Washington Post-ABC News Poll

The Washington Post
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006

The following are responses to selected questions from a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted by telephone Jan. 5-8, 2006 among 1,001 randomly selected adults nationwide. Margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus three percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Fieldwork by TNS of Horsham, PA. Results of the entire poll will be posted by Jan. 11.

*= less than 0.5 percent

Poll Demographic Information

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

             -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------    No   
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin.
1/8/06       46       29         17      52       13         39        2 
12/18/05     47       29         17      52       12         40        1  
11/2/05      39       20         18      60       13         47        1
10/29/05     39       22         17      58       13         45        3
9/11/05      42       27         15      57       12         45        1
8/28/05      45       27         18      53       12         41        2 
6/26/05      48       27         21      51       11         40        1 
6/5/05       48       27         21      52       14         38        1
4/24/05      47       25         22      50       13         38        3
3/13/05      50       31         19      48       11         37        3
1/31/05      50       34         15      45       11         34        5
1/16/05      52       33         19      46       11         35        2  
12/19/04     48       27         21      49       12         38        2
10/20/04     50       30         20      46       11         35        4  
10/17/04 LV  54       35         19      45        9         36        2  
10/16/04 LV  54       35         19      44       10         34        2  
10/15/04 LV  54       35         19      44       10         34        2  
10/3/04  LV  53       36         17      46       11         34        1  
9/26/04      50       33         18      45       13         32        5  
9/8/04       52       35         17      43       11         32        5
8/29/04      50       31         19      47       13         34        3
8/1/04       47       28         18      49       13         36        5
7/25/04      50       32         19      47       13         34        3
7/11/04      48       31         17      50       11         39        2  
6/20/04      47       30         17      51       13         39        1 
5/23/04      47       31         17      50       14         36        3 
4/18/04      51       33         18      47       13         34        1  
3/7/04       50       32         18      48       12         36        2
2/11/04      50       30         21      47       14         34        2   
1/18/04      58       35         24      40        9         30        2 
12/21/03     59       39         21      38       15         23        3   
12/14/03     57       37         20      39       10         29        5   
12/7/03      53       32         21      40       13         27        7   
11/16/03     57       34         23      39       11         28        4   
10/29/03     56       30         26      42       13         29        2   
10/13/03     53       33         20      43       13         29        4   
9/30/03      54       34         20      44       15         29        2   
9/13/03      58       35         23      40       14         27        2   
9/7/03       56       34         22      41       13         28        4   
8/11/03      59       37         22      37       14         23        4   
7/10/03      59       35         24      38       13         25        3   
6/22/03      68       45         23      29       11         18        4   
4/30/03      71       50         22      26       17          9        3   
4/16/03      74       52         22      23        9         14        3   
4/9/03       77       58         19      20        6         14        4   
4/3/03       71       54         16      25        7         19        4   
3/23/03      68       NA         NA      27       NA         NA        4   
3/20/03      67       NA         NA      28       NA         NA        5   
3/2/03       62       38         23      35       13         22        4       
2/23/03      60       NA         NA      34       NA         NA        6       
2/9/03       64       42         21      34       14         20        3       
2/1/03       62       41         21      34       13         22        4       
1/28/03      62       43         19      36       13         23        2       
1/27/03      59       39         21      37       15         22        4       
1/20/03      59       36         23      38       16         22        2       
12/15/02     66       37         28      32       12         20        2       
11/4/02  LV  67       45         23      31       12         20        1       
11/3/02  LV  67       45         22      32       12         20        1       
11/2/02  LV  67       47         20      32        9         23        1       
10/27/02     67       39         28      29       13         16        4       
9/26/02      67       42         25      30       12         18        3       
9/8/02       71       42         28      27       12         15        3       
7/28/02      69       39         31      28       14         14        3       
7/15/02      72       42         31      25       12         13        2       
6/17/02      74       42         32      22        9         13        4       
6/9/02       77       41         36      20        9         11        3       
5/19/02      76       48         28      22        8         13        3       
4/21/02      78       47         31      20        9         10        2       
3/28/02      79       49         30      18        8         10        3       
3/10/02      82       52         30      16        9          7        2  
1/27/02      83       56         27      14        7          7        3  
12/19/01     86       64         22      12        6          6        2  
11/27/01     89       69         21       9        4          5        1  
11/6/01      89       65         24       9        5          4        2  
10/9/01      92       76         16       6        3          3        1  
9/27/01      90       70         20       6        3          3        4  
9/13/01      86       63         23      12        5          6        2  
9/9/01       55       26         29      41       20         22        3  
8/12/01      61       28         33      31       14         17        8  
7/30/01      59       28         30      38       17         22        3  
6/3/01       55       27         28      40       18         22        6  
4/22/01      63       33         30      32       16         16        5  
3/25/01      58       NA         NA      33       NA         NA        8  
2/25/01      55       NA         NA      23       NA         NA       22

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling (ITEM)?

