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Gallup Poll: Gore Gains Ground on Bush

Aired July 18, 2000 - 1:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Democrat Al Gore is in Tennessee today to call for a crime victim's bill of rights. The vice president will unveil his proposal shortly during a speech at Rhodes College in Memphis. We plan to bring it to you live.

Gore's Republican rival, George W. Bush, made a campaign stop in Milwaukee today. He proposed spending $200 million on programs to make men better fathers.

Well, suddenly the presidential contest is a horse race again as Al Gore closes the persistent gap between himself and the Texas governor.

Here to fill us in on that is Frank Newport from the Gallup studios in Princeton, New Jersey.

Hello, Frank.

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: Hello, Natalie.

If you take the big picture, Natalie, going all the way back to January, we've seen the race close up before, and then Bush has extended his lead. Was hasn't happened is Gore has not moved into the significant lead at any point since January. And he still isn't in our last poll over the past weekend. But all in all, it looks like it's very close at this point in time among likely voters. So Gore has in fact gained on George W. Bush going into this all important convention season.

Here's the poll where we asked voters who they would vote for among these four candidates as of this weekend. It's Bush 45, Gore 43. Nader would get five percent on the Green Party ticket and Buchanan, as the Reform Party nominee, would get three percent. So it is close. Gore has picked up, since our last poll, among Democrats and women and some among independents.

The big issue now which is going to disrupt these polls, perhaps, will be the vice presidential nominations and then the conventions. We asked people this weekend: Does who the president select make a difference in terms of your choice? the vice presidential nominee that is. And only 13 percent say yes.

But for George W. Bush, it will show you here, there could be a more important variable in this. And this is abortion. We've heard a lot about it. If Bush chooses someone who is pro-choice, then there could be a reaction from conservative Republicans. These are Bush voters represented here. And the important one right here is Bush voters who are pro-life, 16 percent said they absolutely would not vote for Bush, even though they are now, if he chooses somebody they don't agree with on abortion. That seemingly a small number, but 16 percent could be big enough in a very close race to make a difference.

That's where the public stands on Election 2000. Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: And, Frank, you've also been polling people about this age of rage we live in and we're going to discuss that in our next hour. But give us a little sampling of what that's about.

NEWPORT: Well, there's no question about it. We asked people, not only do they perceive that Americans are getting ruder, they perceive that people are getting angrier in response to that rudeness. And we'll be talking about some of that next hour. Very interesting behavior.

Don't get mad at me, Natalie, OK.

ALLEN: I won't, you're too nice. Frank Newport, thanks very much, and we'll discuss that in the next hour, see you then.

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