He's Rising! He's Falling!

Presidential Race Shifts With Every Survey

 OCTOBER 25—On any given day, in any given poll, Al Gore or George W. Bush may appear to be surging. Gore has shown signs of pulling even, but seems unable to establish a convincing margin. Bush, on the other hand, rises and swoons without ever yielding much ground.

The best hope for understanding what's going on is to average the results of the various surveys.

This week a tracking poll, done by CNN, USA Today, and Gallup, has the Democrat up by one percentage point, 46-45. A Reuters/MSNBC survey has Gore leading Bush by 3 points, 45-42. Yesterday's Rasmussen's Portrait of America tracking poll shows Bush holding steady at 47-41. On Monday, The Washington Post's tracking poll had Bush leading Gore by one point.

In the battleground states, Voter.com's tracking poll has Bush ahead of Gore, 45-39. Meanwhile, polls in individual swing states show Bush pulling solidly ahead in Ohio and up in Wisconsin, with Gore's lead shrinking in California.

That flurry of numbers comes down to this: As of October 22, Bush is about 2.33 points ahead of Gore, down two points from his average the day before, according to Sam Smith's count at Prorev.com.

Meanwhile, press reports say the wealthy Greg MacArthur, a backer of Green candidate Ralph Nader, has been pulling back ads for the candidate for fear the consumer advocate will hurt Gore. (MacArthur operates independently and has nothing to do with the campaign, says a Nader spokesperson.)

Democrats are working feverishly to block Nader in Oregon, where Gloria Steinem was hauled out to address a sparsely attended Dem meeting, organized by the state Democratic Party. Gore himself heads into Wisconsin to combat the Nader Factor.

 
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