Clinton Leads With Adults, But Bush Grabs Kids' Vote

SOME Democrats, it seems, are on the verge of measuring curtains for what they hope will soon be their new White House offices. But there are indications this week that the Clinton camp's optimism may be premature.

True, the latest national polls show Gov. Bill Clinton with a wide lead over President Bush. An NBC News poll gives Governor Clinton 46 percent, Bush 32, and Perot 10, with the rest undecided. The Los Angeles Times poll gives Clinton 48 percent, Bush 34, and Perot 9. That confirms the findings of other national surveys, which give Clinton an average lead of 12 points. And the Democrat is also comfortably ahead, 52 percent to 32 percent, in California, according to a San Francisco Examiner survey.

But a new Mason-Dixon poll has Bush ahead in one of his home states - Texas. Bush, who had trailed Clinton by 1 point in a previous Mason-Dixon survey, is now five percentage points ahead on his home turf, 40 percent to 35 percent. Texas is key to Bush's base in the South. Too bad they can't vote

Another poll suggests Bush has solid support among at least one group of Americans. Unfortunately for the president, they don't vote. In a straw poll conducted by the Weekly Reader, a Middletown, Conn.-based children's magazine, Bush won 56 percent of the vote. More than 600,000 kids who read the magazine mailed in mock ballots, and only 39 percent voted for Clinton. The Weekly Reader survey has accurately forecast the winner of the last nine presidential elections, editor Sandra Maccarone says. And alth ough the poll results contradict "adult" polls, Ms. Maccarone points to the kids' perfect record and says, "We're going to assume it's still going to be perfect." Perotmania

Ross Perot is not doing well in Texas; the Mason-Dixon poll gives him only 14 percent in the land of ten-gallon hats. But the folksy billionaire is a hit among prime-time television viewers. About 11.4 million households tuned into Perot's 30-minute broadcast Tuesday on CBS, making it the second most-watched show in its time period, the Nielsen company reported.

With that success under his belt, the pint-sized presidential candidate plans to hit the airwaves again tonight. He has paid $620,000 for a 30-minute prime-time block on ABC. While his previous broadcast focused on America's problems, the new one will concentrate on proposed solutions. The Texas tycoon also is airing 60-second commercials on several cable television channels. The ads feature the same tag line: "The candidate is Perot. The choice is yours."

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