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Gore Discounts Poor Poll Numbers

March 9, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday he isn’t putting much stock in a poll indicating American voters may be more interested in electing Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Elizabeth Dole as president than him.

Gore told CNN’s ``Late Edition Primetime″ that his low poll numbers don’t mean voters have ruled out casting their ballots for him, saying the 2000 presidential election would be decided by ``the power of ideas,″ not by polls.

``Polls are simply predictions of the future, in this case of an election that’s two years away,″ Gore said. ``And you know the old saying that six months is a lifetime in politics. That means there are four lifetimes between now and then.″

Gore currently is the front-runner for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination. But a poll of 1,203 adults released last month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed 45 percent of registered voters surveyed said there was no chance they would vote for him.

In that same poll, more than two-thirds said there was at least a chance they would vote for Bush, and nearly that many said they could vote for Mrs. Dole, the former American Red Cross chief and wife of 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole.

``Other predictions of the future have been famously wrong because they didn’t take into account what the reality is,″ Gore said. As an example, he cited a decades-old forecast by IBM that the worldwide market for computers would be only ``a few dozen.″

``Polls will not determine the (election’s) outcome in any way, shape or form. Ideas will,″ Gore said.

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