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A CNN / Time Poll - February 21-22, 1996



Interviews with 1,058 adult Americans, including 858 registered voters and a special oversample of 526 registered Republicans, conducted February 21-22, 1996. Back to the top
Bob Dole remains the first choice of registered Republicans throughout the country, but Pat Buchanan and Lamar Alexander have both seen their support jump by 15 points in the wake of the New Hampshire primary, putting them in a statistical tie for second place. Most of Buchanan's and Alexander's support appears to have come from Steve Forbes and the undecided vote, rather than from Dole, whose support dropped by only four points since mid-January. (Note that this is a national poll of all registere Republicans nationwide, and cannot predict the results of primaries or caucuses in individual states.) CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Registered Republicans' Choice for Nomination Dole 36% Keyes 4% Buchanan 21 Lugar 2 Alexander 18 Dornan 1 Forbes 8 Undecided 9 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Registered Republicans' Choice for Nomination Now January Dole 36% 40% Buchanan 21 6 Alexander 18 3 Forbes 8 15 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts Back to the top
If the election were held today, Bill Clinton would beat each of the three top GOP contenders among registered voters nationwide. His lead over Dole has grown from a narrow 45%-42% margin in January to 52%-39% today. Clinton has a 53%-35% lead over Alexander and a 54%-35% lead over Buchanan. Alexander may be hurt by the public's unfamiliarity with him. In the days after the New Hampshire primary, over half the country were not familiar enough with the former Tennessee governor to have an opinion of him. Pat Buchanan is better known, but suffers from steadily negative feelings about him. In the days after New Hampshire, Buchanan's favorable rating among all Americans rose nine points, but his unfavorable rating also made a six-point climb compared to early January. During that same period, Dole's favorable rating dropped slightly. Registered Republicans have a positive image of Buchanan, but are even more favorable toward Dole. CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Registered Voters' Choice for President Now January Clinton 52% 45% Dole 39 42 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Registered Voters' Choice for President Clinton 53% Alexander 35 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Registered Voters' Choice for President Clinton 54% Buchanan 35 Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Opinion of Buchanan <--- REPORTED FOR ALL AMERICANS Now January Favorable 32% 23% Unfavorable 40 34 Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Opinion of Dole <--- REPORTED FOR ALL AMERICANS Now January Favorable 43% 46% Unfavorable 36 34 Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Favorable Ratings Among Registered Republicans Dole 71% Buchanan 48 Alexander 45 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts Back to the top
Dole appears to be more ideologically palatable to registered Republicans nationwide than Buchanan is. A majority of registered Republicans nationwide say that Buchanan is too extreme in his political views to be elected President. 51% describe Buchanan as very conservative, but only 11% of registered Republicans think the GOP should choose a very conservative candidate as its nominee. 41% say the party should choose a moderate and 43% would prefer a conservative candidate. 48% describe Dole as a moderate and 33% say he is a conservative. Only 15% say Dole is very conservative. CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Is Buchanan Too Extreme To Be Elected President? Yes 54% No 38 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS GOP Should Nominate Candidate Who Is... Moderate 41% Conservative 43 Very conservative 11 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Buchanan's Ideology Moderate 11% Conservative 26 Very conservative 51 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Dole's Ideology Moderate 48% Conservative 33 Very conservative 10 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts Back to the top
Where does Buchanan draw his support? Part of it comes from registered Republicans who support the views of the religious right -- over half of Buchanan voters support that groups' views; only 30% of Dole voters do. Surprisingly, however, a majority of Buchanan's voters oppose a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. Another part of Buchanan's support comes from voters who think free trade is bad. Half of Buchanan voters think that free trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT are mostly bad for American consumers; half of Dole voters think free trade agreements are good for consumers. Overall, the general public thinks that free trade agreements have been good for American corporations but bad for American workers (Buchanan voters and Dole voters agree on each of those points.) But nearly half the country (including half of all Republicans) oppose withdrawing from NAFTA. CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Buchanan Voters' Views of Religious Right Support 53% Oppose 8 Unfamiliar 37 Sampling error: +/-9% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Dole Voters' Views of Religious Right Support 30% Oppose 23 Unfamiliar 43 Sampling error: +/-9% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Buchanan Voters' Position On Abortion Amendment Support 44% Oppose 52 Sampling error: +/-9% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Buchanan Voters' Views of Free Trade Agreements Good for consumers 37% Bad for consumers 50 Sampling error: +/-9% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Dole Voters' Views of Free Trade Agreements Good for consumers 52% Bad for consumers 33 Sampling error: +/-9% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Free Trade Agreements Are Good For... <--- THIS QUESTION REPORTED FOR ALL AMERICANS U.S. corporations 58% U.S. consumers 45 U.S. workers 31 Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 Should U.S. Withdraw From NAFTA? <--- THIS QUESTION REPORTED FOR ALL AMERICANS Yes 34% No 48 Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top
Why is Dole still leading the rest of the GOP field? He is the best known candidate and, at least for the moment, that gives him an advantage over his nearest rivals in a number of areas. Nearly half of all registered Republicans say that Dole, when compared to Buchanan or Alexander, has the vision to be the next President and will provide the economic and moral leadership the country needs. His one problem is that registered Republicans do not believe that he best understands the needs of the average American. CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Who Can Best Provide Economic Leadership? Dole 47% Alexander 20 Buchanan 16 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Who Can Best Provide Moral Leadership? Dole 43% Buchanan 33 Alexander 10 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts CNN/TIME POLL February 21-22 REGISTERED REPUBLICANS Who Best Understands Needs of Average American? Buchanan 29% Dole 29 Alexander 23 Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts Back to the top


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