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Poll: Republican image hurt by impeachment process

By Keating Holland/CNN

February 15, 1999
Web posted at: 5:01 p.m. EST (2201 GMT)

WASHINGTON (February 15) -- The Republican Party's standing with the American public is not as bad as it was after the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in December, but the Senate's acquittal of the president did not help the GOP's image, according to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll.

The GOP's favorable rating is down five points since last week and is 16 points lower than the Democrats' rating.

One big advantage for the Democrats is that more Americans say that the Democrats have a clear plan for solving the country's problems than say that about the Republicans.

At the same time, the Monica Lewinsky scandal has not tainted the public's view of any Democrats other than Clinton. Fifty-five percent say that most Democrats in Congress are honest and ethical, nearly identical to the 56 percent who say the same thing about the Republicans in Congress.

How might all that translate into votes in next year's congressional races? If those elections were held today, Democrats would have an 11-point advantage among Americans who regularly vote.

The survey of 1,034 adult Americans, including 679 who regularly vote in elections, was conducted on February 12-13. The questions have a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points, unless otherwise indicated.

Here are the questions and results:

Please tell me whether you have a favorable opinion of each of the following parties:

 NowLast Week
Democratic Party56%57%
Republican Party4045

Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Democratic Party.

Favorable56%
Unfavorable38

Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party.

 NowLast Week
Favorable40%45%
Unfavorable5447

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to the Republican or Democratic parties today: Has a clear plan for solving the country's problems?

 YesNo
Democrats47%49%
Republicans3857

Please tell me whether you think each of the following applies or does not apply to the Republican or Democratic parties today: Has mostly honest and ethical members of Congress?

 YesNo
Democrats55%41%
Republicans5640

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?

Democrat48%
Republican37

Sampling error: +/-4% pts


Investigating the President

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Monday, February 15, 1999

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