Remaining steadfast in their allegiance to the Republican creed despite a race going down to the Election Day wire, a majority of pharmacists plan to cast their ballots to give the President a second term. But the Bush bloom of 2000 has faded somewhat.

As they have every Presidential election since the Drug Topics political poll was introduced in 1980, more pharmacists plan to vote for the GOP standard bearer than for his Democratic rival come Nov. 2. This time around, 49% of the pharmacists who responded to our survey plan to vote for George W. Bush. But that's a 10-point erosion from the 59% of R.Ph.s who gave the ex-Texas governor the nod four years ago.

While he trails by 18 percentage points in our poll, John Kerry is doing better against Bush than former Vice President Al Gore did in 2000. The Massachusetts Senator was picked by 31% of our respondents this time, compared with the anemic 20% earned by Gore. And Kerry garnered about the same support as Bill Clinton in his two bids for the Oval Office.

In an unusually intense, at times bitter, campaign season, R.Ph.s are not sitting on the sidelines, as 95% are registered to vote and 97% of those registered are planning to go to the polls on Election Day. Pharmacists under the age of 40 (89%) and women (92%) were less likely to be registered.

Presidential timber Comments from our pro-President respondents revealed that it's not Bush's policies or actions that energize his supporters, it's his perceived personal qualities. Many pharmacists cited his strength, trustworthiness, and morality, as well as his stand on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, as the reasons they would cast their vote for the incumbent.

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