A plurality of Americans says their mother had a more positive influence on their life than their father, according to a new Fox News poll. And with Mother's Day approaching, the poll asked which presidential candidate was more likely to have given his mom trouble and headaches while growing up.

The head-to-head vote matchup remains a virtual tie, but on this measure Americans are three times as likely to think President George W. Bush rather than Sen. John Kerry (search) was trouble for his mom.

Overall, 45 percent of Americans think young Bush was a handful for his mom, 15 percent think young Kerry, six percent say "both" and three percent "neither." As on most topics this election year, there are partisan differences even on this light-hearted question. A 56 percent majority of Democrats think Bush was more of a menace compared to 34 percent of Republicans. In contrast, only seven percent of Democrats think Kerry caused his mom more headaches while 24 percent of Republicans think so.

     Which Candidate Gave His Mother More Trouble While Growing Up?

Bush Kerry
All Americans 45% 15
Among Democrats 56% 7
Among Republicans 34% 24

Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national poll of registered voters for Fox News on May 4-5.

A slightly higher number of Americans say their mother had a more positive influence on their life than say their father did (39 percent to 24 percent), while 34 percent say "both." Women are more than twice as likely to say mom (45 percent) than say dad (20 percent) was the bigger influence. Among men, a plurality (35 percent) says "both" parents, 33 percent say mom and 28 percent say dad.

When asked whose personality traits they inherited, by a narrow margin more Americans say their father's (39 percent) than their mother's (33 percent), with a quarter saying both equally. By 14 percentage points, men are more likely to say they inherited their father's than mom's traits. Women split about evenly between inheriting the characteristics of their mother (37 percent) and their father (35 percent). Around a quarter of both men and women think they share the personality traits of mom and dad equally.

Polling was conducted by telephone May 4-5, 2004 in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

1. Who had a more positive influence on your life — your father or your mother?

All Dem Rep Ind Men Women
1. Father 24% 24% 25% 21% 28% 20%
2. Mother 39 43 36 36 33 45
3. (Both equal) 34 29 36 40 35 33
4. (Not sure) 3 3 3 4 4 3

2. Overall, whose personality traits do you think you inherited — your father’s or your mother’s?

All Dem Rep Ind Men Women May 2001
1. Father 39% 40% 37% 41% 43% 35% 39%
2. Mother 33 37 33 26 29 37 34
3. (Both equal) 25 22 26 29 24 26 19
4. (Not sure) 3 2 4 4 3 3 8

3. While growing up, which presidential candidate do you think gave his mother more trouble and headaches: Bush or Kerry? (ROTATE)

All Dem Rep Ind Men Women
1. Bush 45% 56% 34% 45% 48% 42%
2. Kerry 15 7 24 12 16 14
3. (Both) 6 6 5 8 6 6
4. (Neither) 3 3 4 3 3 3
5. (Not sure) 31 28 33 33 27 35