Polls

About the Tracking Polls

Previous Polls

Interviews with 728 likely voters, conducted October 3-13, 1996.


Chart

Likely Voters' Presidential Choice
Clinton
Dole
Perot
54%
36%
4%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Bill Clinton continues to maintain a significant lead over Bob Dole, with Clinton still winning a majority of all likely voters and Dole's support in the mid-30s. Today's results show that Clinton wins support from 54 percent percent of all voters, compared to 36 percent for Dole and 4 percent for Ross Perot.

The poll also indicates why a Republican attack on Clinton's personal character might not affect the race. Forty-eight percent of likely voters don't consider Clinton honest and trustworthy; 47 percent do. But do voters think Clinton is honest and trustworthy enough to be president? Fifty-five percent say yes, 40 percent say no.

Just as telling, only a fifth of all voters say that they rate a president more by his moral values than his stand on issues or his ability to manage government. Ability to manage government ranks the highest, with 43 percent of all likely voters ranking it as the most important characteristic in their opinion of a president. Positions on issues were chosen by 22 percent, and moral character by 21 percent.

Suppose that the 1996 presidential election were being held today and it included Bill Clinton and Al Gore as the Democratic candidates, Bob Dole and Jack Kemp as the Republican candidates, and Ross Perot and Pat Choate as the Reform Party candidates. Would you vote for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the Democrats -- Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, the Republicans -- or Ross Perot, the Reform Party candidate? (IF UNDECIDED:) As of today, do you lean toward Clinton and Gore, the Democrats, Dole and Kemp, the Republicans, or Perot and Choate, the Reform Party candidates?
Likely Voters


Clinton
Dole
Perot
10/4-5
54%
36%
5%
10/5-6
55%
35%
5%
10/6-7
56%
34%
5%
10/7-8
55%
34%
6%
10/8-9
50%
38%
6%
10/9-10
51%
38%
5%
10/10-11
57%
34%
4%
10/11-12
56%
35%
4%
10/12-13
54%
36%
4%

Question to Perot voters: Who would be your second choice for President -- Dole or Clinton?
Likely Voters


Clinton
Dole
10/4-5
56%
38%
10/5-6
58%
37%
10/6-7
57%
36%
10/7-8
57%
36%
10/8-9
53%
40%
10/9-10
54%
39%
10/10-11
59%
35%
10/11-12
58%
36%
10/12-13
56%
37%

Next, I will read off the names of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person -- or if you have never heard of him.
Likely Voters

Bill Clinton
Favorable
Unfavorable
9/2-4
61%
34%
9/3-5
59%
35%
9/27-29
63%
33%
10/2-3
60%
37%
10/3-4
58%
37%
10/4-5
60%
34%
10/5-6
62%
33%
10/11-12
62%
35%
10/12-13
60%
35%

Likely Voters

Bob Dole
Favorable
Unfavorable
9/2-4
54%
38%
9/3-5
53%
27%
9/27-29
50%
41%
10/2-3
55%
37%
10/3-4
55%
36%
10/4-5
52%
38%
10/5-6
52%
40%
10/11-12
54%
39%
10/12-13
56%
37%

Likely Voters

Ross Perot
Favorable
Unfavorable
9/2-4
27%
59%
9/3-5
27%
57%
9/27-29
28%
56%
10/2-3
30%
56%
10/3-4
28%
57%
10/4-5
29%
55%
10/5-6
30%
56%
10/11-12
31%
55%
10/12-13
31%
54%

Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your congressional district -- the Democratic party's candidate or the Republican party's candidate? (IF UNDECIDED: Do you lean more toward the Democratic party's candidate or the Republican party's candidate?)

Likely Voters

Democratic
Republican
9/6-8
50%
40%
9/13-15
52%
42%
9/20-22
48%
45%
10/1-2
51%
43%
10/11-12
53%
41%
10/12-13
52%
42%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me whether you think each of the following statements better applies to Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, or Ross Perot?
Would do a better job handling the economy:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
46%
32%
16%
1%
10/5-6
47%
30%
17%
3%
10/6-7
49%
31%
15%
2%
10/7-8
47%
32%
16%
2%
10/8-9
43%
36%
15%
2%
10/9-10
46%
35%
12%
2%
10/10-11
49%
31%
12%
3%
10/11-12
48%
31%
13%
3%
10/12-13
48%
33%
12%
3%

