Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 7 News List

Latest poll shows Kerry `unknown'


Former US president Bill Clinton waves to the Democratic delegation after his keynote speech at the opening session of the Democratic National Convention at the FleetCenter in Boston on Monday. Clinton has vowed to unseat US President George W. Bush from the White House.


Most US voters said they know little about Demoratic presidential contender Senator John Kerry, who remains deadlocked with President George W. Bush in voter support, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Taken just before the Democratic National Convention got underway Monday to officially annoint Kerry as the party's candidate in the Nov. 2 election, the poll also found the Massachusetts senator losing ground to Bush when people were asked who best shared their values.

Kerry hopes the four-day convention will make him better known to voters, 54 percent of whom in the poll were unfamiliar with his positions against only 25 percent who felt the same about Bush.

Even among Democrats, 46 percent said they were unsure what Kerry stands for.

The proportion of Americans who rate Kerry as "too liberal" has increased from 36 percent in June to 40 percent, and more people (49 to 43 percent) see Bush as the candidate who better reflects their values -- last month Kerry had the advantage by 48 to 46 percent.

More people in the poll felt Bush was better qualified than Kerry to keep the US safe and secure by a 54 to 38 percent margin -- wider than one month ago when it was 54 to 40 percent.

Kerry also lost ground to Bush on dealing with Iraq, the war on terrorism and taxes, while on the economy and education, issues in which Kerry had the advantage two weeks ago, both candidates were tied.

Finally, the poll found Bush and Kerry again tied at 48 to 46 percent in voter support. The Massachusetts Senator went from a four-point lead over the president in mid-June to tying with him two weeks ago.

A total of 1,202 people were interviewed July 22 to 25 for the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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