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 TIME on politics TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and TIME

CNN/Time poll: Record percentage of Americans satisfied with nation's direction

By Keating Holland/CNN

January 7, 2000
Web posted at: 5:02 p.m. EST (2202 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- At the start of a new century, Americans are more satisfied with the way things are going in the country than at any other time in the last 26 years, but so far that contentment has not rubbed off on Al Gore's election prospects, according to a new CNN/Time poll.

A record 80 percent of Americans now say that things are going well in the country today -- the highest number since pollsters began asking this question more than a quarter-century ago (and it has been asked more than 200 times since 1974, making it the most comprehensive measure of the mood of the country on record).

  MESSAGE BOARD
GOP Presidential primary

Democratic Presidential primary

Third-party candidates
 

Traditionally, the incumbent party in the White House benefits from good times. But Vice President Al Gore continues to trail Texas Gov. George W. Bush in hypothetical match-ups -- currently by a 56 percent to 39 percent margin.

Worse news for Gore: Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled even with him, 46 percent to 46 percent, although Gore had a 14-point lead in November. Bill Bradley loses to Bush by almost as much, although he does hold a 47 percent to 39 percent advantage over McCain.

As always, it is important to note that the poll reflects how people would vote if the election were held today; there is every reason to believe that some Americans will change their minds between now and November. Bush and Gore maintain their leads for their respective parties' nominations.

The poll was taken Wednesday and Thursday of 1,319 registered voters, including 528 registered Republicans and 592 registered Democrats.

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Are things going well in the country today?
Yes80%
No19%
Sampling error: +/-2.5% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Things are going well in the country today
Now80%
November69%
Sampling error: +/-2.5% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Things are going well in the country today
Now80%
199974%
199865%
199763%
199648%
Sampling error: +/-2.5% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered voters' choice for president
 NowNovember
Bush56%51%
Gore39%44%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered voters' choice for president
 NowNovember
Bush55%49%
Bradley39%42%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered voters' choice for president
 NowNovember
Gore46%51%
McCain46%38%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered voters' choice for president
Bradley47%
McCain39%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered Democrats' choice for nominee
 NowNovember
Gore49%50%
Bradley27%29%
Sampling error: +/-4% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered Republicans' choice for nominee
 NowNovember
Bush59%57%
McCain18%14%
Forbes5%7%
Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered Republicans' choice for nominee
 NowNovember
Bush59%57%
McCain18%14%
Forbes5%7%
Keyes3%2%
Bauer1%5%
Hatch1%2%
Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered Republicans' choice for nominee
Bush59%
McCain18%
Forbes5%
Keyes3%
Bauer1%
Hatch1%
Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts

Have Gore's criticisms of Bradley's health care plan as a budget-busting, prosperity-risking proposal had an effect? Possibly, although since Bradley is not as well known or as popular as Gore nationwide, it is difficult to tell.

Sixty-two percent of registered Democrats say they think that Gore would do a better job than Bradley in handling health care if he were elected president, and nearly as many say that Gore would be better able to handle the economy and the federal budget. That may be due to the fact that registered Democrats nationwide prefer Gore over Bradley as their party's nominee.

Bradley, however, does hold one advantage over Gore -- by a thin margin, Democrats say that he would do a better job on campaign finance reform than Gore. Gore holds the advantage on other issues, including education, Social Security, and health care.

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered Democrats' view of who would do a better job on...
 GoreBradley
Health care 62%25%
Economy59%27%
Federal budget57%26%
Sampling error: +/-4% pts

CNN/TIME POLL -- January 5-6
Registered democrats' view of who would do a better job on...
 GoreBradley
Education58%28%
Social Security53%29%
Poverty52%32%
Campaign finance 39%41%
Sampling error: +/-4% pts

Associated Press news material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.



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