WASHINGTON (AP) -- The presidential race remains very close, according to two new polls, but Al Gore has gained an advantage over George W. Bush on top issues such as the economy, education and health care.
Democrat Gore and Republican Bush were virtually tied in the two new polls released Thursday. Gore had 47 percent to 44 percent for Bush among likely voters in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll. Both candidates were tied at 47 percent in an ABC-Washington Post poll of likely voters. Bush led Gore in polls taken before the two conventions.
"People have got to understand it's going to be a tight race," Bush said in Detroit amid reports that Republicans are growing nervous about his campaign.
Bush and Gore both had about nine of 10 votes from their own parties and were about split among independents in the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll.
When people were asked whether they would vote for the Democrat or Republican candidate in their congressional district, they split at 46 percent for each party. The congressional split was about as close in the ABC-Washington Post poll.
The ABC-Washington Post poll shows Gore has opened up a 50-38 advantage on education, and has a slight edge on managing the economy and Social Security. Gore has double-digit leads on improving the health care system and protecting the environment. Bush has an edge on holding down taxes and handling national defense.
Bush retains an advantage on perceptions of his strong leadership and more appealing personality. But Gore has erased Bush's advantage on trust, leaving the two even on that quality. Gore has a healthy lead on the qualities of caring about the less fortunate and having the knowledge of world affairs to serve effectively.
Gore led among people who dislike President Clinton personally, but agree with his policies.
While Bush held about a 20-point lead among men, Gore has opened up an 18-point lead among women in the ABC-Washington Post poll.
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