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Gallup Poll: Most Americans Believe Bush Better for Economy Than Gore

Aired August 2, 2000 - 1:13 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: One focus of tonight's convention session is economic prosperity and how to keep it going. Do Americans think one presidential candidate can do that better than another?

Let's check in with Gallup Poll Editor in Chief Frank Newport to see what the American public thinks.

Hello, Frank.

FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP POLL EDITOR IN CHIEF: Natalie, this is one of the great paradoxes, in our opinion, of this election. The economy is important to people. We can show you that. When we asked them to rank order how important various issues will be to their vote, education is number one. That was Monday night's vote. But look at this: The economy, the budget surplus and taxes all are right up there as very high numbers of percents of Americans say they are important to their vote.

The fascinating thing is how well the public perceives we're doing. What we graphed for you here is, back in 1992, only 12 percent gave the economy a good rating. By the time Clinton was seeking reelection in '96, it was up to 43. But look at this: As of last week, 74 percent saying the economy is in good shape. That's a phenomenal contrast from when Clinton-Gore took office. Clinton-Gore, of course, think that Gore should get the credit for that and be reelected. We asked the public who would do the better job handling the economy, and look what we have found and are still finding as of last week. It's Bush 47, Gore 40 percent.

So despite all of this prosperity in the Clinton administration's watch, so to speak, Americans still giving Bush more credit than Gore, and that's really the paradox I talked about a few minutes ago.

Natalie, one reason that may be happening as who gets the credit, a few weeks ago we asked, who takes more credit, Alan Greenspan or the Clinton administration for the economy? and as you can see here, it's the Federal Reserve.

So part of the challenge the Democrats are going to have is trying to convince people that they need Gore to continue the prosperity. Bush, of course, will trying to be -- say the opposite.

That's where the public stands. Natalie, back to you. ALLEN: Frank Newport. Thanks, Frank.

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