Would do a better job handling foreign affairs:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
50%
39%
3%
2%
10/5-6
49%
40%
3%
2%
10/6-7
50%
39%
3%
2%
10/7-8
49%
39%
5%
1%
10/8-9
47%
41%
5%
3%
10/9-10
48%
42%
3%
2%
10/10-11
49%
41%
4%
1%
10/11-12
49%
40%
4%
1%
10/12-13
48%
42%
2%
2%

Shares your views on the size and role of government:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
43%
35%
10%
3%
10/5-6
44%
33%
10%
5%
10/6-7
44%
32%
10%
5%
10/7-8
46%
32%
11%
4%
10/8-9
41%
38%
10%
4%
10/9-10
41%
38%
8%
5%
10/10-11
46%
35%
7%
5%
10/11-12
44%
36%
8%
5%
10/12-13
43%
36%
9%
5%

Would provide the best moral leadership for the country:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
40%
46%
5%
4%
10/5-6
39%
45%
7%
5%
10/6-7
38%
43%
8%
6%
10/7-8
38%
44%
6%
6%
10/8-9
34%
47%
6%
6%
10/9-10
36%
46%
5%
6%
10/10-11
41%
43%
5%
6%
10/11-12
40%
44%
6%
6%
10/12-13
38%
45%
5%
7%

Currently has the best political campaign:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
70%
16%
2%
3%
10/5-6
69%
17%
2%
3%
10/6-7
71%
16%
1%
5%
10/7-8
73%
14%
2%
5%
10/8-9
69%
18%
2%
4%
10/9-10
69%
17%
2%
4%
10/10-11
72%
13%
1%
5%
10/11-12
69%
15%
1%
7%
10/12-13
70%
16%
1%
6%

Would do the best job of handling taxes:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
40%
34%
15%
4%
10/5-6
41%
34%
14%
4%
10/6-7
43%
33%
13%
4%
10/7-8
43%
32%
13%
4%
10/8-9
38%
36%
15%
4%
10/9-10
41%
36%
12%
4%
10/10-11
43%
33%
10%
6%
10/11-12
41%
35%
10%
5%
10/12-13
42%
36%
10%
4%

Can be trusted to keep his promises:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
35%
34%
9%
15%
10/5-6
36%
34%
8%
15%
10/6-7
37%
34%
7%
15%
10/7-8
35%
36%
8%
14%
10/8-9
31%
39%
8%
14%
10/9-10
33%
39%
7%
14%
10/10-11
38%
35%
7%
15%
10/11-12
37%
36%
6%
14%
10/12-13
33%
38%
7%
15%

Would do the best job handling Medicare:
    

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/4-5
51%
30%
6%
3%
10/5-6
51%
30%
7%
2%
10/6-7
52%
29%
6%
4%
10/7-8
53%
28%
6%
5%
10/8-9
49%
33%
6%
3%
10/9-10
51%
33%
5%
3%
10/10-11
52%
31%
5%
4%
10/11-12
51%
32%
5%
3%
10/12-13
52%
32%
5%
2%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-3 percentage points

Cares about the needs of people like you:
  

Clinton

Dole
Perot
None*
10/7-8
50%
30%
7%
9%
10/8-9
47%
34%
7%
8%
10/9-10
48%
34%
6%
7%
10/10-11
50%
30%
6%
9%
10/11-12
49%
31%
6%
9%
10/12-13
49%
33%
6%
8%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-3 percentage points

Do you feel Bob Dole is too old to be president, or not?
   

Yes

No
10/4-5
32%
66%
10/11-12
31%
66%
10/12-13
33%
64%

Do you think Bill Clinton is honest and trustworthy? (HALF THE SAMPLE WAS ASKED THIS QUESTION. THE OTHER HALF OF THE SAMPLE WAS ASKED:) Do you think Bill Clinton is honest and trustworthy enough to be president?

Honest and trustworthy 

Yes

No
10/11-12
48%
46%
10/12-13
47%
48%

Honest and trustworthy enough to be president 

Yes

No
10/11-12
55%
40%
10/12-13
55%
40%
Sampling error: +/-6 percentage points

In August of this year, Bob Dole announced a new economic plan which included a 15 percent cut in the federal income tax for most Americans. Have you heard or read about this tax cut?
  

Yes

No
10/11-12
81%
18%
10/12-13
84%
16%

Would you favor or oppose Dole's proposal for a 15 percent cut in the federal income tax for most Americans?
  

Favor

Oppose
10/11-12
54%
36%
10/12-13
54%
38%

Dole says he can balance the federal budget and cut taxes by 15 percent at the same time. Do you think if Dole were elected President that he could accomplish this, or not?
  

