Democrat Bill Clinton held a comfortable lead over President Bush in two opinion polls Saturday, surveys that also showed little impact if Ross Perot revives his run for the presidency.
Both polls, by Time magazine/CNN and Newsweek, also showed voters feel the Republican Party's emphasis on Clinton's draft record is overrated and that a majority think Bush is not telling everything about his role in the Iran-Contra affair.The polls were the first since reports of Perot's possible revival of his candidacy surfaced.
In the Time/CNN poll, Clinton held a 49 percent to 37 percent lead in a two-way race. The two-way contest had Clinton on top 50 percent to 40 percent in the Newsweek survey.
If Perot, the Texas billionaire whose name is on all 50 state ballots, activates his campaign the Time/CNN poll said he would receive just 17 percent support, with Clinton at 43 percent and Bush at 32 percent.
With an inactive Perot campaign, the independent drew 13 percent in the Time/CNN survey, with 44 percent for Clinton and 32 percent for Bush.
A three-way race in the Newsweek survey showed Clinton at 46 percent, Bush at 37 percent and Perot at 9 percent.
The Time/CNN poll also showed that 62 percent felt the Republican emphasis on Clinton's draft record is overrated and that 63 percent feel Bush is lying when he says he was "out of the loop" on the Iran-Contra deal.
The Newsweek survey found 72 percent who think the draft issue is overrated and 56 percent who are not satisfied with Bush's explanation of his role in the Iran arms deal.
Fifty-seven percent responding to the Time/CNN poll said they felt Bush had no real program to help the American economy, but 72 percent said they thought Clinton would raise taxes.
The Time/CNN poll showed strong negative feelings about Perot, who dropped out of the race in July, with 25 percent viewing him favorably and 46 percent with an unfavorable impression.
Clinton' favorability rating was 50 percent, with 34 percent negative. Bush was seen as favorable by 43 percent and negative by 45 percent.
The Time/CNN survey was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday and asked 848 likely voters their opinion. It had a sampling error of 3 percent.
The Newsweek poll was conducted among 752 voters Thursday and Friday and also had a margin of error of 3 percent.