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Debate performance poll leans toward Bush - with a caveat

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After the second presidential debate of the fall campaign, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll indicates that voters thought Texas Gov. George W. Bush did a better job than Vice President Al Gore -- but there is a caveat.

Interviews with 532 registered voters who watched Wednesday night's debate found that 49 percent felt Bush did the better job in the debate, while 36 percent felt Gore performed better. All interviews were conducted after the debate concluded at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

 

But it is important to note that more of those in the survey identified themselves as Bush supporters than Gore supporters -- suggesting more of the governor's backers watched the face-off. They would be more likely to give their candidate a good review.

Bush was seen as more likeable and more believable by a majority of debate-watchers. Most of Wednesday night's audience also thought that Bush agreed with them on issues they care about.

As a result, 40 percent of debate watchers said they felt more favorably toward Bush, and only 12 percent said they felt less favorable toward him. Additionally, 70 percent of debate watchers said that they believe Bush has the necessary intelligence to be president.

Gore had one edge -- by a 47 percent to 39 percent margin, debate watchers felt that the vice president expressed himself more clearly than did the Texas governor. Nevertheless, only 18 percent said Gore did an excellent job in the second debate; 29 percent said they felt Bush did an excellent job.

Wednesday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup tracking poll indicated a neck-and-neck race going into tonight's face-to-face encounter, with the Republican and Democratic rivals locked in the tightest presidential race in two decades. In the poll, Bush and Gore each had 45 percent.


CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who did the best job In the debate?



Bush       49%


Gore       36


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

How did Bush do?



Excellent     29%


Good          51


Only fair     18


Poor           2


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

How did Gore do?



Excellent     18%


Good          54


Only fair     25


Poor           2


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Effect of debate on your opinion of Bush



More favorable    40%


Less favorable    12


No effect         48


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Effect of debate on your opinion of Gore



More favorable    24%


Less favorable    16


No effect         61


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who agree with you more on issues you care about?



Bush        52%


Gore        43


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who was more likeable?



Bush        56%


Gore        31


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who expressed himself more clearly?



Gore        47%


Bush        39


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who was more believable?



Bush        51%


Gore        38


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Is Bush intelligent enough to be a good president?



Yes      70%


No       27


Sampling error: +/-5% pts



CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL

October 11

Who made more unfair attacks on the other candidate?



Gore     40%


Bush     27


Sampling error: +/-5% pts


 
EUROPE'S VIEW
Where do Bush and Gore stand on issues of importance to Europe? Launch our Interactive Guide.

POLLS
View the latest tracking poll or dig into our poll archives.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

VIDEO
Watch selected policy speeches and campaign commercials from the major presidential candidates.

WHERE THEY STAND
See where George W. Bush and Al Gore stand on the major issues.

THE STATES
Who are your elected officials? What is the past presidential vote and number of electoral votes in your state? What are the presidential primary results and exit polls? Find out with these state political and election facts.

ELECTION GUIDE
Get Election 2000 zip code searchable candidate biographies and other material for races for governor, Senate and House in our Election Guide.

FOLLOW THE MONEY
How much money have the candidates raised? Here are their quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission.

RACES
If you need to know who's up in 2000 and what seats are open, launch this quick guide.

WEB WHITE AND BLUE
Allpolitics.com is a partner in the Web White and Blue rolling cyber-debate, a daily online exchange among the major presidential candidates. Look for twice-daily updates Sunday through Friday until election day.


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Thursday, October 12, 2000


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