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Kerry Gained Favorability after Debate but Bush Is Still Preferred as Commander-in-Chief

John Kerry goes into Friday’s second presidential debate with more Americans having a favorable opinion of him now than did before his first debate with George W. Bush. But the public still clearly regards Bush as someone they would trust more as commander-in-chief of the military and to lead the war on terrorism, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

Polling of 1,868 registered voters between October 1 and 6 showed that 44 percent had a favorable opinion of Kerry while 40 percent had an unfavorable view. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus two percentage points. In polling from September 21 through 26, 41 percent viewed Kerry favorably and 42 percent unfavorably.