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Sunday, September 26, 1999 Published at 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK

World: Americas

Bradley ahead of Gore

Bill Bradley's supporters give their man a cheer

Former US senator Bill Bradley has taken an opinion poll lead in the contest to be the Democrat Party's presidential candidate.

It is the first time Mr Bradley has nosed ahead of Vice President Al Gore - the favourite and only other challenger - in the polls.

The CNN-Time poll was conducted in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first presidential primary in February 2000.

[ image: Gore: Still the man to beat]
Gore: Still the man to beat
According to the poll, Mr Bradley is the choice of 44% of Democrats who plan to vote, with Mr Gore on 41%.

The majority of those polled saw Mr Bradley, an ex-basketball player, as "a candidate of new ideas", while nearly half said he was "inspiring".

The bad news for Mr Gore was that most saw him as "an uninspiring typical politician" and "too tied" to US President Bill Clinton.

The two candidates made separate appearances on Saturday at the autumn meeting of Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Washington.

[ image: Bradley: Coming from behind]
Bradley: Coming from behind
"We've got a contest," said Ed Rendell, the Mayor of Philadelphia who was installed as the new DNC chairman.

The event was billed as a preview of "a real contest with real choices".

Both men received a rousing reception from their followers - although most nationwide polls still put Mr Gore ahead of his challenger by around 52% - 29%.

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