Poll: Gore lead in California cut in half in October
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Democratic Vice President Al Gore saw his once hefty lead in California almost halved during the month of October and now leads Republican George W. Bush by just 7 percentage points, according to a poll released Thursday.
The Field Poll said that at the end of October, Gore led Bush by 47 percent to 40 percent, compared to a 50 percent-to-37 percent lead he enjoyed in California at the start of the month.
The poll said Gore's narrowing margin appeared to be the result of a 3 percentage point shift in voter support to Bush. It also found that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who some Democrats fear may siphon off Gore supporters, was holding steady at 4 percent.
Both Gore and Bush made swings through California this week, hoping to buttress support in the nation's most populous state.
Pollster Mark DiCamillo said Nader's even support ratings indicated that while he might not be winning new supporters for his own candidacy, he could still be having an indirect effect on Gore's campaign by adding to the negative publicity surrounding the Democratic candidate.
"That's impacting Gore's candidacy, and its really affecting his image quite a bit," DiCamillo said.
The Field Poll was conducted of 990 likely voters in California between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
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