The 33-year-old son of Republican presidential nominee George Bush said he has been optimistic about his father's chances all along, but still did not expect such a dramatic shift in the polls after the GOP convention.

"Two weeks ago, we were 17 percentage points down, and now we have been reported to be up by nine," Neil Bush said Tuesday night at a Republican barbecue in Idaho Falls. "I was a little bit surprised."In an interview afterward, Bush attributed his father's post-convention success to three factors.

"One, people were reminded by Ronald Reagan about where we started and how far we have come," he said. "Two, people found there were big differences between Michael Dukakis, who is very liberal, and George Bush. Three, people finally saw the uncensored version of George Bush."