N.H. Poll Shows McCain, Bush Tied
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) _ A new poll of New Hampshire voters shows John McCain for the first time tied with George W. Bush in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Bush had 38 percent, compared to 35 percent for McCain, a difference within the poll’s 4 percentage point margin of error.
``I think (Bush) has quite a challenge,″ said pollster Dick Bennett. ``There’s something there that some Republican voters, especially men, aren’t buying about the guy.″
The New Hampshire Poll showed men were more likely to favor McCain, while women favored Bush.
The poll also showed McCain with the highest favorability rating _ 67 percent _ among Republicans. Bush’s favorability rating dropped to 56 percent from 71 percent in October.
Speaking Wednesday after filing for the New Hampshire primary, Bush said different polls are showing different results, but he realizes McCain is a strong candidate.
``This is a competitive race. I understand it’s competitive and I look forward to working hard,″ Bush said. ``If I had to guess why Senator McCain is doing well, it’s people respect him and so do I. He’s a good man.″
Among Democrats, Vice President Al Gore held a slight lead over former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, with 46 percent to Bradley’s 40 percent.
The telephone poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters and 600 likely Democratic voters was conducted Nov. 4 through Nov. 9 by the American Research Group Inc. of Manchester.
A WNDS-TV-Franklin Pierce College poll, released last week, had 38 percent of likely Republican voters for Bush to 30 percent for McCain. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.
A Dartmouth College-Associated Press earlier this week had Bush ahead of McCain, 44 percent to 31 percent. The margin of error was 5 percentage points.