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Washington Post D.C. Poll

The latest Washington Post poll is based on random telephone interviews with 811 adults in the District of Columbia conducted February 4-7, 2000. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

1. How would you rate the quality of life in Washington? Compared to other cities, would you say Washington is one of the best cities in the nation, above average, below average, or far below average?


           --One of best/Above--             -----Below/Far below----
                 One of    Above   Average          Below   Far below   No
           NET    best     aver.   (vol.)    NET    aver.     aver.     op.
2/7/00     57      22       35      30       10       8         2        3
12/84      NA      30       32      27       NA       6         2        3
Compare to:
             One of best    Above avg.    Below avg.  Far below avg.
2/29/96          13             49            33             6       

2. Do you think things in the District of Columbia are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?


            Right     Wrong     Neither      No  
          Direction   Track     (vol.)     Opinion
2/7/00       69        22          6          3
5/18/98      31        58          4          6
5/4/97       20        71          6          2
5/19/96      14        78         NA          2
3/02/95      15        80         NA          5

3. In general, would you say the quality of life in the District of Columbia is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?


           Better    Worse    About the same    No opinion
2/7/00       52        7           38                2  
5/4/97       11       47           41                1
2/29/96       8       56           33                3
9/94         10       45           44                2
12/93         5       55           38                2
1/92          5       66           28                1
12/84        49       17           28                6

4. Would you say you live in the District rather than the suburbs mainly because you like living in the District, or mainly because youíre not in a position to move to the suburbs?


             Like living in      Not in position      Other      No 
                District             to move          (vol.)    opin.
2/7/00             74                  22                4        *
2/29/96            60                  34                5        1
12/84              72                  24               --        4

5. In recent years, has your neighborhood gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?


              Gotten     Gotten    Stayed about      No 
              better     worse       the same       opin.
2/7/00          37         11           49            3
2/29/96         17         24           53            6
12/93           13         31           51            5

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Anthony Williams is handling his job as Mayor? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:)Is that approve/disapprove strongly or just somewhat?


            -------Approve---------    -------Disapprove-------     No
            NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET  Somewhat  Strongly    opin.
2/7/00      77      36        40       17       9         7         7

7. Do you feel you have a clear idea of what Anthony Williams wants to do as mayor of the District, or not?


             Yes      No     No opinion
2/7/00       49       49          3

8. Now Iím going to mention some issues that face our community, and for each, please tell me whether you think Mayor Anthony Williams is doing an excellent job, good, not-so-good, or poor job in dealing with this issue:


2/7/00
(asked of half sample except where noted)
                            --Excellent/Good---   --Not-so-good/Poor--    No
                            NET   Excel.   Good   NET   Not Good   Poor   op.
A. Dealing with the 
   D.C. Council             58      6       53     31      24        6    11
B. Improving city 
   services                 68     18       50     30      20       10     2
C. Improving the image 
   of the city nationally   80     21       58     17      13        4     4
D. Eliminating waste and 
   inefficiency in 
   city government          68     12       56     26      19        7     7
E. Reducing corruption 
   in city government       60     15       45     28      22        6    12
F. Dealing with Congress    68     10       58     22      17        5    10
G. Creating more jobs
   for D.C. residents       54      7       48     34      24       11    11
H. Improving District 
   public schools           45      5       40     44      30       14    11
I. Attracting new 
   business to the 
   District                 64     12       53     28      22        6     7
J. Keeping the middle 
   class from leaving 
   the city                 59      8       51     33      26        7     8
k. Improving race 
   relations in the 
   District*                62      7       55     30      21        9     8
*full sample
Compare to Marion Barry:
B. Improving city services
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
5/96         35       9       26        63       34        30        2
2/29/96      28       2       26        68       35        33        4
C. Improving the image of the city nationally
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
5/96         35      11       24        63       33        30        1
2/29/96      28       2       26        64       31        33        8
D. Eliminating waste and inefficiency in city government
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
5/96         32       7       25        63       33        30        5
2/29/96      28       3       25        61       31        30       11
E. Reducing corruption in city government
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
5/96         33       5       27        60       32        28        7
2/29/96      25       3       22        61       31        30       14
F. Dealing with Congress 
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
2/29/96      43       6       37        50       34        16        7
G. Creating more jobs for D.C. residents 
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
2/29/96      29       4       25        59       36        23       12
H. Improving District public schools
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
2/29/96      23       2       21        67       32        35       10
I. Attracting new business to the District 
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
2/29/96      26       3       23        62       35        27       12
J. Keeping the middle class from leaving the city 
             ---Excellent/Good---       ---Not-so-good/Poor---      No 
             NET    Excel.   Good       NET   Not good    Poor     opin.
2/29/96      22       3       19        66       32        34       12

9. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Mayor Anthony Williams understands the concerns of people like you.


