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Inside Politics

CNN poll has Bush ahead in Florida

But other surveys of state voters indicate no clear leader

• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry
George W. Bush
John F. Kerry

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush outpolled Democratic challenger John Kerry by 8 points among likely Florida voters surveyed in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, but other polls indicated a tighter race.

In the CNN poll, Bush had 51 percent and Kerry 43 percent among likely voters interviewed. The result was similar among registered voters: 51 percent for Bush and 42 percent for Kerry. Independent candidate Ralph Nader drew the support of 1 percent of respondents in both categories.

The poll interviewed 909 registered Florida voters Thursday through Sunday. Of those, 768 indicated they were likely to vote in the presidential election.

The margin of error in both categories was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The results were consistent with the last poll Gallup conducted in Florida, which found in late September that 52 percent of respondents chose Bush and 43 percent Kerry.

Yet it was notably different from three recent statewide polls, all of which showed differences well within the margins of error, indicating no clear leader.

The most recent Insider Advantage poll, conducted Friday through Sunday, found Bush and Kerry tied at 46 percent each among likely voters. The poll had a 4 percentage point margin of error.

A Miami Herald-St. Petersburg Times poll conducted Wednesday through Friday came to the same conclusion among registered voters. That survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

A Research 2000 poll of likely voters conducted Tuesday through Friday found Kerry favored by 48 percent of respondents and Bush by 47 percent. That survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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