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Poll: Most Folks Would Rather Break Bread with Colin Powell

August 7, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ When it comes to a dinner companion, more Americans would rather sit with retired Gen. Colin Powell than with President Clinton or Bob Dole, according to a poll.

Thirty-two percent of those asked said they’d prefer to dine with the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while 24 percent said they’d prefer to break bread with Clinton. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was picked by 16 percent _ ahead of Dole, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, who attracted only 11 percent. Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, drew only 6 percent.

Ellen Levine, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping magazine, which joined NBC News in commissioning the poll, speculated Powell rated so high ``Perhaps because he’s a certifiable hero.″

``Perhaps because he hasn’t endured the mudslinging of a presidential campaign,″ she added. ``And perhaps because most of us think we’d like him, and feel comfortable in his company.″

Among women, 24 percent said they’d choose Mrs. Clinton as a dinner partner and 8 percent said they’d rather eat with Mrs. Dole. But Mrs. Clinton was the choice of 7 percent of the men and Mrs. Dole of only 4 percent of them.

On other questions, 60 percent of those polled said it was important to know about the presidential candidates’ personal lives.

Women chose health care and education as the top political issues; men chose the economy, crime and drugs.

The poll, conducted by Blum & Weprin, Inc., on May 28 and 29, among 801 adults, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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