Zogby Flashback: Bush Leads in Reuters Poll, But Gore Rises in Key States (Gore leads

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Zogby Flashback: Bush Leads in Reuters Poll, But Gore Rises in Key States (Gore leads FL by 10%)
Reuters | 10/30/00

Bush Leads in Reuters Poll, But Gore Rises in Key States

By Alan Elsner, Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican George W. Bush (news - web sites) kept his three-point lead over Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) in Monday's Reuters/MSNBC national daily tracking poll, but separate surveys of nine key battleground states showed Gore making inroads.

The state polls showed Gore widening his lead in Florida, overtaking Bush in Pennsylvania and closing the gap in his home state of Tennessee.

The national survey of 1,213 likely voters in the Nov. 7 election, conducted Friday to Monday by pollster John Zogby, found the Texas governor with 45 percent and the vice president with 42 percent, unchanged from Sunday's results. Eight days remain until the Nov. 7 election.

Green Party nominee Ralph Nader (news - web sites) polled 5 percent; Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan (news - web sites) stayed at 1 percent; Libertarian Harry Browne (news - web sites) had 1 percent, and the rest remained undecided.

The race remained well within the statistical margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. A candidate would have to be more than six points in the lead to be outside that zone of uncertainty -- something neither man has achieved since the poll began on Sept. 29.

In the equally tight race for the House of Representatives, voters preferred the Republicans by one point. The Democrats need a net gain of seven seats to regain control from the Republicans after six years in the minority.

In a race this close, national polls cannot predict a winner because the election is likely to be decided in key swing states. Reuters and MSNBC are conducting daily tracking polls in nine such battleground states, polling around 600 likely voters in each over three days. These state samples each have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The results showed Gore had expanded his lead in the key state of Florida to 11 percentage points, outside the margin of error. Many analysts believe that is a must-win state for Bush.

Gore also had an eight-point lead in Wisconsin and a six-point lead in Illinois. He was ahead by a single point in Washington state and Michigan and took a three-point lead in Pennsylvania, reversing a Bush lead of three points the previous day.

Bush's lead in Gore's home state of Tennessee narrowed to four points from seven. He led by five points in Ohio, and by a single point in Missouri.

In total, 153 votes in the Electoral College are up for grabs in those nine states. At the moment, Gore would win 110 and Bush would take 43 of those votes.

These are the complete state-by-state results for Monday:

Bush Gore Nader Electoral Votes Florida 40 51 4 25 Illinois 41 47 4 22 Michigan 44 45 4 18 Missouri 46 45 4 11 Ohio 48 43 3 21 Pennsylvania 43 46 3 23 Tennessee 49 45 2 11 Washington 44 45 6 11 Wisconsin 41 49 4 11

A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to be elected president. Most analysts believe both candidates have definitely secured about 200, leaving some 138 to be fought over.

The state polls also measured five tough Senate races. It found Republican Rick Lazio (news - web sites) leading first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites) in New York, 48-43 percent.

In Missouri, the late Gov. Mel Carnahan (news - web sites), who died in a plane crash on Oct. 16 but whose name still appears on the ballot, is ahead of Republican incumbent Sen. John Ashcroft, 49-43 percent. His widow said on Monday she would serve in his place if he were elected.

In Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson was 11 points ahead of Republican Bill McCollum and seemed poised to capture a Republican-held seat.

In Michigan, Republican incumbent Spence Abraham trailed Democratic challenger Debbie Stabenow by two points.

In Washington, Republican incumbent Slade Gorton held a four-point lead over Democrat Maria Cantwell.

In the national poll, 83 percent said they were unlikely to change their minds before Election Day. Forty-one percent have ruled out voting for Bush and 43 percent for Gore.

Men backed Bush, 50-37 percent; women preferred Gore by 47-41 percent as the electorate continued to show a substantial gender gap.

Reuters and MSNBC will release a new poll every day at 6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) until the election.