Gore support growing in New Jersey
TRENTON, N.J. (Reuters) - Vice President Al Gore has a solid double-digit lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the important swing state of New Jersey, where his campaign has found growing support among independents and men, a new poll concluded Monday.
A Star Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers poll showed the Democratic presidential nominee leading Republican Bush 47-34 percent among all registered voters, and gave him a 10-point, 46-36 percent edge over his Republican rival among people likely to cast ballots in the Nov. 7 election.
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader polled 3 percent while Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan had 1 percent.
Conducted Sept. 6-13, the poll had a 4 percent margin of error and was based on responses from 670 New Jersey residents.
A similar survey conducted by the same organization in June, before the main parties held their presidential conventions, showed Gore three points ahead of Bush.
Cliff Zukin, who directed the Rutgers-based survey, said results showed New Jersey voters had grown to like the vice president even more than their own governor, Republican Christine Todd Whitman.
"One measure of how well Gore is doing is that his favorability ratings now run ahead of Bill Clinton's and Christie Whitman's," he said.
Gore, who led Bush among independent voters by six percentage points in June, increased his lead by 13 points to 46-33 percent in the latest survey.
The vice president also edged ahead of Bush among male voters, leading the Texas governor 47-42 percent after trailing him by eight percentage points in June. Among women, Gore led Bush 53 to 32 percent.
With the presidential race intensifying, New Jersey has come to be viewed as an important swing state for the November election. The state has 15 electoral votes and a large suburban population dominated by voters who are not affiliated with either main party. New Jersey also has backed the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections, in 1948 and 1976.
Late in August a Quinnipiac University poll of New Jersey voters showed the vice president 14 points ahead of Bush, compared with a narrow Gore lead in July.
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