Republican Convention Notebook


* Former President Ronald Reagan - tonight

* Former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan - tonight

* Former presidential candidate Pat Robertson - Wednesday

* Former President Gerald Ford - Thursday POLL UPDATE

Both state and national polls released Saturday show President Bush trailing Bill Clinton. State polls underscored the president's political troubles in Texas and Ohio, states where Bush won in 1988 but now trails Clinton. The economy was the major reason for the discontent with Bush. The national survey, conducted Thursday and Friday by the Gallup Organization for Newsweek magazine, showed Clinton leading Bush 53 percent to 36 percent. Nine percent were undecided and 2 percent volunteered the name of Te xas billionaire Ross Perot, who last month abandoned plans for an independent candidacy.

The 17-point gap was closer than the 27-point margin Clinton enjoyed in the same survey right after his convention last month. But the margin was consistent with two subsequent Newsweek polls conducted the last week of July and first week of August, suggesting only slight, if any, Bush momentum heading into the convention. Other data in the Newsweek survey, a telephone poll of 750 registered voters, highlighted the challenges Bush faces in reversing his political fortunes in a year when many voters are u nhappy with his handling of the economy and unsure of Bush's plans for a second term. Fifty-eight percent of those polled disapproved of Bush's job performance; just 36 percent approved. OUTSIDE THE HALL

More than 500 demonstrators squared off over abortion Saturday in the largest confrontation yet here in the days before the convention.

About 200 anti-abortion activists and roughly an equal number of pro-choice demonstrators held simultaneous protests at an abortion clinic in south Houston, then migrated across town and restaged their protests at another clinic across town.

There, Operation Rescue executive director Keith Tucci led a group of about 20 local ministers to within 20 feet of the clinic's front door. It was an apparent violation of a court order issued by state District Judge Eileen O'Neill that prohibited anti-abortion demonstrators from gathering within 100 feet of abortion clinics. Tucci told abortion advocates he planned to fight the restraining order.

While Tucci preached over a loud speaker, Patricia Ireland, president of National Organization for Women, and Kathy Spillar, national coordinator for The Feminist Majority Foundation, tucked a copy of O'Neill's court order into his sports coat pocket. "You are in violation of the court order," Ireland told him. Tucci ripped up the order and sprinkled the torn sheets on the women's heads. "Don't waste your time," Tucci told them.

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