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    Ahmadzai gains 3% lead over Abdullah

    WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The two presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, are headed for a dead heat in Saturday’s run-off election, with the latter gaining a three percent lead, a latest opinion poll, based on face-to-face interviews revealed on Thursday.

    Ghani has taken the lead (48 percent) over Abdullah (45 percent) for the second round of voting, according to a face-to-face survey of 2,223 Afghans interviewed from June 4th to June 10th, by the US-based Glevum Associates, according to which the margin of error is 2.08 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.

    According to the poll, when asked who would bring peace to Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani was in the lead with 46 percent of likely voters choosing him, compared to 43 percent choosing Abdullah Abdullah.

    When asked who would be better dealing with corruption, likely voters choose Ghani over Abdullah – 47 percent to 43 percent. When asked who will manage the economy better likely voters choose Ghani over Abdullah 48 percent to 42 percent.

    Glevum said when asked who will lead to a better relationship with the United States Ghani was favored 48 percent to Abdullah 42 percent. For the most part, candidates receive nearly the same percentages for the “vote” question as for policy questions. However, support for Abdullah appears to slightly soften when policy questions are asked, it said.

    According to the poll, Ghani received overwhelming support in Khost with 94 percent of respondents choosing him compared to only two percent who support Abdullah. However, in Herat, 21 percent said they would vote for Ghani whereas a significant majority (79 percent) supported Abdullah. Interestingly in Pashtun dominated Kandahar City, Abdullah is at 48 percent to Ghani’s 42 percent.

    Glevum said the 48-45 split supports its assessment that Ghani has consolidated the Pashtun vote and that the Ghani/Dostum ticket has maintained their high level of support with ethnic Uzbeks.

    “Ghani also seems to have the momentum going into the second round having substantially increased his likely share of the vote, which is now up 16.5 points since the official first round results were announced,” Glevum said.

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