Although President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry (search) remain neck and neck in the race for president, the latest FOX News poll shows at least one area in which Kerry has the upper hand — he is considered the more athletic candidate.

The poll asked voters to imagine Bush and Kerry competing for gold in three Olympic events.  Voters think Kerry would beat Bush handily in bicycling and the triathlon, and that the senator would prevail in a boxing match.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search) conducted the national telephone poll of likely voters for FOX News on August 24-25.

In a year when both contenders took widely-reported spills while bicycling, just under half of Americans believe Kerry would prove triumphant in an Olympic matchup (45 percent to 30 percent). Indeed, only Republicans hold out hope that Bush would best Kerry in a bicycling race (43 percent to 34 percent).

Many Americans are convinced that Kerry is the man to beat in the triathlon. A plurality (40 percent) believes Kerry would defeat Bush, while nearly a third say Bush would win gold. Democrats view this as Kerry’s strongest event, giving him a 48-point advantage over his competitor.

It should be noted that for each event over a quarter of Americans were unable to predict the victor.

The most highly contested event of this hypothetical Olympics is boxing. While Kerry is once again the favorite to win, Bush is seen as less of an underdog, holding Kerry to a relatively small eight-point edge (39 percent to 31 percent). Republicans remain firmly behind Bush — half consider him the probable gold medallist — while nearly six in 10 Democrats believe their party’s nominee would emerge from the ring victorious.

Of the three events, it is in boxing that independents see the competitors as most evenly matched. In both bicycling and the triathlon, independents favor Kerry by more than 10 percentage points, but in boxing his lead drops to six percent.

If presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry were competing in this year’s Olympic Games, which one do you think would be more likely to win at:

Bush Kerry (Not sure)
Boxing? 31% 39 30
Bicycling? 30% 45 25
A Triathlon? 29% 40 31