The First Debate Leaves Clinton in Front

With two more to go, Bush's task looks all the more daunting

THE TECHNIQUES HAVE BEEN INNOVATIVE, TO BE sure: the Clinton-Gore bus tours, the burgeoning role of TV talk shows and on Sunday the first three-candidate debate. The themes have been tested and refined so that for both Bill Clinton and George Bush they are repeatedly expressed in single words: change vs. trust. Yet the campaign's opening phase, the seven weeks from the end of the conventions to the eve of the debates, was mostly motion, without progress. In seven polls released shortly before the debate, Clinton's lead continued in double digits, averaging 12 points; President Bush's support averaged only 35%. Ross...

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