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Kerry surges ahead

By Sridhar Krishnaswami

WASHINGTON, OCT. 4. With fewer than four weeks to go for the U.S. electoral showdown, several opinion polls are showing a clear tightening of the race following the first debate last Friday between the President, George W Bush, and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

Even Republicans concede that Mr. Bush was no match to his challenger. The spin from the Grand Old Party is: what did you expect? Mr. Kerry is a proven debater and has been in the Senate for two decades. While these will not wash in a real sense, the Democrats are not taking things for granted.

A Newsweek poll taken after the debate has shown that Mr. Kerry has pulled ahead by two points — 47 per cent with Mr. Bush at 45 per cent and Ralph Nader at 2 points.

A poll by the Los Angeles Times has shown that the favourable perception of Mr. Kerry has risen by 5 per cent.

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