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Survey: GOP Congress Out Of Touch, Favors Wealthy

But Clinton only has modest edge on handling the economy, while his approval rating dips

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 30) -- Two-thirds of Americans believe the Republican-controlled Congress is out of touch, though President Bill Clinton earned only slightly more trust for his handling of the economy and budgetary issues, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Meanwhile, two-thirds of those surveyed disapproved of Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr's inquiries into the president's past personal life.

poll

By a 61-35 percent margin, people who were surveyed said the GOP was out of touch with ordinary Americans. Asked about recent tax bills approved by Congress, 52 percent said the plans favored the rich and nine percent said the middle class, while 28 percent said both classes would benefit.

The survey polled 1,013 adult Americans June 26-29, and has a margin of sampling error of between +/- 3 and +/-5 percentage points, depending on the question.

Although Clinton earns higher marks than Republicans for his handling of the economy and a variety of budgetary issues, it's a small edge. Those surveyed favored the president 43-40 percent on taxes, 40-39 percent on the deficit, and 49-35 percent on Medicare. Clinton's overall approval rating has dipped from 65 percent last January to 59 percent now.

poll

One ominous note for the GOP was that by a 40-34 percent margin, people said they would like to see Democrats back in control of Congress. Regarding House Speaker Newt Gingrich, six in ten said Republicans should replace him as speaker, while 30 percent wanted to keep him.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the public thinks it was inappropriate for investigators working for Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr to interview people about their knowledge of any extramarital affairs Clinton may have had while he was governor of Arknasas. The public is roughly split over whether Starr has been conducting his investigation in a fair and impartial manner, with 37 percent saying "yes," 33 percent "no," and 30 percent unsure.

Here are more results:

More Confidence in Handling of Taxes

Now
February
Clinton
43%
44%
GOP
40%
46%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

More Confidence in Handling of Deficit

Clinton
GOP
Now
40%
39%
February
41%
47%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Which Would You Prefer?
$500-per-child tax credit
Capital gains tax cut
62%
31%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Higher Medicare Costs for Senior Citizens With Higher Incomes
Favor
Oppose
70%
28%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Medicare Eligibility Raised to Age 67
Favor
Oppose
35%
64%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Favorable Ratings

Now
January
Bill Clinton
59%
65%
Hillary
51%
56%
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

CNN's Keating Holland contributed to this report.


Other Polls:

President Clinton Is America's Most Admired Man (12/30/97)
Americans Support U.S. Role In Bosnia (12/22/97)
Reno Should Have Appointed Independent Counsel (12/3/97)
Americans Want Independant Counsel (11/24/97)
Virginia Exit Poll: Governor's Race (11/6/97)
New Jersey Exit Poll: Governor's Race (11/4/97)
New York City Exit Poll: Mayor's Race (11/4/97)
Clinton, Gore Approval Ratings Rise (10/30/97)
America's Leaders Like America's Course (10/13/97)
Americans Want Campaign Reform (9/29/97)
Bad, Good News For Gore (9/12/97)
Congress Returns With High Approval Rating (8/28/97)
More Americans Want Jones vs. Clinton Settled Out Of Court (8/14/97)
Credit For Balanced Budget Deal Goes To GOP (8/1/97)
Clinton, GOP Deserve Credit For Budget (7/28/97)
GOP Congress Out Of Touch, Favors Wealthy (6/30/97)
People Still Care About Washington Scandals (6/3/97)
High Court Correct On Jones Case (6/2/97)