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McCain, Bradley Solidify Leads

The poll, conducted by Dartmouth College, was good news for both candidates who trail their chief rivals in national surveys.

The latest poll, conducted Jan. 9-12, has McCain leading Texas Governor George W. Bush 42 percent to 33 percent. Of the four other candidates only Publisher Steve Forbes is in double digits with 11 percent.

On the Democratic side, Bradley leads Vice President Al Gore 49 percent to 43 percent. Although the race is still within the margin of error for the survey it does mark a eight point surge for Bradley and five point drop for Gore.

The survey, done in conjunction with the Associated Press, also indicated some switching between candidates. For example, one-third of all Republican voters had switched their preferred candidate between early November and this poll. Eighty percent of those who switched from supporting Bush said they would now vote for McCain, while only 10 percent of former McCain backers were now in the Bush camp.

“Some candidates are converting people, and Bush isn’t one of them,” Linda Fowler, a professor of government and director of Dartmouth’s Rockefeller Center, told the AP.

Only 20 percent of the Democrats surveyed indicated they had switched between the two candidates.

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