Guiliani lead shot down

Gore gets money, women and trouble, newly green Bush gets whacked and the Green Party's Nader gets huffy.

By Alicia Montgomery
Published April 6, 2000 11:42AM (EDT)

The New York Post reports that yet another poll shows Rudy Giuliani trailing Hillary Rodham Clinton in the New York Senate race. The Quinnipiac College poll now has Clinton beating Giuliani 46 to 43. According to Quinnipiac, Giuliani was up seven points just a month ago.

In a New York Daily News story, poll director Maurice Carroll attributes the drop to Giuliani's handling of the case of Patrick Dorismond, an unarmed black man shot and killed by New York police. Carroll says that New York voters were particularly turned off when the mayor released Dorismond's sealed juvenille record. In defense of police actions, Giuliani said that Dorismond was "no angel." Some voters apparently feel the same way about Rudy.

Traficant back up

Crime may not pay, but disloyalty seems to. The New York Times reports that both parties are in hot pursuit of Rep. James A. Traficant's support. Though he currently awaits indictment on corruption charges, the Ohio Democrat has become a GOP darling by threatening to desert Richard Gephardt should the Missouri congressman get a shot at speaker of the House. In a totally unrelated matter, Republicans now support building a $35 million community center in Traficant's district.

Gore dines for dollars

The Baltimore Sun reports that Al Gore took a break from his duties as a campaign finance reform crusader. The vice president pocketed $600,000 during a Democratic National Committee fund-raising dinner in Annapolis, Md. At the price of $25,000 a couple, Maryland Democrats feasted on beef tenderloin, asparagus and a raspberry dessert. For that kind of money, it's good they got dessert.

Naomi wasn't crying wolf

The online edition of Time magazine reports that Gore has succeeded in picking up women voters. Writer Jessica Reaves cites recent polls showing that Gore has gained a 10-point lead over George W. Bush among women. According to Reaves, it's proof that Gore's focus on women's issues, and embrace of wardrobe tips from advisor Naomi Wolf, have paid off. Look for more earth tones in his future.

Nuns on the run

Now for some women Gore would rather not hear from. reports that two nuns from the infamous Buddhist temple fund-raiser have been indicted on contempt-of-court charges. They failed to appear during the trial of Maria Hsia, who was later convicted of breaking campaign finance laws. Both are now on the run, keeping a low profile in Taiwan. Maybe Whoopi Goldberg will get the movie rights.

Gore's Sunshine State strategy

Regardless of the outcome of the Elian Gonzales affair, the vice president vows to campaign hard in Florida, according to a report in the New York Times. But Gore may not be fighting to win so much as to fool Bush into spending money on what was supposed to be a cakewalk. Polls now have Gore within eight points of Bush in the state, after months of being behind by double digits.

Bush bites back

Not to be outdone, the Texas governor pledges to challenge Gore in California, the Los Angeles Times reports. State Republicans are anxious for Bush put the lie to rumors that he'd given up on California, though his recent poll numbers -- down 10 points -- are rather discouraging. Bush's chances are summed up by independent pollster Mark Baldassare: "It isn't hopeless." With that kind of optimism, how can he lose?

We're not in Kansas anymore

It seems the press wasn't alone in ignoring the recent presidential primaries. According to the Associated Press, the Bush campaign issued a press release thanking voters for his primary victories in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Kansas. The only problem was that Kansas had canceled its costly primary. Bush's team blamed the "goof" on an outdated schedule.

It's not easy being green

Gore isn't the only one who scoffs at Bush's environmental plan. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has some words of advice for the newly green governor: "Just don't go there." He brands Bush as having "Texas-sized chutzpah" for introducing the initiative given his murky record on the environment in his own state.

Political parties need a shrink

Republicans and Democrats may be in need of therapy, but the AP reports that Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had a different kind of "shrink" in mind. Arguing against the notion that his run is only an outlet for disgruntled liberals who would otherwise vote Democratic, Nader said that diminishing the major parties is "exactly what we want." Doesn't he want to win?

Whom should you vote for?

Take our survey and find out. You might be surprised.

Talking heads

(All EST and all guests tentative)

  • C-Span's "Washington Journal":

    7 a.m. -- Kenneth Fireman, White House correspondent, Newsday.

    7:45 a.m. -- Laura Meckler, health correspondent, Associated Press.

    8 a.m. -- Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., on the federal budget.
    9 a.m. -- Rep. Tillie Fowler, R-Fla., on terrorism.

    Watch "Washington Journal" online.

    Poll positions

    Presidential race:

  • Bush 46 to Gore 45 (Gallup/CNN/USA Today March 30-April 2).

  • Gore 47 to Bush 46 (ABC News/Washington Post March 30-April 2).

  • Bush 46 to Gore 45 (CNN, March 30-April 2).

    Vice presidential preferences (previous):

    Preferences for Republican vice presidential candidate among all voters (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll March 22-23):

  • John McCain, 27 percent
  • Elizabeth Dole, 19 percent
  • Rudy Giuliani, 6 percent
  • Christine Todd Whitman, 6 percent
  • George Pataki, 3 percent
  • Tom Ridge, 3 percent
  • Fred Thompson, 3 percent
  • Connie Mack, 2 percent
  • Other, 3 percent
  • Not sure, 28 percent

    Preferences for Democratic vice presidential candidate among all voters (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll March 22-23):

  • Bill Bradley, 27 percent
  • Dianne Feinstein, 10 percent
  • Bob Kerrey, 6 percent
  • Bob Graham, 5 percent
  • John Kerry, 4 percent
  • Bill Richardson, 4 percent
  • Evan Bayh, 3 percent
  • Other, 6 percent
  • Not sure, 35 percent

    New York Senate:

  • Clinton 46 to Giuliani 43 (Quinnipiac College March 28 to April 3).

  • Giuliani 46 to Clinton 43 (Marist Institute March 27-28).

  • Clinton 45 to Giuliani 42 (Zogby March 23-25).

    On the trail

    Bush: Sacramento and Martinez, Calif.

    Gore: Florida.

    Sound off

    E-mail me with your comments, suggestions and tips at

  • Alicia Montgomery

    Alicia Montgomery is an associate editor in Salon's Washington bureau.

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