                                          Approve    Disapprove    No op.
a. Ethics in government                      45          52          3 
b. The US campaign against terrorism         53          45          2

Trend:

a. Ethics in government 

            Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
1/8/06        45            52              3
12/18/05      48            49              3
b. The US campaign against terrorism

            Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
1/8/06        53            45               2
12/18/05      56            44               1
11/2/05       48            51               1
9/11/05       50            47               3
8/28/05*      56            43               2
6/5/05        50            49               1
4/24/05       56            41               3
3/13/05       59            38               3
1/16/05       61            38               2
12/19/04      53            43               3
9/26/04 RV    59            38               3
8/29/04 RV    60            37               3 
7/25/04       57            40               4
6/20/04       50            48               2
5/23/04       58            39               4                          
4/18/04       63            35               2
3/7/04        63            34               3
2/11/04       64            34               2
1/18/04       66            33               2                    
12/21/03      70            28               2
10/29/03      63            35               2                      
10/13/03      66            30               4                      
9/13/03       70            27               3                      
9/7/03        67            28               5                      
4/30/03       79            19               2                      
2/9/03        74            23               4                      
2/1/03        75            21               3                      
1/27/03       72            26               2                      
1/20/03       71            25               4                      
12/15/02      79            20               1                      
11/4/02  LV   76            22               1                      
11/3/02  LV   77            22               3                      
11/2/02  LV   78            21               2                      
10/27/02      74            23               4                      
9/26/02       70            28               2                      
9/8/02        74            24               2                      
7/28/02       81            17               2                      
7/15/02       83            15               2                      
5/19/02*      79            19               3                      
4/21/02*      81            18               2          
3/10/02*      88            10               2          
1/27/02       88            10               2          
12/19/01*     89             9               2          
10/15/01*     92             5               3          
*Asked very/somewhat follow-up

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is doing its job?

            Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
1/8/06        41            55              5
12/18/05      43            53              4
11/2/05       37            59              4
8/28/05       37            59              4
6/5/05        41            54              4
10/29/03      40            52              9
4/30/03       57            37              6
9/26/02       51            43              6
7/15/02       57            36              7
2/21/02       57            39              4
1/27/02       58            35              7
12/19/01      59            34              7
9/9/01        45            48              7
7/30/01       48            48              4
4/22/01       58            33              8
10/31/99      42            53              6
9/2/99        46            47              7
6/6/99        48            46              6
3/14/99       44            49              7
2/14/99       46            50              4    
12/20/98      44            51              5    
12/19/98      45            50              5    
12/13/98      49            46              5    
11/7/98       41            55              4    
11/1/98       49            47              5    
10/25/98      45            44             11    
10/18/98      46            45              8    
9/28/98       52            44              4    
8/21/98       55            39              6          
7/12/98       46            44             11          
5/12/98       45            45              9          
4/4/98        47            45              8          
1/31/98       55            35             10          
1/30/98       55            35             10          
1/25/98       56            37              8          
1/24/98       55            38              7          
1/19/98       47            49              5          
10/13/97      36            57              7          
8/27/97       39            54              7          
7/8/97        40            53              6          
4/24/97       40            53              7          
3/9/97        35            60              5          
8/5/96        42            52              7          
6/30/96       35            58              7          
5/22/96       35            60              5          
3/10/96       30            64              6          
1/7/96        31            65              5          
11/19/95      27            68              5          
10/1/95       32            65              3 
7/17/95       34            63              3         
3/19/95       39            56              5         
1/29/95       42            52              6         
10/31/94      21            72              8         
10/23/94      18            78              4         
9/11/94       24            70              5         
6/26/94       34            61              5         
3/27/94       35            62              3         
2/27/94       32            64              4         
1/23/94       29            60             11         
11/14/93      28            66              6         
8/8/93        33            64              3         
4/26/93       30            69              2         
1/17/93       29            66              6         
4/9/92        17            78              5         
3/18/92       19            76              5         
3/8/92        22            73              6         
2/2/92        32            64              4         
12/15/91      35            59              6         
10/21/91      45            50              5         
6/2/91        49            46              5 
10/14/90      34            63              3                  
2/4/90        41            55              4                  
1/16/90       39            55              6                  
8/21/89       42            53              5                  
5/23/89       54            44              2                  
2/14/89       53            44              3                  
1/23/88*      43            53              4                  
6/1/87        56            40              4                  
6/22/85       54            37              9                  
5/83          33            43             24                  
6/81          38            40             22                  
6/79          19            61             20                  
9/78          29            49             22                  
6/77          34            42             24                  
6/75          29            54             17                  
8/74          48            35             17                  
*1/23/88 and previous: Gallup

