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Gallup Poll: Bush Leads Gore Following First Presidential Debate

Aired October 10, 2000 - 1:36 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: As George W. Bush reminded us just a few minutes ago, round two of the presidential debates will be held tomorrow night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup tracking poll shows Republican Bush with an 8-point lead over Democrat Al Gore.

What do voters think about the two men personally? With a closer look at that, we're joined today, again, by editor in chief of Gallup Frank Newport.

Frank, what do you got?

FRANK NEWPORT, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Lou, let's show you some of the results from the weekend where we've asked voters to say which candidate, Gore or Bush, do these characteristics best fit? And we'll show you some trends all the way back to April, some very interesting results, I think, to help explain some of the reaction to the debates.

This is the questions: Who can manage the government effectively? You'll notice all the way back to April and through the summer, George W. Bush was ahead of Gore. Gore actually caught up with Bush after the Democratic convention in mid-August. And, actually, in our most recent poll, they stayed tied. So not a lot of movement on that one.

Now, agrees with you on the issues: another very interesting dimension. Bush again was up somewhat through the summer on that. But when we superimposed Gore's line, he caught up after the Democratic convention, and roughly they're the same now; not a lot of change since then.

But the next two dimensions are ones on which we have seen change. First of all, for whom does this term apply best: honest and trustworthy? Well, that was a real plus for Bush in the summer. Again, Gore caught up in the convention, Democratic convention. But look what's happened now: Bush has moved up significantly ahead of Gore on that dimension by 14 points, and the weekend polling suggesting that Gore may have taken a hit on that dimension as a result of the aftermath of the debates.

But on the other hand, look at this dimension: Best understands complex issues. That's the way we phrased this. Roughly tied when we've asked it before, but when we came to our most recent poll, you can see Gore actually gained on Bush. He's now ahead of Bush by 11 points. Again, George W. Bush may have taken a hit on that as a result of the debates.

Well, you put all that together, you can see some of the reaction. The net net, of course, is that, at least for right now, George Bush is at least somewhat ahead of Al Gore.

Back to you, Lou and Natalie.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks, Frank.

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