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Poll: Dole runs even with Bush in New Hampshire

By Keating Holland/CNN

January 12, 1999
Web posted at: 6:21 p.m. EDT (1821 GMT)

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (January 12) -- Although Texas Gov. George W. Bush has a comfortable lead over other potential GOP presidential candidates in nationwide polls, the situation is different in New Hampshire, which will host the first presidential primary in the year 2000, according to a new CNN/WMUR/RKM poll.

Also in this poll:

Among registered Republicans in the Granite State, Bush is in a statistical dead heat with former Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole. If the presidential primary were held today, 31 percent would pick Dole and 30 percent would favor Bush. All other candidates were mired in single digits.

In the most recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, also released Tuesday, Bush has a 42-22 percent lead over Dole among all Republicans nationwide. (Full poll)

Name recognition is important at this stage of the game -- about eight in 10 New Hampshire Republicans are familiar with the front-runners Bush and Dole -- but name recognition does candidates little good if the voters do not have a favorable impression of them.

A case in point is Dan Quayle. He is the best-known Republican included in the poll but a majority of New Hampshire Republicans have an unfavorable view him. The former vice president ran sixth in the GOP field.

Eight New Hampshire Republicans in 10 are familiar with Pat Buchanan, who won the state's primary in 1996. But more of the state's GOPers have an unfavorable view of him than feel favorably toward him, and he tied Quayle with 3 percent support.

And home-state advantage does nothing for New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith, who is also known to about eight in 10 Republicans statewide, but whose unfavorable rating is almost as high as his favorables.

The survey of 576 registered Republicans in New Hampshire was conducted on January 8-11, and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Full poll results:

If the Republican presidential primary were held today and you had a ballot in front of you, which of the candidates would you vote for?

Elizabeth Dole31%Dan Quayle3%
George W. Bush30Pat Buchanan3
John McCain7Lamar Alexander2
Steve Forbes5John Kasich1
Bob Smith4Gary Bauer 

Asked of Republicans only
Sampling error: +/-4% pts

I'm going to read you a list of people who may run in the Republican presidential primary. As I read each name, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person, or if you have never heard of him or her.

  Favorable Unfavorable
George W. Bush 75% 4%
Elizabeth Dole 70 12
Steve Forbes 42 35
Bob Smith 41 38
Lamar Alexander 36% 30%
Pat Buchanan 36 43
Dan Quayle 35 51
John McCain 23 21
John Kasich 11 12
Gary Bauer 7 12

Opinion of Lamar Alexander

Favorable 36%
Unfavorable 30
Unfamiliar 34

Opinion of Gary Bauer

Favorable 7%
Unfavorable 12
Unfamiliar 81

Opinion of Pat Buchanan

Favorable 36%
Unfavorable 43
Unfamiliar 21

Opinion of George W. Bush

Favorable 75%
Unfavorable 4
Unfamiliar 21

Opinion of Elizabeth Dole

Favorable 70%
Unfavorable 12
Unfamiliar 18

Opinion of Steve Forbes

Favorable 42%
Unfavorable 35
Unfamiliar 23

Opinion of John McCain

Favorable 23%
Unfavorable 21
Unfamiliar 56

Opinion of John Kasich

Favorable 11%
Unfavorable 12
Unfamiliar 77

Opinion of Dan Quayle

Favorable 35%
Unfavorable 51
Unfamiliar 14

Opinion of Bob Smith

Favorable 41%
Unfavorable 38
Unfamiliar 21

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Tuesday January 12, 1999

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