             Agree      Disagree     No opinion
2/7/00        60           35             5

10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the D.C. Council is handling its job? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:)Is that approve/disapprove strongly or just somewhat?


          ---------Approve-----------    --------Disapprove---------     No
          NET    Strongly    Somewhat    NET    Somewhat    Strongly    opin.
2/7/00    50        11          39       40        24          16        10
5/4/97    38         9          29       51        28          23        11

11. Do you think race relations in the District are getting better, getting worse, or are they staying about the same?


              Better     Worse     About the same    No opinion
2/7/00          22        11             65               2

12. Do you think the cityís mayor can improve race relations in D.C., or do you think thatís something the mayor canít do much about?


             Can improve     Can't do much about     No opinion
2/7/00           48                 50                    2

13. Who would you say has the most power in DC government these days: The Mayor, The DC Financial Control Board, The US Congress, or the DC Council?


             The     The D.C. Financial     US        D.C.       No
            Mayor     Control Board      Congress    Council   opinion
2/7/00       13             16              56         10         5
5/18/98       3             37              49          5         7

14. Who do you think should have the most power in D.C. government these days: The Mayor, The D.C. Financial Control Board, the U.S. Congress, or the D.C. Council?


                                                     Mayor &
         The    DC Financial       US        D.C.    Council  Other    No
        Mayor   Control Board   Congress   Council   (vol.)   (vol.)  opin.
2/7/00    51        4               9         17       12       4       3
5/18/98   39       15              12         20        5       2       7

15. I am going to read you a few names. For each please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of that person, or perhaps you donít know enough to say. How about(READ ITEM)?


2/7/00
                          Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
A. Marion Barry               47            46             7
B. Eleanor Holmes Norton      82             7            11
C. Anthony Williams           75            16             9
D. Alice Rivlin               30             8            63
E. Linda Cropp                44            15            41
Trends:
A. Marion Barry
          Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
2/7/00       47            46              7
5/18/98      42            48             10
5/4/97       37            58              6
5/19/96      55            41              5
2/29/96      51            42              7
3/02/95      65            29              6
6/94         46            46              8
1/92         35            58              7
B. Eleanor Holmes Norton
         Favorable     Unfavorable    No opinion
2/7/00       82             7             11
5/18/98*     77             7             16
5/4/97       81             8             12
2/29/96      77             8             15
2/95         74             8             18
6/94         78             8             14
1/92         69            12             19
C. Anthony Williams
          Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
2/7/00       75            16              9
5/18/98*     22             8             70
*asked of half sample

16. What is the biggest problem facing the district today: the one you want the mayor to work the hardest to solve?


                                            2/7/00
Crime/violence                                21
Improving schools/education                   17
Improving city services                       14                          
Creating more jobs/employment         
 Opportunities                                 7
Economic development/improving 
 quality of life                               4
Improve city government/increase 
 efficiency/less corrupt                       4
Improving race relations/equal opportunities   4
Want D.C to be self-governing/have 
 representation in congress                    3
Poverty/homelessness                           3
Traffic/parking problems                       3
Improve social services                        3
Balanced budget/improve finances               2
More/affordable housing                        2
Improve tax structure                          2
Attracting/keeping residents in the city       1
Cooperating/working with D.C. council          1
Improving the image of the city nationally     1
Miscellaneous                                  2
Nothing                                        5
No opinion                                     3

17. Mayor Williams has begun holding a series of events designed to allow residents to help shape District policy. Do you think he is holding these meetings more because he cares about the District, or more for show?


            Cares about      More for       No 
            the district       show       opinion
2/7/00          71              23           7

18. Do you think these outreach meetings will result in meaningful policy changes in the District, or not?


           Yes      No     No opinion
2/7/00     59       29         12

19. Generally speaking, how would you rate (READ ITEM): Excellent, good, not-so-good, poor, or donít you know enough about this to say? How about (READ NEXT ITEM)


