Presidential Polls, Debates Update

DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton has a 15-point lead over President Bush, according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll.

Among 611 likely voters asked Sept. 9-13 who would get their vote if the election were held that day, 54 percent said Governor Clinton and 39 percent said Mr. Bush. Clinton held a 53 to 41 edge, or 12 points, in similar polling that ended on Sept. 6.

In four ABC News-Washington Post polls since the end of the Republican National Convention, the average split has been 53 to 40 in favor of Clinton.

Other polls have showed a closer race.

Meanwhile, the Bush campaign is offering to debate Clinton under the same ground rules governing the 1988 debates: two presidential debates with three panelists asking questions.

Clinton has agreed to a proposal by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, but Bush's campaign chairman, Robert Teeter, said the two candidates themselves should determine the dates, locations, and format of their debates.

"No one organization or group should be able to arrogate unto itself the authority to unilaterally make decisions that can be so critical to the final election result," he said in a letter to Mickey Kantor, national chairman of the Clinton campaign.

"It's time for them to quit running and hiding and come out and debate," Mr. Kantor responded. He said the Clinton campaign would continue to work through the commission.

The commission, headed by former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties, has recommended three Clinton-Bush debates with a single moderator.

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