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Newsweek Poll: Gore Rated Winner of Final Debate (33-25%) But Bush Leads Gore Among Likely Voters (48-41%).

Majority of Voters Say TV Confrontations Have Only Low to Moderate Influence

On Their Choice

More Would Choose Democrat Over Republican for Congress (51-39%)

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ --

By 33-25 percent, voters think that Vice President Al Gore beat Texas Gov. George W. Bush in their final debate, according to the latest Newsweek Poll. But the majority of registered voters (55%) say that the three presidential debates had only low to moderate influence On their choice of leader. In the presidential race itself, Gore has only a marginal 45-42 percent lead over Bush among registered voters, with Green Party candidate Ralph Nader at 5 percent and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan at 1 percent. And among likely voters, Bush pulls ahead of Gore 48-41 percent.

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In last week's poll, conducted Oct. 12-13, Gore and Bush were tied 44-44 percent among registered voters, while likely voters split 45-43 percent for Bush.

On the final debate between the two candidates, voters said Gore had a better command of issues and facts than Bush (42-25%), seemed more confident and self-assured (45-26%), and was more truthful about his own proposals and his opponent's (34-32%). But Gore was also seen as being more negative or nasty than Bush (38-21%). Of the three different formats used during the debates, a plurality of voters (47%) found the third or "town hall" format to better serve their needs. However, a majority (51%) said the debates made no difference in helping them decide who to vote for, and another 5 percent couldn't say, compared with 23 percent who said the debates made them more likely to vote for Gore, and 21 percent for Bush.

On who would do a better job on specific issues, Gore still leads Bush strongly on handling the economy and jobs (50-37%), on Social Security (49-39%), on abortion (45-35%), on health care (51-35%) and on helping seniors pay for prescription drugs (50-33%). Gore has a marginal lead over Bush on taxes (45-42%) and the two candidates are tied on education and vouchers (43-43%). Bush has an insignificant edge over Gore on handling rising oil prices (38-37%) and a stronger lead on national defense (49-40%) and upholding moral values (45-39%). Gore and Bush are tied on strong leadership qualities (65-65%), while marginally more voters see Bush as being personally likeable (71-67%). More voters see Bush as being honest and ethical (63-52%) and as saying what he believes, not just what people want to hear (58-49%), but more voters see Gore as being intelligent and well informed (82-69%). And more voters say Gore would do a better job than Bush in dealing with international crises like the Middle East and the bombing of a U.S. warship in Yemen (47-39%) and on foreign policy (50-36%).

According to the Newsweek Poll, the majority of registered voters said that if the election were held now they would vote for the Democratic Party's candidate for Congress over the Republican Party's candidate (51-39%). Among likely voters, that number falls to a marginal 47-43 percent edge for the Democrat candidate.

For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,007 registered voters, of which 800 are likely voters, by telephone October 18-20. The margin of error for the whole sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll is part of Newsweek's continuing political coverage and appears in the October 30 issue (on newsstands Monday, Oct. 23).
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 22, 2000
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