2/7/00                            --Excellent/Good--   --Not Good/Poor--   
                                                             Not           No
                                  NET   Excel.  Good   NET   Good  Poor    op.
A. District Police                63      9      54    33     23    10      4
B. District Public schools        32      3      28    56     33    23     12
C. Streets in good repair         32      3      29    65     35    31      3
D. District Fire department       82     21      61     8      6     2     11
E. Household garbage collection   57      9      48    36     20    16      7
F. Parks & recreation facilities  56      7      49    33     22    11     11
G. Department of Motor Vehicles   54      8      45    34     18    16     13
H. Snow removal                   47      8      39    51     28    24      2
Full wording and trend where available
A. The job that District police are doing
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---     No
          NET   Excel.  Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    63      9      54     33     23       10       4
5/18/98   49      7      42     45     29       16       5
5/4/97    68     15      53     30     21        9       2
B. The job that the District public schools are doing
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor----    No
          NET  Excel.   Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    32     3       28     56     33       23      12
5/18/98   18     3       16     70     30       39      12
5/4/97    18     2       16     74     35       39       8
C. The job that the District is doing to keep the streets in good repair
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---     No
          NET   Excel.  Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    32      3      29     65      35      31       3
5/18/98   21      2      19     78      34      44       2
5/4/97    18      2      16     81      32      49       1
2/29/96   22      2      20     76      26      50       2
2/95      25      2      23     69      30      39       6
D. The job that the District fire department is doing
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---     No
          NET   Excel.  Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    82     21      61      8       6       2      11
5/18/98   69     16      54     10       6       4      21
5/4/97    79     20      60      8       6       2      12
E. Household garbage collection by the district
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---   No
          NET   Excel.  Good    NET  Not Good  Poor  opin.
2/7/00    57      9      48     36      20      16     7
5/18/98   60     10      50     30      17      12    11
5/4/97    56      8      48     34      18      17     9
2/29/96   49      6      43     44      21      23     7
2/95      52     11      41     34      20      14    14
F. The quality of District parks and recreation facilities
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---     No
          NET  Excel.   Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    56     7       49     33      22      11      11
5/18/98   47     6       41     39      22      17      14
5/4/97    52     7       45     38      24      14       9
2/29/96   45     4       41     41      24      17      14
2/95      38     3       35     42      28      14      20
G. The quality of services provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles
          --Excellent/Good--    ---Not Good/Poor---     No
          NET  Excel.   Good    NET  Not Good  Poor    opin.
2/7/00    54     8       45     34      18      16      13
5/18/98   38     4       35     46      21      25      15
5/4/97    37     4       33     49      25      24      14

20. As you may know, the D.C. school board is elected by District voters. Mayor Williams is proposing that instead of being elected, school board members should be chosen by the cityís mayor. Supporters of the plan say it would allow the mayor to take more direct responsibility for problems in the cityís troubled schools. Opponents say having the mayor appoint the board takes too much power away from D.C. voters.

Do you think the mayor should appoint school board members, or do you think the school board should be elected? (If "appoint", follow with: Should the mayor be able to appoint all the members, or just some?)


            ------Appoint-----      Elect        No
             NET   All    Some      Board      opinion
2/7/00       42    19      22        54           4

21. As you may know, the district government is trying to redevelop parts of the city to attract new businesses and residents. Do you think this process of redevelopment is mainly good or mainly bad for (insert item)?


2/7/00                           Mainly        Mainly        No 
                                  good          bad         opin.
A. Whites in the District          85            7            8
B. Blacks in the District          72           21            7
C. The rich                        82            7           10
D. The poor                        64           29            7
E. District businesses             86            9            5
F. Your neighborhood               78           14            8
G. People like you                 79           14            8
H. The city overall                86           10            4

22. These days, how safe from crime do you feel in your neighborhood? Would you say you feel very safe from crime, somewhat safe, not too safe, or not safe at all?


                -------Safe--------    -------Not safe---------     No
                NET  Very  Somewhat    NET  Not too  Not at all   opinion
2/7/00          80    24      56       20     15          5          1  
5/18/98         67    15      52       32     20         12          *
12/93           57    11      47       43     23         20          0  

23. Now thinking about the University of the District of Columbia, or U.D.C. Do you think the District should provide more money to U.D.C., less money, or about the same amount as it does now?


           More money    Less money    About the same    No opinion
2/7/00         66             5              21               8

24. Mayor Williams may eliminate hundreds of D.C. government jobs in order to reduce District spending and streamline government. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?


                Good         Bad          No 
                idea         idea        opin.
2/7/00           48           46           6

25. Now thinking only about your own situation, have any of the cuts in spending or programs over the past few years hurt you or your family directly?


            Yes    No    No opinion
2/7/00      21     77        2
5/18/98     31     65        3

26. Do you favor or oppose the District of Columbia becoming a separate state?


           Favor    Oppose    No opinion
2/7/00      58        36           6  
5/18/98     52        38          10
5/4/97      46        47           7
2/29/96     48        39          13
2/95        45        48           7
12/93       51        41           8



 

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