Mason-Dixon Poll Shows Bush Ahead

The Mason-Dixon poll was released Wednesday and
showed that the Democratic candidates have a long way to go if they hope to beat Gov. Jeb Bush next year.

If the primary election were held Aug. 1, 2001, then Janet Reno would have beaten her fellow Democrats with 47 percent of the vote. Pete Peterson would have 12 percent, followed by Jim Davis, Lois Frankel, Darryl Jones and Bill McBride.

However, 31 percent of the voters have not made up their minds, and that is a lot of votes. According to the poll, Janet Reno will need those undecided votes in the race against Bush. Former Attorney General Janet Reno is the most popular Democratic choice for governor, but according to the NewsChannel 2 Mason-Dixon poll, she may carry too much political baggage to win. If the election were held on August 1, 2001 Bush would win handily over Reno with a 15 percent margin of victory. "It's the old adage, that just because they know you, it doesn't mean they love you," political analyst Toni Jennings said. The Mason-Dixon poll showed that more people have an unfavorable opinion of Reno than favorable. NewsChannel 2 political analysts Toni Jennings and Dick Batchelor both said that the events in the Clinton administration still haunt Reno.

"If Janet decides to run, she'll go 'hell bent for leather'," Batchelor said. "But it would be very hard to unravel these negative notions." For the other Democratic choices, the picture is even more dim. If the election were today Pete Peterson would lose to Bush 48 percent to 32 percent. And representative Lois Frankel would lose 54 percent to 26 percent. No matter who the Democratic nominee is the poll shows an uphill battle. Over half the voters in our poll don't recognize any of the candidates but Reno and Bush. "The majority of them still support our governor. He's doing a good job," Jennings said. "And for the Democrats it's saying (that) you'd better get to work." Thursday's Mason-Dixon poll results will focus on how good a job Floridians think Bush is doing.

Article: August 02 01:05 AM EDT

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