Fletcher, Barbour Lead

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 27, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Fletcher, Barbour Lead


Fletcher, Barbour lead

A Republican congressman leads in Kentucky and former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour has an edge in Mississippi heading into the final 10 days of the two Nov. 4 gubernatorial races, according to polls conducted for the Associated Press and other news organizations.

In Kentucky, the Ipsos-Public Affairs survey found 52 percent of likely voters would back Republican Rep. Ernie Fletcher and 43 percent would support Democratic state Attorney General Ben Chandler if the election were held today. Mr. Fletcher would be Kentucky's first Republican governor in 32 years.

In an Ipsos poll in Mississippi, 50 percent said they'd vote for Mr. Barbour and 45 percent would re-elect Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Kentucky and Mississippi are the only states with gubernatorial elections Nov. 4. Louisiana had an open primary for governor last month and will have a runoff Nov. 15.

The telephone surveys were conducted Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 21-23, among 600 likely voters in Kentucky and 623 likely voters in Mississippi. The sampling error margin for each poll was plus or minus four percentage points, larger for subgroups.

In Kentucky, a Bluegrass Poll conducted on the same days by the Courier-Journal of Louisville also found Mr. Fletcher up by nine percentage points, 48 percent to 39 percent, with 13 percent undecided. That poll had 712 likely voters and a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. Mr. Chandler had been about even with Mr. Fletcher in a Bluegrass Poll conducted Sept. 19-24.

A 'no' in Georgia

Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, ruled out a campaign for the seat of Sen. Zell Miller, saying Friday she will focus on her family instead.

Mrs. Nunn, 36, joins former Mayor Andrew Young on a list of Democrats who have looked at the race and turned it down.

"In the next few years, I believe that my primary focus is best directed toward my 11-month-old son and family," she said.

She said her father "was completely supportive either way." She runs a volunteer group called Hands-On Atlanta, but has never held political office.

Mr. Miller, a Democrat, doesn't plan to seek re-election next year. Democrats have had a difficult time finding a strong candidate, while Republicans have four candidates, including two incumbent congressmen, the Associated Press reports.

Many Democrats had pinned their hopes on Mr. Young, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration. But after considering the race for months, he announced Oct. 3 he would not run.

"We think Michelle Nunn would have been a good candidate, but we respect her decision," state Democratic Party Chairman Calvin Smyre said in a statement.

"She will provide an excellent voice in Democratic politics in the years to come. We expect to run a strong campaign for the U.S. Senate and to retain Sen. Miller's seat for the Democratic Party," he said.

The only announced Democratic candidate is little-known state Sen. Mary Squires.

Sam Nunn, 65, served four terms in the Senate, from 1973 to 1997.

Philadelphia poll

Philadelphia's embattled Mayor John Street maintains a slim lead over his Republican challenger in a mayoral campaign that has been polarized along racial lines by revelations of a federal probe of City Hall, according to a survey published yesterday.

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