TIME POLL: Startling Surge for Carter

If the presidential election were held now, Jimmy Carter would defeat Gerald Ford by 48% to 38% of the vote. Just seven weeks ago, after the Florida primary, Ford would have beaten Carter, 46% to 38%. The extraordinary shift in voter sentiment was a stunning measure of how far the Georgian had come by last week, just after his Pennsylvania victory.

By 50% to 27%, moreover, U.S. voters want to see a Democrat elected as the next President, provided both candidates are of equal stature and competence. Voters—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—consider Carter the strongest possible Democratic candidate: 48% see Carter...

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