Yes, could

No, could not
10/11-12
26%
67%
10/12-13
26%
66%

Which one of the following characteristics is the most important one to you in rating how a president is handling his job -- his moral values, his positions on issues, or his ability to manage the government?
  

Moral values

Issue positions
Manage government
10/11-12
23%
21%
42%
10/12-13
21%
22%
43%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points


Other Results:

(Editor's Note: These are results of questions asked as part of some of the daily surveys.)

Oct. 7-8


Do you support the "Clinton/Gore," "Dole/Kemp" or "Perot/Choate" ticket strongly, or only moderately?
Likely Voters

Clinton Voters
Support a candidate strongly
Support a candidate moderately
10/2-3
51%
47%
10/7-8
57%
42%


Dole Voters
Support a candidate strongly
Support a candidate moderately
10/2-3
58%
41%
10/7-8
59%
40%

NOTE: Too few Perot/Choate voters for statistically valid results. Sampling error: +/-5 percentage points

As you may know, last month Bob Dole released a new economic plan which features several tax cuts. From what you have heard or read so far, do you favor or oppose Dole's plan?

Likely Voters

Favor
Oppose
9/23-25
39%
40%
10/7-8
35%
41%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

In general, do you think Bill Clinton's political views are too liberal, or not?

 Likely Voters
 

Yes

No
10/4-5
41%
52%
10/7-8
38%
55%
Sampling error: +/-3 percentage points

In general, do you think Bob Dole's political views are too conservative, or not?

Likely Voters
 

Yes

No
10/4-5
41%
48%
10/7-8
41%
48%
Sampling error: +/-3 percentage points

Does Bob Dole's choice of Jack Kemp as his vice-presidential running mate make you more likely or less likely to vote for Dole as President?
   

More likely to vote for Dole

Less likely to vote for Dole
No difference*
10/5-6
46%
28%
21%
10/6-7
45%
29%
21%
10/7-8
43%
30%
22%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Does Bill Clinton's choice of Al Gore as his vice-presidential running mate make you more likely or less likely to vote for Clinton as President?
   

More likely to vote for Clinton

Less likely to vote for Clinton
No difference*
10/5-6
54%
22%
21%
10/6-7
53%
22%
22%
10/7-8
51%
23%
23%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Just your impression -- who do you think would make the better president -- Al Gore or Jack Kemp?
   

Gore

Kemp
No difference*
10/5-6
51%
38%
2%
10/6-7
50%
38%
2%
10/7-8
49%
39%
3%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Oct. 5-6

Based on what you know about Vice President Al Gore, do you think he is qualified to serve as president if it becomes necessary, or not?
 

Qualified

Not qualified
10/5-6
76%
19%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Based on what you know about Republican vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp, do you think he is qualified to serve as president if it becomes necessary, or not?
 

Qualified

Not qualified
10/5-6
61%
24%
Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Which one of the following four men do you feel did the best job of serving as vice-president when he held the job -- Al Gore, Dan Quayle, George Bush, or Walter Mondale?
 

Bush

Gore
Quayle
Mondale
No difference*
10/5-6
55%
26%
7%
6%
1%
* = Volunteered response. Sampling error: +/-4 percentage points

Oct. 2-3

Do you support the "Clinton/Gore," "Dole/Kemp" or "Perot/Choate" ticket strongly, or only moderately?
Likely Voters

All Voters
Support a candidate strongly
Support a candidate moderately
Undecided
10/2-3
50%
46%
4%


Clinton Voters
Support a candidate strongly
Support a candidate moderately
10/2-3
51%
47%


Dole Voters
Support a candidate strongly
Support a candidate moderately
10/2-3
58%
41%

NOTE: Too few Perot/Choate voters for statistically valid results. Sampling error: +/-5 percentage points

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as president? (Reported for all Americans, not just those likely to vote.)
   

Approve

Disapprove
9/7-9
60%
31%
10/1-2
58%
34%
10/2-3
57%
36%

Now thinking about some issues, do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling the economy? (Reported for all Americans, not just those likely to vote.)
  

Approve

Disapprove
10/1-2
58%
35%
10/2-3
57%
36%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling foreign affairs? (Reported for all Americans, not just those likely to vote.)
  

Approve

Disapprove
10/1-2
54%
36%
10/2-3
53%
38%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling the situation in the Middle East? (Reported for all Americans, not just those likely to vote.)
  

Approve

Disapprove
10/1-2
52%
34%
10/2-3
51%
35%
Sampling error: +/-3 percentage points



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