CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 2, 2000
UI Heartland Poll gives Bush a narrow lead, but shows momentum favors
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore are
in a "virtual dead heat" in four Midwest battleground states, but
the current momentum seems to favor Gore, according to the 2000 Heartland
Poll from the University of Iowa.
The Heartland Poll, created and directed by Arthur H. Miller, a UI professor
of political science and director of the Iowa Social Science Institute, is
the only political opinion poll to focus solely on Midwest voters. The poll
gathers data from voters in seven Midwest states -- Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The poll shows a close race in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin,
with 38 percent of voters preferring Bush and 37 percent favoring Gore. Of
the remaining voters, 18 percent are undecided, 5 percent favor Ralph Nader,
and 2 percent favor another candidate.
For the entire seven states included in the Heartland Poll, Bush leads Gore
by four percentage points (43 percent to 39 percent) Ralph Nader gets 4 percent,
the other candidates receive 2 percent, and 12 percent remain undecided.
Although Bush maintains a narrow lead in the race, the poll shows that momentum
appears to be with Gore as he has closed the gap between himself and his challenger
in the last month.
"Within the past week, as the Gore campaign increased its activity
and appearances in the Midwest, Gore has gained support and pulled slightly
ahead among respondents most recently interviewed," Miller said.
Among those interviewed most recently (Oct. 24-Nov. 1) 40 percent favored
Gore and 37 percent favored Bush. In interviews in early October (Oct. 5-15),
34 percent favored Gore and 43 percent favored Bush.
The poll shows that undecided voters, who could hold the key to the election
outcome, tend to be more Independent (44 percent) relative to those who have
already made their candidate choice. They also tend to be female (61 percent.).
Undecided who have a partisan attachment favor the Democratic Party over the
Republican Party (34 percent to 22 percent respectively).
Miller said his poll is unique not only in its Midwest focus, but also in
attempting to find out why this year's race has remained so close right up
to the end.
"While many polls have demonstrated the closeness of the presidential
election, very few have focused on explaining why the race is close,"
he said. "Our Heartland Poll offers analysis aimed at providing this
The poll looks at recent trends in partisanship and examines related differences
in the turnout, partisan loyalty, gender voting and the appeal of Ralph Nader
for Democrats and Republicans. It offers an assessment of how potential voters
judge the candidates with respect to various character traits, such as leadership,
morality and compassion, as well as perceived effectiveness in dealing with
international crises. Finally, it examines the perceived liberal/conservative
ideological orientation of the candidates, as well as their articulated positions
on a number of issues that have been discussed throughout the campaign.
Miller can be reached in his campus office at (319) 335-2328. To read the
full Heartland Poll report, go to http://news.uiowa.edu/heartland/poll4.html