President Clinton’s standing in national surveys is improving as the debate between Republicans and Democrats over social programs intensifies. Retired Gen. Colin Powell remains a strong wild card as a potential addition to the race.
A new poll shows Clinton has widened his lead over the GOP presidential front-runner, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole while the president and Powell run closely together ahead of Dole in a hypothetical three-way matchup with Powell as an independent.
A Harris Poll conducted Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 among 1,005 adults found that when asked whom they would back if the election were today, 42 percent said Clinton and 30 percent said Dole in a two-way race.
A month ago, Clinton led Dole by only 39 percent to 37 percent.
With Powell included as an independent, the results were Clinton and Powell, 30 percent each, leading Dole at 20 percent. Powell, engaged in high-publicity book tour, picked up 5 percent in the last month, while Clinton and Dole stood at 29 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in the three-way matchup a month ago.