Also in this poll:

Skepticism Over Budget Details

Clinton's Approval Stays High

Campaign Finance Hearings

Related Stories
Clinton, GOP Deserve Credit For Budget (7/28/97)

Survey: GOP Congress Out Of Touch, Favors Wealthy (6/30/97)

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Poll: Credit For Balanced Budget Deal Goes To GOP

For first time in 23 years, more Americans approve of Congress' job performance than disapprove

By Keating Holland/CNN

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 1) -- The balanced budget and tax cut bills that sailed through Congress this week have had an historic impact on public opinion. For the first time since 1974, more Americans approve of how Congress is handling its job than disapprove, according to the latest TIME/CNN poll.

The news is particularly good for the Republican Party. By a 41-32 percent margin, the public thinks that the GOP leaders in Congress deserve more credit for the budget agreement than Clinton does. The public also sees the GOP as the big winners in the budget battles with 39 percent saying that the Republicans in Congress got more of what they wanted in the budget and tax bills than Clinton did. Thirty-three percent say Clinton got more of what he wanted.

Overall, the budget agreement is very popular, with 61 percent of those polled favoring it.

The survey of 814 adult Americans was conducted July 30-31, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Approval of Congress

Approve
Disapprove
Now
45%
39%
April
39%
48%
Budget and Tax Bills
Favor
Oppose
61%
24%
More Responsible for Budget Agreement
GOP
Clinton
41%
32%
Who Got More in Budget Agreement?
GOP
Clinton
39%
33%

Skepticism Over Budget Details

Despite the public's overall approval of the budget package, Americans are skeptical about some of the details.

Although 59 percent say the budget agreement will benefit the country, only a third say that it will help them personally. Only one in 10 Americans thinks that their own taxes will go down as a result of the tax cuts passed on Thursday, and a majority think those tax cuts are unfair because they mostly benefit the rich.

A majority also believe that the bills passed Thursday will not actually balance the budget. Fifty-two percent say it is unlikely that the budget agreement will result in a balanced budget; 40 percent say it is likely.

Will Budget and Tax Bills Benefit...

The country
You personally
Yes
59%
33%
No
30%
57%
Tax Bill Will Make Your Taxes...
Go up
Go down
Stay the same
42%
10%
43%
Tax Cuts Unfair Because They Mostly Benefit the Rich?
Yes
No
58%
27%
Will Budget Bill Lead To Balanced Budget?
Likely
Unlikely
40%
52%

Clinton's Approval Stays High

Bill Clinton may not get as much credit for the budget and tax bill as the GOP does, but he remains very popular. His approval rating now stands at 60 percent, just a few points behind the ratings Eisenhower and Reagan got at this point in their second terms.

More importantly, 69 percent think things are going well in the country today. The last time that many Americans had such a positive view was immediately after the U.S. won the Persian Gulf War.

Clinton Approval Rating
Approve
Disapprove
60%
32%
Are Things Going Well in Country?
Yes
No
69%
31%

Campaign Finance Hearings

On the money trail, 59 percent of all Americans believe that the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee should continue to hold hearings into campaign fund-raising improprieties.

But those hearings have not had an effect on the public's view of Clinton himself. Only 17 percent believe Clinton's fund-raising activities in 1996 were illegal; 45 percent say he did something unethical but not illegal, and a quarter say he did nothing seriously wrong. Those numbers have remained virtually unchanged since April.

By a 50-39 percent margin, Americans think that what Clinton has said about these matters has been completely true or mostly true.

Should Committee Continue Investigating Fund-Raising?
Yes
No
59%
36%
Clinton Fund-Raising Activities
Illegal
Unethical
Not wrong
17%
45%
26%
Clinton Statements About Fund-Raising
True
Not True
50%
39%


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)
Public Supports Budget Deal By 2-1 Margin (5/8/97)
Few Americans Volunteer Regularly (4/25/97)
Most Say No To Wheelchair In F.D.R. Memorial (4/24/97)
Clinton's Approval Suffering Little (4/21/97)
Majority Says Gingrich Loan 'Inappropriate' (4/18/97)
Clinton's Approval Rating Remains High (3/27/97)
Gore's Poll Numbers Dip (3/14/97)
WSJ/NBC Poll On Fund-Raising (3/13/97)
Is Clinton's Honeymoon Ending? (2/27/97)
Americans Are Split On Clinton's Fund-Raising Tactics (2/27/97)
For 2000, Powell's No. 1 With GOP Voters (2/21/97)
President's Approval Rating Stays At High Levels (2/8/97)
New Yorkers Strongly Support Pataki (2/7/97)
Public Confidence High In Clinton On Most Issues (2/7/97)
Clinton Rides High On Issues Public Cares About Most (2/3/97)
Clinton Approval Rating At All-Time High (1/16/97)
Polls - Campaign '96





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