The Electability Test

In TIME's new poll, Dole passes, others flunk

"Electability" is a word in the political jargon that offends the ear and distracts primary voters from the parochial concerns that usually consume nominating politics. This year four candidates are nonetheless relying on the E word as a big part of their pitch, arguing that they can make it in November by reaching beyond their core supporters. A TIME poll taken last week by Yankelovich Clancy Shulman demonstrates that Bob Dole has the strongest claim to ecumenical appeal; Pat Robertson, Al Gore and Paul Simon have the least.

Dole's pragmatism and his knack for conveying gritty independence make the Senate Republican...

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