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Poll shows McCain pulling ahead of Bush in South Carolina

February 3, 2000
Web posted at: 12:02 p.m. EST (1702 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Arizona Sen. John McCain, boosted by his upset victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary, has taken a narrow five-point lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush in South Carolina, according to a new state poll released Thursday.

The Zogby poll showed McCain, a former Vietnam POW, with 44 percent support among likely voters in the Feb. 19 South Carolina primary and Bush with 39.3 percent. The lead was within the extremes of the margin of error of 4.4 percent.

The survey, taken Wednesday -- one day after the New Hampshire primary -- was conducted with 517 likely Republican voters.

Talkshow host Alan Keyes trailed the front-runners with just 2.1 percent while publisher Steve Forbes had 1.7 percent and conservative activist Gary Bauer, 1.2 percent.

More than eight in 10 people surveyed had a favorable view of McCain while only 9 percent had an unfavorable view. A similar number had a favorable view of Bush with 12.9 percent unfavorable.

"This is the power of New Hampshire that one day after McCain's convincing victory, he has pulled into a small lead in a state earmarked for Bush," said pollster John Zogby.

Seen as the underdog in the national campaign, McCain whipped Bush in the first primary of 2000 with a surprising 18-point victory in New Hampshire.

Bush has predicted he will win in South Carolina.

Reuters news material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.


Thursday, February 3, 2000

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