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Inside Politics

Poll: Kerry leads among minority voters

Bush improving over 2000 election results

• Interactive: Poll highlights
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John F. Kerry
George W. Bush
Minority Groups
America Votes 2004

(CNN) -- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry holds wide leads over President Bush among black and Latino voters questioned, but Bush runs slightly stronger among minority voters than he did four years ago and has a double-digit lead among white voters, according to a new Gallup poll looking at racial contrasts in the presidential race.

The poll, released Tuesday, found that in a two-way race between Bush and Kerry, 53 percent of white registered voters supported Bush, while 41 percent supported Kerry.

Among black voters, Kerry led Bush 81 percent to 12 percent, and among Latinos, the Massachusetts senator led 57 percent to 38 percent.

Exit polls from the 2000 election showed that Bush received only 9 percent of the black vote, compared to 90 percent for Democrat Al Gore, and 35 percent of the Latino vote, compared to 62 percent for Gore.

So Kerry's lead over Bush among black voters in the new poll was about 12 points smaller than Gore's gap in 2000; among Latinos, it was 8 points smaller.

Four years ago, exit polls showed Bush carried 54 percent of the white vote, to just 42 percent for Gore -- a 12-point gap identical to what was found in the Gallup poll.

The poll also found that independent candidate Ralph Nader siphons more support from Kerry than Bush among minority voters in a three-way race.

With Nader thrown in, Kerry's percentage among black voters declined from 81 percent to 73 percent. Nader drew 10 percent of black voters, dropping Bush to only 9 percent.

Among Latino voters in a three-way race, Kerry's support fell from 57 percent to 52 percent, while Bush's fell from 38 percent to 35 percent. Nader was the choice of 8 percent of Latino voters.

Poll respondents were also asked whether they approved of Bush's job performance as president, generating differences among racial groups that mirrored the results in the presidential race.

Among whites, 61 percent approved of Bush's job performance, with just 38 percent disapproving. But among black voters, 79 percent disapproved and only 16 percent approved. Among Latinos, 40 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved.

Asked whether they would choose Democrats or Republicans to represent them in Congress this year, 48 percent of whites picked the GOP and 42 percent the Democrats.

But blacks went Democratic by a margin of 83 percent to 14 percent, and Hispanics leaned to the Democrats by a 60-35 percent margin.

The poll of 2,250 adults were conducted June 9-30. Among all registered voters, the margin of error for questions about the political races was plus or minus 5.5 percentage points; among minority voters, it was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The question on job approval had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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