Gore Approval Rating Slipping

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

1st Add: Includes aided and un-aided results.

(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore's 'negatives' are inching upward while the number of people with a positive opinion of the Democratic presidential nominee are on the decline.

Those are some of the results in the current Voter.com Battleground Poll released Friday morning. The data, collected by Republican and Democratic pollsters, show Gore's positive rating slipped to 55% from 57% in the past five days, while his negative rating rose to 34% from 32% during the same time frame.

The net loss of four percentage points in his approval stands in contrast to Republican George W. Bush, who's enjoyed a net four-point improvement in his rating since September 10. According to the rolling sample of 1,000 likely voters, Bush's positive rating has jumped to 59% from 56% five days ago, while his negative rating dipped one point to 32%.

On a broader scale, Bush maintained a five-point lead over Gore in a four-way contest with Patrick Buchanan and Ralph Nader, according to the survey results. The Friday data showed Bush with a 38% - 33% lead over Gore, while Buchanan and Nader pulled one and two percent of the responses, respectively, and 24% were listed as 'unsure.'

That particular result was measured when survey participants were not given the names of the presidential candidates. When given a choice of candidates by name, the margin between Bush and Gore closed to two points in a four-way contest, with Bush leading 41%-39%.

Five days ago, Bush and Gore were within a single point of each other, according to the same survey, with no change since September 10 in support for Buchanan and Nader and no shift among undecided voters.

While Bush has been under attack this week for a supposedly subliminal message in a recent television advertisement, the attacks do not appear to have harmed his popularity with voters.

Meanwhile, the Gore campaign has been pulled toward another potential scandal, this one involving campaign contributions and presidential vetoes. Investigators looking into campaign finance improprieties during the 1996 campaign found documents indicating that Gore may have attempted to contact Texas trial lawyer Walter Umphrey to solicit a contribution. Other documents from the Democratic National Committee indicated that Umphrey may have been prepared to make a $100,000 donation to the party following President Bill Clinton's veto of a tort reform bill.

The White House has denied that Gore called Umphrey seeking a contribution.