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Poll: President has advantage in budget battle

Campaign finance a low priority with public

By Keating Holland/CNN

October 12, 1999
Web posted at: 5:05 p.m. EDT (2105 GMT)

WASHINGTON -- In the ongoing budget battle between Congress and the White House, President Bill Clinton has the same advantage in public opinion as he did during the government shutdown in late 1995, according to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

In 1995, 48 percent said that Clinton had acted more responsibly than the GOP in Congress while 34 percent said the Republicans had acted more responsibly.

The new poll's numbers are almost identical. Forty-eight percent say that Clinton has acted more responsibly in the current round of budget negotiations with Congress and 36 percent give the nod to the GOP.

The public also prefers Clinton's overall approach to the budget negotiations and trusts Clinton more than the GOP to handle the Social Security trust fund responsibly.

Campaign finance reform is another issue that Congress will soon debate and it remains a top priority only for a handful of Americans, with six in ten saying it should be a low priority or no priority at all for Congress. One reason: the number of Americans who think the campaign finance system should be overhauled has dropped by fifteen points since 1997.

As you may know, President Clinton and the Republicans in Congress are trying to negotiate an agreement on the federal budget. Based on what you've read or heard about those negotiations, who do you think has acted more responsibility: the Republicans in Congress or President Clinton?

Clinton 48%48%
GOP 3634

Who do you trust more to act responsibly with the government funds set aside for Social Security benefits: the Republicans in Congress or President Clinton?

Clinton 50%
GOP 41

When it comes to dealing with the touch choices involved in deciding on the federal budget for next year, whose approach do you prefer: the Republicans in Congress or President Clinton's?

Clinton 55%
GOP 38

As you may know, Congress will be considering several issues this fall, including tax cuts, Social Security, gun control and campaign finance. In terms of all these issues and others that Congress will be considering, do you think campaign finance should be the top priority, a high priority, a low priority or should it not be a priority at all?

Top priority 11%
High priority 28
Low priority 41
Not a priority 19

In general, which of the following statements best represent what you feel about the way federal campaigns are financed: 1. It needs to be completely overhauled; 2. It needs major changes; 3. It needs minor changes; or 4. It is basically fine the way it is.

Complete overhaul 20%35%
Major changes 4435
Minor changes 2621
No change 85


Congress averts shutdown while budget battle rages (9-28-99)

Clinton touts higher-than-expected $115 billion budget surplus (9-27-99)

Clinton vetoes tax bill; Republicans vow to press for cut (9-23-99)

GOP revs up tax cut campaign (8-17-99)

Republicans plan to avoid another government shutdown (8-9-99)


U.S. House of Representatives Web site

U.S. Senate Web site


Tuesday, October 12, 1999

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