gore outnumber those who would definitely not support him by a 6-to-1 margin.

Despite GOP attempts to paint Gore as a sore loser throughout the Florida recount, two-thirds say that he was a man of principle who fought for what he believed in and only a third describe him as a sore loser.

The poll consists of interviews with 1,011 adult Americans, was conducted December 15-17, 2000 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points unless otherwise indicated.

December 15-17

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Vice President Al Gore:

         Favorable   Unfavorable

Now          57%          40%

Dec. 2-4     46           52

Nov. 4-5     56           39

Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following people:

              Favorable   Unfavorable

Bush           59%          36%

Gore           57           40

Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Which comes closer to your view of Al Gore -- he is a man of principle who fought for what he believed in, or he is a sore loser who should have conceded earlier?

Man of principle      67%

Sore loser            30

Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Asked of Democrats only: Which comes closest to your view -- I definitely plan to support Al Gore for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2004, I definitely do not plan to support Al Gore for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2004, or I would consider voting for him, but it is too soon to tell?

Definitely yes      30%

Definitely no        5

Too soon to tell    64

Sampling error: +/-4% pts

Asked of registered voters: Suppose that the presidential election of 2004 were being held today, and it included Al Gore as the Democratic candidate and George W. Bush as the Republican candidate. Would you vote for Al Gore, the Democrat or George W. Bush, the Republican?

Gore      50%                 

Bush      41                  

Sampling error: +/-3% pts


Monday, December 18, 2000



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