Saturday, September 27, 2003

Bush leads all comers in Ohio

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI - President Bush holds double-digit leads over all potential 2004 Democratic challengers, according to a statewide survey of registered voters in Ohio.

The Ohio Poll, conducted Sept. 4-19 by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research, showed Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman had the best showings of Democrats who might face Bush in the November 2004 election. Bush led Gephardt 55 percent to 41 percent and Lieberman by 55 percent to 40 percent, the poll reported Friday.

Bush held a lead of 19 percentage points over Howard Dean, 20 points over John Kerry and 29 points over Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio congressman and former Cleveland mayor, the poll reported.

The institute surveyed 632 registered voters statewide by telephone. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Bush's net favorability rating - the percentage of voters who have a favorable opinion of a candidate minus the percentage who have an unfavorable opinion - was 20 percent among Ohio registered voters, the poll reported. That was a decline of 20 percentage points since a similar Ohio Poll released in February.

Bush still had the highest net favorability rating of any potential 2004 candidate, the poll found. Lieberman's 13 percent was the highest among Democrats. Three Democrats had negative net favorability ratings: Bob Graham (minus 1 percent), Kucinich (minus 5 percent) and Al Sharpton (minus 27 percent).

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