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A CNN / Time Poll - December 6-7, 1995



Interviews with 1,000 adult Americans conducted December 6-7, 1995. Back to the top
Bob Dole is still the overwhelming frontrunner for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, but Bill Clinton's advantage over him in a hypothetical two-way race has tripled since early November. 44% of all Republicans nationwide would vote for Dole if asked to choose the GOP nominee. But the Kansas Republican would lose to Clinton by 19 points if the election were held tomorrow. 53% of all Americans would choose Clinton; 34% of all Americans would choose Dole. In early November, Clinton had a 48%-42% lead over Dole. 1996 Presidential Choice Now November Clinton 53% 48% Dole 34% 42% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Republicans' Choice for Presidential Nomination Dole 44% Lugar 3% Buchanan 8% Keyes 3% Gramm 7% Dornan 3% Forbes 5% Alexander 2% Sampling error: +/-5% pts Back to the top
One reason for Clinton's strength may be the advantage he has gained in the budget battle with Congress. Based on what they have read or heard about the two sides' proposals for the federal budget, 51% of the public say that Clinton's proposals would be better for the country. 34% say that the country would be better off with the proposals of the Republican leaders in Congress. That preference may be due in part to Americans' views of the budget cuts proposed by the GOP. 47% say the proposed GOP cuts in federal spending have gone too far. In March, at the end of the 100 Days, only 30% felt that way. 51% also believe that Clinton has acted more responsibly than the Republican leaders in Congress so far in the budget negotiations. Only a third say the GOP leaders have acted more responsibly than Clinton. Whose Budget Proposals Are Better for the Country? Clinton 51% GOP leaders 34% Sampling error: +/-3% pts GOP Proposals Cut Spending Too Much Now 47% March 30% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Acted More Responsibly In Budget Negotiations Clinton 51% GOP leaders 32% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top
More than half of all Americans thinks that President Clinton is doing a good job providing strong leadership for the country and managing U.S. foreign policy. But only 43% think he is doing a good job handling the situation in Bosnia; 43% think he is doing a poor job there. By a thin 47%-44% margin, the public thinks Clinton is doing a good job on the economy. All that translates into an overall approval rating of 55% for the President. Clinton is Doing A Good Job On... Leadership 54% Foreign policy 51% Economy 47% Bosnia 43% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Clinton's Handling of Foreign Policy Good job 51% Poor job 38% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Clinton's Handling Of Bosnia Good job 43% Poor job 43% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Clinton Approval Rating Approve 55% Disapprove 36% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top
Clinton's favorable rating is also rising. Six in ten Americans have a favorable impression of him; just over a third have an unfavorable view. That represents a gain of seven points since September. By contrast, GOP frontrunner Bob Dole's favorable rating is at 44%. Only a quarter of the public thinks favorably of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. (Note that many interviews were conducted before news of the special counsel was known.) Other favorable ratings: Ross Perot at 38%, Hillary Clinton at 57%, Al Gore at 50%. Opinion of Clinton Favorable 61% Unfavorable 35% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Opinion of Dole Favorable 44% Unfavorable 35% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Opinion of Gingrich Favorable 24% Unfavorable 56% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Favorable Ratings Clinton 61% Dole 44% Perot 38% Gingrich 24% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top
The public now has more confidence in Clinton than in the Republicans in Congress to deal with the major issues facing the country today. That is a dramatic switch from a year ago, when 46% said they had more confidence in the GOP in Congress and just 30% were more confident of Clinton's ability. Even as recently as September, the public was closely split -- 42% were more confident in the Republicans and 41% chose Clinton. But today, 49% are more confident in Clinton; 35% prefer the Republicans. The number of Americans who approve of the job that Congress is doing overall is at 35%, down from the 42% who approved of Congress in April after the 100 Days had concluded. (That 42% figure was the highest congressional approval rating since Yankelovich began asking the question in 1990.) Who Do You Have More Confidence In? Now 1994 Clinton 49% 30% GOP 35% 46% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Congressional Approval Rating Now April Approve 35% 42% Disapprove 55% 47% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top
Newt Gingrich's approval rating has fallen to 31%, and for the first time a majority of the public disapproves of how the Georgia Republican is handling his job as Speaker of the House. Fewer than one in ten Americans would like to see Gingrich become president some day. Two-thirds of the public thinks that Gingrich too often says things that are improper for a Speaker of the House. In January, 51% felt that way. CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Gingrich Approval Rating Approve 31% Disapprove 53% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Gingrich as President Would like 9% Would not like 80% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Does Gingrich Say Improper Things Too Often? Yes 65% No 23% Sampling error: +/-3% pts 72% of the country thinks Gingrich is intelligent, and by a 47%-40% margin the public says he is someone with a vision about the future. Only 29% say Gingrich is dishonest. But only 24% say that Gingrich is someone they can trust. Just 26% say that Gingrich is someone they are proud to have as a leader in Congress. 63% say he is too extreme in his views, and 52% say he is out of touch with the American people. CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Is Gingrich Dishonest? Yes 29% No 44% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Is Gingrich Someone You Can Trust? Yes 24% No 60% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL December 6-7 Is Gingrich Intelligent? Yes 72% No 17% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL Is Gingrich Too Extreme In His Views? Yes 63% No 24% Sampling error: +/-3% pts CNN/TIME POLL Is Gingrich Out of Touch With American People? Yes 52% No 35% Sampling error: +/-3% pts Back to the top


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