the pollsters' worldview

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Mon Aug 21 22:38:35 PDT 2000

[From Gallup's weekly update. The Oval Office, golf - it's all in a week's work!]

* Gore Gets 8-Point Bounce From Democratic Convention A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted August 18-19, finds Al Gore earning an eight-point "bounce" in voter support following last week's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, erasing the advantage George W. Bush had enjoyed as a result of Republican convention coverage in recent weeks. Gore now leads Bush by one point among Americans most likely to vote in November, 47% to 46%. Gallup's previous survey of likely voters -- conducted after the Republican convention in Philadelphia concluded, but before the Democratic convention began -- showed Bush leading Gore by 55% to 39%. Gore's eight-point convention increase from 39% to 47% compares with a four-point bounce for Bush following the GOP convention earlier this month. While not a record setting bounce, Gore's increase in support compares favorably with post-convention bounces historically. The average bounce across all Republican and Democratic conventions held since 1964 is roughly six percentage points. Especially high bounces were recorded for Bill Clinton in 1992 (16 points), Jimmy Carter in 1980 (10 points), Walter Mondale in 1984 (9 points), and Ronald Reagan in 1980 (8 points).

* Tiger Woods Strengthens Grip as Golf Leader In winning the PGA Championship tournament Sunday, Tiger Woods secured another historical milestone by becoming the first player in nearly a half century to win three golf majors in a single year. Even before now, the vast majority of Americans (69%) believed that Tiger Woods is indeed the greatest player in golf today. That number grows to 81% among golf fans. When asked to compare Woods to Jack Nicklaus, roughly equal percentages of Americans consider Woods today to be as good a Nicklaus was in his prime (41% name Nicklaus and 40% say Woods). Golf fans, however, give the edge to Woods by a 53% to 41% margin. [March 30-April 2, 2000] Woods is not only well respected as an athlete, but he is viewed favorably as a person by the public. Following his impressive win in the 2000 U.S. Open Championship earlier this year, nearly nine out of ten Americans -- 88% -- said they had a favorable opinion of Woods, while only 5% say they have an unfavorable opinion of him. [June 22-25, 2000]

Despite Woods' popularity, the Gallup poll finds only 5% of Americans citing golf as their favorite sport to watch -- similar to the spectator levels for ice hockey and auto racing but trailing far behind football (33%), basketball (16%) and baseball (13%). The percentage of Americans mentioning golf as their favorite spectator sport has changed very little in the last several years, holding steady between 3% and 5% since 1994. [March 30-April 2]

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