Aug. 25, 1996



Interviews with 1,188 adult Americans, including 1,003 registered voters, conducted August 23-25, 1996

Registered Voters' Presidential Choice

Now August 16-18 Clinton 50 percent 48 percent Dole 38 41 Perot 7 7 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

Bill Clinton now has a 12-point lead over Bob Dole in a three-way race. That's up from the seven-point lead Clinton had last week, and indicates that Bob Dole's convention "bounce" may have started to fade. In a three-way race, Clinton wins 50 percent of all registered voters (up two points from last week), Dole 38 percent (down three points), and Perot at 7 percent (no gain after the Reform Party convention). Although Clinton's lead has widened, it is still not nearly as high as the 22-point lead he had going into the Republican Convention. In a two-way race, the Clinton/Gore ticket beats the Dole/Kemp ticket by 54 percent-41 percent.

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Clinton Approval Rating

Approve 53 percent Disapprove 39 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

Clinton goes into his convention with 53 percent of the country approving of how he is handling his job as President, and about as many approve of how he is handling the economy and foreign policy. But on a variety of key issues, Clinton shows some strengths and some surprising weaknesses, which may be reflected in the issues the Democrats choose to address this week. A majority of all voters approve of how he is handling the environment, education, crime and welfare policy. (On welfare policy, Clinton's signing of the welfare reform bill has led to a 19-point gain in his approval rating on that subject since March. Clinton has also gained notably since March on the crime issue.) But a majority disapprove of how he is handling the federal budget deficit, and he scores low on taxes, Medicare, and health care policy as well -- the last two being issues the Democrats often emphasize. A majority disapprove of how Clinton is handling the problem of drug abuse, but they love his policy on tobacco and smoking.

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Clinton Approval - Economy and Foreign Policy

Approve Disapprove Economy 54 percent 40 percent Foreign policy 53 40 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts Back to top

Clinton Approval - Education, Welfare, Environment, And Crime

Approve Disapprove Education 60 percent 33 percent Welfare 58 35 Environment 58 31 Crime 56 37 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts Back to top

Clinton Approval - Taxes, Medicare, Deficit, And Health Care

Approve Disapprove Taxes 45 percent 49 percent Medicare 44 46 Deficit 43 50 Health care 42 49 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts Back to top

Clinton Approval - Tobacco And Drug Abuse

Approve Disapprove Tobacco 63 percent 30 percent Drug abuse 43 50 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

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Hillary Clinton's Influence

Now January Positive 47 percent 40 percent Negative 47 54 Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

The public is evenly split over whether Hillary Rodham Clinton's influence on her husband's administration has been generally positive or generally negative. Even so, that is an improvement from January, when a majority felt that she had been a negative influence on the administration.

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Previous Polls

  • August 19, 1996
  • August 16-18, 1996
  • August 11, 1996
  • July 18-21, 1996
  • May 9-12, 1996
  • April 9-10, 1996
  • March 15-17, 1996
  • February 23-25, 1996
  • January 26-29, 1996
  • January 12-15, 1996
  • January 5-7, 1996

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