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A CNN / Time Poll - January 17-18, 1996



Interviews with 800 adult Americans, including 672 registered voters and 284 registered Republicans, conducted January 17-18, 1996 Back to the top
Bill Clinton's lead over Bob Dole continues to slip in a hypothetical two-way race for the White House. If the election were held today, 45% of the country's registered voters would vote for Clinton; 42% would vote for Dole. A week ago, Clinton led Dole among registered voters by a 47%-41% margin. In December, Clinton had a 15-point lead among registered voters. CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Registered Voters' Presidential Choice Now Jan. 10-11 Clinton 45% 47% <--- REGISTERED VOTERS! Dole 42 41 Sampling error: +/-4% pts Back to the top
Steve Forbes' support among registered Republicans has risen from 9% to 15% since last week, allowing the billionaire publisher to finish a solid second to Bob Dole. But Dole remains far ahead of the competition, winning support from 40% of all registered voters who call themselves Republicans. Phil Gramm, at 10%, and Pat Buchanan, with 6%, round out the GOP's top four. (NOTE: This sample of registered Republicans is somewhat smaller than normal, resulting in a +/-6% pts sampling error.) CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Registered Republicans' Choice for Nomination Now Jan. 10-11 Dole 40% 42% <--- REGISTERED REPUBLICANS! Forbes 15 9 Gramm 10 8 Buchanan 6 7 Sampling error: +/-6% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Registered Republicans' Choice for Nomination Dole 40% Alexander 3% <--- REGISTERED REPUBLICANS! Forbes 15 Lugar 2 Gramm 10 Keyes 2 Buchanan 6 Sampling error: +/-6% pts NOTE: Because Bob Dornan received less than 1% of the vote, he is not included on this graphic. Back to the top
If Forbes won the Republican nomination, he would lose to Bill Clinton by a 46%-39% margin if the election were held today. This may be due to the fact that most Americans are still unfamilar with Forbes. But the general public is not attracted to two of Forbes' main qualities -- his wealth and his outsider status -- in questions which do not mention Forbes by name. Only a quarter of the public would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who had never held elective office before; 56% would prefer a candidate who had served as a public official. Just one in five say that it is good for the country that very wealthy individuals are able to spend an unlimited amount of money to run for public office. Two-thirds of all Americans say that is bad for the country. CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Registered Voters' Presidential Choice Clinton 46% <--- REGISTERED VOTERS! Forbes 39 Sampling error: +/-4% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 More Likely to Vote For Candidate Who... Held office before 56% Never held office 24 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Wealthy Candidates Spending Unlimited Amount of Money Good thing 20% Bad thing 67 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts Back to the top
By a small margin, the general public supports a flat tax system in which all but low- income Americans would pay the same percentage of their income in taxes, regardless of how much money they make. 48% say they favor a flat tax system; 42% oppose it. But the devil is in the details. Only 31% support a flat tax proposal which would eliminate the tax deduction for charitable contributions. Just 29% support a flat tax proposal which would eliminate all tax deductions for home mortgages. (By a 47%-42% margin, Americans continue to support a flat tax system which only eliminates mortgages on homes that cost more than $300,000.) And only a handful of Americans supports a flat tax that would increase the amount of money they paid in taxes, caused the federal budget deficit to rise, or increased the amount of money middle-class Americans paid in taxes while lowering the tax bite on wealthy Americans. (In fact, by a 41%-48% margin, Americans oppose Steve Forbes' proposed 17% flat rate -- probably because they are unaware of what the current tax rate structure is.) CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Do You Support Concept of Flat Tax System? Yes 48% No 42 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Flat Tax System Which Would Eliminate Charitable Deduction Favor 31% Oppose 64 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Flat Tax System Which Would Eliminate Mortgage Deduction Favor 29% Oppose 60 Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Oppose Flat Tax Which Would... Increase your taxes 80% Increase deficit 82 Benefit wealthy 86 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts Back to the top
With President Clinton scheduled to give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, how does the public view the state of the country today? Half the general public says the country is in deep and serious trouble. 47% say the problems the country faces are no worse than at any other time in recent years. Political handicappers take note: in January, 1976, Americans thought the country was in deep and serious trouble by a 54%-38% margin, and incumbent Gerald Ford narrowly lost the election that year. In January, 1980, three- quarters believed the country was in deep trouble and Jimmy Carter was trounced in his re-election bid. But in 1984, with a majority of the public saying in January that the country's problems were no worse than at other recent times, Ronald Reagan won re-election. CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 State of the Nation Deep and serious trouble 50% No worse than recent years 47 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL Country is in Deep and Serious Trouble January,1996 50% January,1984 40 January,1980 74 January,1976 54 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts Back to the top
47% of the general public approves of the way Clinton is handling his job as President; 44% disapprove. That figure is virtually unchanged from the 48%-45% found in a CNN/Time poll taken a week ago, but is a significant drop from the 55% approval rating Clinton received in December. CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Clinton Approval Rating Approve 47% Disapprove 44 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts Back to the top
How do Americans view their family's finances? Eleven percent say their family is doing very well, and 65% say they are doing fairly well. 22% say they are doing poorly -- a 10- point rise from January of last year. 31% say they are better off financially than three years ago, when Clinton took office; 50% say they are the same, and 18% say they are worse off. CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Family Finances Now Jan.,1995 Very well 11% 19% Fairly well 65 68 Poorly 22 12 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL January 17-18 Family Finances Compared to 1993 Better 31% Worse 18 Same 50 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts Back to the top


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