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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Polls See Drop For Dole

WASHINGTON -- Like twin anchors, disappointment with the Republican Congress and a lack of enthusiasm for Senator Bob Dole are dragging the Republican Party into dangerous waters as the 1996 election comes into view, a new nationwide Los Angeles Times poll has found.

The survey shows President Bill Clinton holding a commanding 55 percent to 37 percent advantage over Dole and a plurality of voters agreeing that the GOP does not "deserve to maintain control of Congress."

Though most observers still expect the presidential race to narrow in the months ahead, the survey finds the GOP moving into the election season in a deteriorating position. Clinton's job approval has spiked to 55 percent -- among the highest ratings in his presidency. By contrast, support for the agenda of the GOP congressional leadership has dipped to 37 percent.

Moreover, the survey shows Clinton attracting a broad base of support -- winning in virtually every demographic group -- as Dole hemorrhages among groups Republicans have long considered cornerstones of their presidential coalition, from men to college-educated and upper-income voters.

Even the introduction of new challengers doesn't disrupt the basic calculus: In a potential four-way race, with Ross Perot and Ralph Nader added to the mix, Clinton's lead over Dole only narrows to 13 percentage points.