How Different Groups Feel About Congress

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 2, 2007; 5:08 PM

-- Demographics and details from the AP-AOL News poll on public attitudes about the first 100 hours of Congress. The poll was conducted by Ipsos, an international polling firm:

OVERALL: The latest AP-AOL News poll finds strong support for three key initiatives that the Democrats say they plan to implement in the first days of the new Congress. Meanwhile, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to make an impression on most Americans. More than half, 55 percent, said they don't know enough yet about Pelosi to have an opinion of her. Those who would give an opinion are split, with 22 percent having a favorable opinion and another 22 percent having an unfavorable opinion.

MINIMUM WAGE: Four in five adults favor an increase in the minimum wage. While support for the initiative is strong across the board, Democrats, 91 percent, were more likely to favor an increase than Republicans, 65 percent. One-third of Republicans oppose an increase in the minimum wage. Women, 85 percent, were more likely to favor an increase than men, 74 percent. Men without a college degree, 80 percent, were more likely to favor an increase than men with a college degree, 67 percent. Single women, 89 percent, were more likely than married women, 81 percent, and single men, 79 percent, to favor an increase. About 86 percent of middle-income earners, those earning between $25,000 and $50,000, favored an increase, compared with 76 percent of those earning more than $75,000.

STEM CELL RESEARCH: More than half of Americans, 56 percent, favor easing the restrictions on the use of federal money to research embryonic stem cells. Nearly three-quarters, 73 percent, of Democrats believe the restrictions should be eased, compared with 40 percent of Republicans. More than half of white evangelical Christians, 56 percent, and half of Protestants, 49 percent, believe the restrictions should not be eased, higher than the 39 percent of Catholics who oppose easing the restrictions. The Midwest was the only region where a majority, 51 percent, opposes the easing of the restrictions. In contrast, 60 percent of Northeasterners favor easing the restrictions, as do 61 percent of Southerners and 59 percent of those in the West.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Seven in 10, 69 percent, favor the federal government making it easier for people to buy prescription drugs from other countries. While the initiative is popular among most groups, Democrats, 79 percent, were more likely to favor the initiative than Republicans, 61 percent. Those with higher education were more likely to favor making it easier to buy drugs from other countries.

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Analysis by AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson.


© 2007 The Associated Press