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2000-02-10 00:00:00 - McCain, Gore Surging - (goldterdkilla@my-deja.com)


ew Hampshire's radioactive political fallout has drifted south to New York: John McCain is eating up George W. Bush's lead, and Vice President Gore is trouncing local hard-court hero Bill Bradley. With four weeks to go before New York primary voters head to the polls, the first state survey since the Feb. 1 New Hampshire primary shows the two Granite State winners getting a big bounce in the Empire State. Sen. John McCain campaigns in South Carolina yesterday before a poster of himself in his Navy days. Bush's lead over McCain, which was 44 points in December, is down to nine in the new Marist College poll, which found 48% of likely GOP voters favoring the Texas governor versus 39% for the Arizona senator and 3% for publisher Steve Forbes. "Bush has stopped being The Inevitable Mister Invincible. That's gone for him. That ended on Feb. 1," said Marist pollster Lee Miringoff. The New York GOP establishment shot itself in the foot in its failed attempt to keep McCain off the ballot, he said. "McCain was aided by the whole ballot battle. People were really upset about it," Miringoff said. But McCain, who rode to a stunning 19-point victory in New Hampshire with the support of independents, will not have that cushion to fall back on in New York, where only registered party members can vote in primaries. Bradley, who lost New Hampshire by four points despite heavy independent support, faces the same problem ��� no independents. Despite Bradley's tristate familiarity as a New York Knick and a former New Jersey senator, he trails Gore by 21 points ��� 33% to 54% ��� in the poll of likely Democratic primary voters. In December, the race was neck and neck. "He has a home-court advantage, but you can still lose on your home court," Miringoff said. "New York is his best place ��� but that doesn't guarantee it's going to be a good place for him." Only about one in 10 New York voters remains undecided. New York's GOP leaders tried to put a happy face on Bush's dwindling lead. "The Republican primary is shaping up to be very competitive, and that's good for the party," said John Faso, the Assembly's GOP leader. "I believe George Bush will win, and all of this will make him a stronger candidate in the fall." Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ Before you buy.