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Poll Shows Clark Taking Lead in S.C.

October 31, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has taken the lead in South Carolina, bumping John Edwards from the top spot in the state with a Feb. 3 presidential primary, according to a poll out Friday.

Clark had the support of 17 percent, while North Carolina Sen. John Edwards had the backing of 10 percent in the poll by the American Research Group of Manchester, N.H. More than a third, 36 percent, were undecided.

Edwards led among South Carolina voters in this same poll in September, with the backing of 16 percent, 9 points ahead of his closest competitors. Edwards, a South Carolina native who now lives in a neighboring state, is counting heavily on a strong showing in South Carolina and has spent more than $600,000 on campaign ads there.

Clark, a former NATO commander, entered the race in mid September, hoping to build support in states with Feb. 3 contests like South Carolina, which has a strong military tradition.

Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut senator, was at 8 percent, while Dick Gephardt, a Missouri congressman, and Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, had the backing of 7 percent. Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun were at 5 percent, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was at 4 percent and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich was at 1 percent.

The poll of 600 voters who say they would definitely vote in the Democratic primary was taken from Oct. 26-30 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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