(Des Moines, IA) Two new Des Moines Register “Iowa Polls” show Al Gore and George W. Bush still the front-runners in Iowa, but their leads are narrowing.
In the Republican race, the poll shows Bush in first place with 49 percent, virtually the same result at the previous “Iowa Poll” conducted in June.
“That poll is another snapshot in time, but (Bush) recognizes and all the people on the Bush staff recognize that there’s a lot of work yet to do,” said Eric Woolson, press secretary for Bush’s Iowa campaign.
Steve Forbes trails Bush at 20 percent in the latest poll, but Forbes doubled the amount of support he had recorded in June’s survey.
“Steve Forbes has become the conservative alternative to George Bush and what (the poll) shows is a consolidation of the conservative movement in Iowa behind Steve Forbes,” said Bill Dal Col, Forbes’ national campaign manager.
Dal Col questioned the Register’s polling technique as pollsters weren’t using a list of Iowans who have a history of attending the Caucuses, which are held in precincts throughout the state and can last all night long.
The Register’s poll is “broad based and it goes to self-identified voters. I think if you actually contacted actual caucus attendees, the Governor’s numbers will be significantly lower and ours will be significantly higher,” Dal Col said.
None of the other G.O.P. candidates garnered more than ten percent and finished in this order: John McCain with eight percent, Gary Bauer with seven percent, Alan Keyes with five percent, and Orrin Hatch with one percent.
On the democrat side, it’s a two-way race that’s tightening. Gore led challenger Bill Bradley, 54 to 32 percent. Bradley gained eight points since the latest “Iowa Poll” snapshot of the race — and Gore fell about 10 percent.
“Of course, we’re very excited that our hard work is paying off,” said Maureen Monahan, press secretary for Bradley’s Iowa campaign effort. “It reflects all the field work and organization that we’ve done.”
Gore’s camp seeks to downplay the edge Gore seems to be holding onto in Iowa.
“We fully expect this to be a very, very close race and, quite frankly, we think the race is even closer than the Register is predicting,” said Jud Lounsberry, press secretary for Gore’s Iowa campaign.