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Gallup Poll: Bush Surges in Polls on Eve of Convention

Aired July 28, 2000 - 2:36 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We have a new glimpse at how this year's political race is beginning to shape up.

For that we check in with Frank Newport who is editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. He joins us from Princeton, New Jersey.

What does it look like, Frank?

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: Well, Lou, some interesting facts for you. Number one, we are expecting a bounce, we always do, out of every convention, where that party's candidate goes up. But right now George W. Bush is looking pretty good. So if he gets a bounce out of next week's convention, it's really going to present a formidable challenge for Al Gore when they meet in Los Angeles, to try to get his own bounce.

Let's show you what I am talking about here. Generally speaking, as we've told you all year long, George Bush has been ahead among likely voters in our polling. As of a night or two ago, excuse me, it was 11 points, 50 percent for George W. Bush, 39 for Al Gore. So that's where Bush has been before, but it's a nice comfortable lead for the Republicans going into their convention.

Fact number two, the gender gap still exists, very much in evidence, but Bush is doing a little better than he has in the past. He's way ahead among men, but that's been the case for many Republicans like Reagan and his father, George Herbert Walker Bush. Among women, well, it's virtually even. Now Al Gore needs to actually win among women if he's going to win the election next fall. Watch for the Republicans to try to appeal to the female constituency, of course, next year, to try to keep that down for the Democrats.

Interest, we hear a lot from the Democrats who are saying that no one is paying attention yet and when they do, Al Gore's fortunes will come up. Well, there is some truth in that. This tracks it all the way to last September, interest went up a little, 50 percent last March in the primaries. Now it's at 42 percent. However, when we look back, even right before the election, say, in 1996, that number was only up at about 60 percent. So there is never going to be a point where everybody is paying attention.

Finally, we can show you something that's quite interesting in terms of people's recognition of what Bush has done down in the lone star state. Way back last September, he got a 68 percent job approval rating, that's actually dropped, even though he is doing well in the polls. Partially because people are paying more attention, things like death penalty and all of that have come into the fore. Right now, it's high, but not as high as it was.

Some facts about the people's views. We'll see what happens next week, should be fascinating. Back to you.

WATERS: Yes, we'll take another snapshot, check in next week. Frank Newport, in Princeton, New Jersey.

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