PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 12:00am

President Bill Clinton may have started talking up the integrity of his Vice-President Al Gore, describing him as 'brutally honest' and 'candid in the extreme', but it has yet to impress the wider nation, it seems.

Latest polls put Republican favourite George W. Bush well ahead of Mr Gore in the favoured president stakes.

The latest Zogby International poll of likely voters puts Mr Bush ahead by 16.7 points. While both Mr Gore and Mr Bush are still deep in the fight within their own parties for the nomination to contest the November election, both are still eyeing each other as eventual competition.

Republican insurgent John McCain is also increasingly turning on Mr Gore, constantly referring to his 'truth-twisting' years alongside Mr Clinton.