Interviews with 1,000 adult Americans conducted December 15-18, 1995.
Forty-eight percent of the public thinks that President Clinton has acted more responsibly than the Republican leaders in Congress in the current budget negotiations, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Just 34 percent think the GOP leaders have acted more responsibly than Clinton. But the latest government shutdown has been damaging to the public's view of both sides. Forty-nine percent of those responding said that they felt more negatively toward Clinton after the shutdown than before; 62 percent felt more negatively toward the GOP.
Who has acted more responsibly in budget negotiations? Clinton 48% GOP leaders 34 Sampling error: +/-3% pts Shutdown makes you feel more negative toward ... GOP leaders 62% Clinton 49 Sampling error: +/-3% pts
Forty-nine percent of respondents say that the shutdown makes them feel more negatively toward Clinton; 35 percent say it has made them feel more positive toward him. Republican congressional leaders fared worse: 62 percent of the public feels more negatively toward them as a consequence of the current shutdown; less than a quarter of the country feels more positively toward the GOP leadership.
How has the shutdown made you feel about Clinton? More negative 49% More positive 35 Sampling error: +/-3% pts How has shutdown made you feel about GOP leaders? More negative 62% More positive 23 Sampling error: +/-3% pts
Clinton's overall position during this current government shutdown is strong, but not as strong as it was during the first government shutdown in November. If the election were held today, Clinton would beat Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, 52 percent to 43 percent. That nine-point lead is a comfortable one, but has dropped significantly from the 16-point lead Clinton had over Dole midway through the previous government shutdown. Similarly, Clinton's approval rating, at 51 percent, is nearly identical to the 53 percent approval rating he had midway through the last shutdown. But the number of Americans who disapprove of how he is handling his job as president has risen from 38 percent during the first shutdown to 44 percent today.
1996 presidential choice Now November Clinton 52% 55% Dole 43 39 Sampling error: +/-3% pts Clinton approval rating Now November Approve 51% 53% Disapprove 44 38 Sampling error: +/-3% pts
Clinton has made significant political headway on the budget. In July, 48 percent preferred the Republican approach to budget issues; 42 percent preferred Clinton's approach. Today, 52 percent say they prefer Clinton's approach to the budget debate; just 38 percent choose the GOP approach. In general, Clinton also appears to have an advantage over the Republican leaders in Congress. Forty-four percent say the policies proposed by the GOP leadership on the budget and other matters would move the country in the right direction; 44 percent say those policies would move the country in the wrong direction. But 51 percent say that Clinton's policies on the budget and other matters would move the country in the right direction; 39 percent say Clinton would move the country in the wrong direction.
Whose approach to budget do you prefer? Now July Clinton 52% 42% GOP 38 48 Sampling error: +/-3% pts Would GOP policies move country in right direction? Yes 44% No 44 Sampling error: +/-3% pts Would Clinton policies move country in right direction? Yes 51% No 39 Sampling error: +/-3% pts
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