Tracking poll: Gore may be opening solid lead -- with a caveat
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Thursday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup tracking poll indicates that Vice President Al Gore may be opening a solid lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush, after nearly two weeks of neck-and-neck competition. Today's figures -- 51 percent for Gore to 40 percent for Bush -- represents a significant margin for the vice president.
However, the survey of 672 likely voters was conducted Oct. 2-4, meaning only about a third of the interviews were conducted after Tuesday's presidential debate in Boston. And so, the poll is not yet a good indicator of the effects of the candidates' first face-to-face encounter.
Also, it appears that Gore was gaining strength before the debate; any advantage he has over Bush today is not due to the effects of Tuesday night's debate. It is clear from the last two days of tracking that Gore had this lead when he walked into the debate on Tuesday night, based on changes in the electorate that occurred as early as Sunday.
CNN will be releasing the results of its tracking polls every day until the November 7 elections. The polls monitor public opinion of the presidential race over intervals of two to three days.
CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL
Likely voters' choice for president
|Sampling error: +/-4% pts|