Washington — ...while Harris poll says Mondale slips in nation
A Harris poll released Tuesday found an erosion of voter confidence in former Vice-President Walter Mondale's leadership. In a nationwide poll of 1,227 likely voters in the November elections, 37 percent said Mr. Mondale had a forceful personality and was a real leader - a 10 percent drop from a similar poll taken last August.
The new poll was taken just before Sunday's Maine Democratic caucuses and after last week's New Hampshire primary, both of which were won by Colorado Sen. Gary Hart.
''There is a process of rejection of 'Fritz' Mondale going on, and these figures show that,'' pollster Louis Harris told reporters. Mr. Harris said Mondale had relied too heavily on party organization and too little on getting his message across to voters.
Sixty percent of all potential voters and 49 percent of Democrats said Mondale tried to appeal to too many special-interest groups, while 48 percent of all voters and 33 percent of Democrats said he was too greatly influenced by labor leaders.
Asked who would better handle relations with the Soviet Union, 48 percent chose President Reagan and 36 percent Mondale. A majority said they would prefer Reagan's handling of nuclear arms talks, Central America, and Lebanon.