WASHINGTON - Vice President Gore, the Democratic presidential candidate, received a boost from this week's party convention, with a Newsweek magazine poll of likely voters released yesterday putting him ahead of Republican rival George W. Bush for the first time.
The latest poll of 806 registered voters conducted before and after his speech Thursday night in Los Angeles accepting his party's nomination had 48 per cent favoring Mr. Gore and 42 per cent for Governor Bush.
Green Party nominee Ralph Nader took 3 per cent and Reform Party leader Pat Buchanan 1 per cent.
Governor Bush was ahead by 11 points in the same poll after the Republican National Convention two weeks ago.
It may take a week or more to know whether Mr. Gore gets a meaningful post-convention boost in the polls. But several early surveys suggest the Vice President will get enough of a gain to make the campaign competitive as it heads into the final two months. Experts are predicting a close election race right up to the Nov. 7 general election.
In a two-way race between the Vice President and the Texas governor, Mr. Gore led with 52 per cent, compared with 44 per cent for Governor Bush, according to the survey conducted Thursday and Friday night.
The survey's margin of error is 4 per cent.
Up until the Democratic convention, Mr. Gore had been trailing Governor Bush in the polls and rarely has drawn more than 45 per cent in surveys.
Among likely women voters, 50 per cent said they would elect Mr. Gore if the presidential election were to be held now, versus 39 per cent for Mr. Bush.
Mr. Gore received 46 per cent from male voters, while 44 per cent said they would choose Governor Bush, the poll showed.
On the economy and jobs, 52 per cent said they think Mr. Gore would do a better job, compared with 35 per cent for Governor Bush.
Mr. Gore enjoyed comfortable leads on issues from abortion to taxes to health care.
Fifty-one per cent said Mr. Gore would handle Social Security better than Governor Bush, who received the support of 35 per cent.