Published on Thursday, October 5, 2000 by Reuters
Gore Holds Post-Debate Lead, Nader 'Surges'
by Carol Giacomo
WASHINGTON - Democrat Al Gore continued to hold a
slight lead over Republican George W. Bush in the Reuters/MSNBC
daily tracking poll released on Thursday, the first to reflect
some impact of Tuesday's presidential debate.
The survey also showed what pollster John Zogby called a ''surge'' of support for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, which could affect the neck-and-neck presidential race in battleground states.
The poll, conducted by Zogby, surveyed 1,209 likely voters between Monday and Wednesday. It found the vice president leading the Texas governor 46 percent to 40 percent, five weeks ahead of the Nov. 7 election. Bush dropped a point from Wednesday's poll while Gore remained steady.
``Again this race is very close -- close among voters over 50, close among voters earning more than $50,000, close among suburban voters and those who have had some college or a college degree,'' he said.
Nader, the third party candidate who was excluded from the presidential debate in Boston, rose two points to 7 percent in the new survey.
``Gore holds on to his lead, but Nader has picked up significant support, especially after the debate,'' Zogby said.
Nader was up to 17 percent among independents and 18 percent among progressives.
``If he continues the same trend, he will have an impact on several of the battleground states,'' Zogby said.
The Reform Party's Pat Buchanan had 1 percent of the likely voters polled, while Libertarian candidate Harry Browne and Natural Law's John Hagelin had less than 1 percent.
Another 7 percent were undecided.
Poll Shows Debate Impact
Reuters and MSNBC will release a new poll every day until the election. The surveys are made up of a rolling daily sample of 400 likely voters each day to create a three-day sample of about 1,200. The race is now on the outer edge of the statistical margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The effect of Tuesday's presidential debate began to be reflected in Thursday's poll and will be further revealed over the next two days.