Bush Holds Slim Advantage

bush gore debate oct. 17, 2000
On the day before the election, Texas Gov. George W. Bush has a four-point lead over Vice President Al Gore, according to the latest CBS News poll. The state of the race has not changed much since Sunday, when this poll showed Bush with a five-point lead over his opponent.

Thirteen percent of voters say they could still change their minds before Election Day, and 4 percent will probably decide which candidate to vote for on Election Day itself.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls







There has been very little fallout for Bush as a result of the news that he was arrested in 1976 for drunken driving. By 60-35 percent, voters say that Bush did not need to make his arrest public earlier in the campaign. If anything, there may be some backlash for Gore as a result of this news: 46 percent of voters think the Gore campaign was responsible for making the information public, while 36 percent think the Democrats were not involved. Ninety-two percent of voters say the news will make no difference to their vote.

 No differenceMore likely to vote for BushMore likely to vote for Gore





As was the case on Sunday, Gore’s lead among women has shrunk, and is now just one point. Gore continues to lead Bush in the Northeast, and has a one-point lead in the Midwest. Bush has substantial leads in the South and the West. Gore also leads Bush among union households.


Democrats have a very slight edge in the vote for House of Representatives; 41 percent of voters say they will cast their ballot for the Democratic candidate in their district, and 38 percent will vote for the Republican. However, one in five voters say they aren’t yet sure who they’ll support.


Voters continue to view Gore as something of a panderer – although Bush does not score well on this quality either – but they give Gore an edge on issues.

Over half of voters think that Gore mostly says what he thinks people want to hear, rather than what he really believes. Voters also doubt Bush’s veracity, although less so than Gore’s. Forty-nine percent believe that most of the time Bush says what he thinks people want to hear, and 43 percent think he more often says what he really believes.

Voters have more confidence in Gore’s abilities, such as dealing with international issues. Fifty-three percent of voters say they trust Gore to deal wisely with an international crisis, while only 41 percent do not. Voters are less sure of Bush – 44 percent trust him to handle foreign crises, but a larger 48 percent do not.

Both candidates are seen as likely to improve education, preserve Social Security and keep the economy strong, but at the same time, voters see Gore as more likely to do these things.

Bush comes closest to Gore on the issue of education, although his numbers on this issue have dropped over the past day. On Sunday, Bush was virtually tied with Gore on education, but on Monday he trails the vice president by 5 points. In addition, Gore has retained large advantages on preserving Social Security and keeping the country prosperous.

This poll was conducted November 2-5, 2000, among a nationwide random sample of 1,788 adults interviewed by telephone. The sample includes 1,473 registered voters, and a proportionately weighted probable electorate of 943 likely voters (1,273 unweighted). The error due to sapling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the samples of both registered and likely voters. The error for subgroups may be larger.