Poll: Public Confidence High In Clinton On Most Issues
GOP Congress has support equal to president's on budget issues
By Keating Holland/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 7) -- The American public has more confidence in President Bill Clinton than in congressional Republicans to deal with the major issues facing the country today, according to a new CNN/TIME magazine poll.
But the same is not true when it comes to the wide range of issues encompassed by the federal budget. When asked about the decisions Congress and the president must make on the budget, including "decisions affecting taxes, legislative programs, and the federal deficit," Clinton and the GOP wind up in a virtual tie. Forty-three percent of all Americans trust the GOP more than Clinton on the wide range of budget issues; 42 percent put more trust in Clinton.
The poll's findings track those of a CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll released earlier this week.
The poll of 1,012 adult Americans was conducted February 5-6, 1997, and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points on most questions.
Major Issues Facing Country
Budget Decisions Such As Taxes, Federal Programs and Deficit
The public is also very closely divided over whether Clinton and the GOP will cooperate in solving the major problems of the country today. Although Clinton called for bipartisanship during his State of the Union speech and Republicans have echoed such sentiments for weeks, there is as much pessimism as optimism that the two sides will cooperate. Of those polled, 48 percent say that is likely, while 47 percent believe that cooperation between Clinton and the GOP on the major problems facing the country today is unlikely.
The public is skeptical about whether Clinton and Congress will cooperate in passing campaign finance reform by July 4. Only 29 percent say that it is likely that campaign finance reform will meet the Independence Day deadline Clinton set forth in his Feb. 4 State of the Union address.
Will Clinton and GOP Cooperate?
Campaign Finance Reform By Fourth of July
Two-thirds of the country favors a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. But support drops dramatically if Americans are told that a balanced budget amendment could raise taxes or result in Social Security cuts, as Clinton claims. Only 39 percent would favor a balanced budget amendment if it resulted in higher taxes, and just 22 percent would favor an amendment if it resulted in cuts in Social Security.
Balanced Budget Amendment
Balanced Budget Amendment That Resulted in Higher Taxes
Balanced Budget Amendment That Resulted in Social Security Cuts
Clinton's State of the Union speech contained many programs and promises which he originally made on the campaign trail last year. But the public is skeptical that he will keep those promises, and less willing to give him the benefit of the doubt than they were four years ago. Today, by a 48-44 percent margin, Americans don't think Clinton will keep his campaign promises. At the start of his first term in 1993, the public did think he would keep his promises.
Will Clinton Keep Campaign Promises?
President Clinton Is America's Most Admired Man (12/30/97)
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