4. All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

              --- Worth fighting ---       --- Not worth fighting --      No     
            NET   Strongly   Somewhat     NET   Somewhat   Strongly      op. 
1/8/06      43       30         13        55       12         43          2
12/18/05    46       33         14        52       11         42          1 
11/2/05     39       25         13        60       12         48          1
8/28/05     46       33         12        53        9         44          1
6/26/05     46       33         13        53       10         43          1 
6/5/05      41       29         12        58       12         46          1
4/24/05     44       31         13        54       12         42          2  
3/13/05     45       34         11        53       11         42          2  
1/16/05     44       32         12        55       10         45          1  
12/19/04    42       31         11        56       10         47          2  
10/3/04 LV  49       34         15        48       11         37          3  
9/26/04 RV  46       35         12        51        8         42          3 
9/8/04  RV  51       38         13        45       10         34          4
8/29/04 RV  48       34         14        50       11         39          2 
7/25/04     49       36         13        48       11         37          3 
6/20/04     47       32         14        52       13         39          2 
5/23/04     48       35         13        50       13         37          1     
5/6/04      49       NA         NA        47       NA         NA          5
4/18/04     51                            47                              2
3/7/04      52                            44                              3 
2/11/04     48                            50                              2
1/18/04     56                            41                              3 
12/21/03    59                            39                              2     
12/14/03    53                            42                              5     
11/16/03    52                            44                              4     
10/29/03    54                            44                              2     
10/13/03    54                            44                              2     
9/13/03     61                            37                              2     
9/7/03      54                            42                              4     
8/24/03     57                            37                              5     
8/11/03     61                            35                              4     
7/10/03     57                            40                              3     
6/22/03     64                            33                              3     
4/30/03     70       "           "        27       "           "          4     
2/2/92*     66       NA         NA        32       NA         NA          2     
7/28/91     67                            30                              3     
6/2/91      70                            26                              3     
3/4/91      86       "           "        13       "           "          1     
*2/2/92 and previous: "the Persian Gulf war"; 3/4/91: "this war

5. As it investigates terrorism, do you think the federal government is doing too much, not enough or about the right amount to protect the rights of (READ ITEM)?

 1/8/06 - Summary Table
                                                  Too     Not    Right     No 
                                                  much   enough  amount   opin.
a. American citizens                                8      42      48       2 
b. People suspected of involvement in terrorism    11      40      46       3

6. What do you think is more important right now - (for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy); or (for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats)?

           Investigate     Respect      No
             threats       privacy     opin. 
1/8/06         65             32         3

Compare to:
What do you think is more important right now - (for the FBI to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy); or (for the FBI not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats)?

Investigate     Respect      No
             threats       privacy     opin. 
9/7/03          73            21         5
9/8/02          78            18         4
6/9/02          79            18         3

7. In investigating terrorism, do you think federal agencies are or are not intruding on some Americans' privacy rights?

            Are     Are not     No opinion
1/8/06     64        32            4

8. (IF FEDERAL AGENCIES ARE INTRUDING, Q7) Do you think those intrusions are justified or not justified?

Justified     Not justified     No opinion
1/8/06        49              46                5


Q7/8 NET:

           ------ Intrusion --------      Not an        No
           NET  Just.  Not just.  DK     intrusion     opin.   
1/8/06     64    31       30       4        32           4

Compare to:
In investigating terrorism, do you think the federal agencies like the FBI are or are not intruding on some Americans' privacy rights?

           -----Intrusion-------      Not an        No
           NET  Just.  Not just.     intrusion     opin.   
9/7/03     58    36       17            33           8

9. Which worries you more: (that Bush will not go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights), or (that Bush will go too far in compromising constitutional rights in order to investigate terrorism)?

Will not go     Will go     Neither       No
           far enough      too far      (vol.)     opinion
1/8/06          48           44           6           2  

10. According to recent news reports, the National Security Agency has been investigating people suspected of involvement with terrorism by secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails between some people in the United States and other countries, without first getting court approval to do so. How closely have you been following this story - very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely or not closely at all?

           ------Closely------      ------Not Closely------        No
           NET  Very  Somewhat      NET  Not too  Not at all     opinion 
1/8/06     66    20      46         34      21        13            *   

11. Would you consider this wiretapping of telephone calls and e-mails without court approval as an acceptable or unacceptable way for the federal government to investigate terrorism? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

           ------Acceptable------      ------Unacceptable------      No
           NET  Strongly  Somewhat     NET  Somewhat  Strongly      opin.
1/8/06     51      35        15        47      14        33           2 

12. Generally, do you think members of Congress are more honest than most people, more dishonest, or about the same?

             More        More        About the       No
           honest     dishonest       same        opinion
1/8/06        2          44            52            2 
8/8/93        2          33            65            * 

13. When it comes to the level of ethics and honesty among politicians, do you think (the Democrats are generally better than the Republicans), (the Republicans are generally better than the Democrats), or isn't there much difference between them when it comes to ethics and honesty?

             Democrats better     Republicans better      Not much       No
             than Republicans       than Democrats       difference     opin.
1/8/06              15                    11                 73           1
11/2/05             16                    12                 71           1
3/27/94             10                     8                 81           1
5/23/89             13                     8                 79           1

14. Do you think it should be legal or illegal for registered lobbyists to (ITEM)?

a. Make campaign contributions to members of Congress or congressional candidates

           Legal     Illegal     No opinion
1/8/06      29         67             4  

b. Organize fundraisers on behalf of congressional candidates

           Legal     Illegal     No opinion
1/8/06      41         54             5

c. Give members of Congress gifts, trips or other things of value

           Legal     Illegal     No opinion
1/8/06       8         90             2

15. As you may know, a prominent lobbyist in Washington named Jack Abramoff has pleaded guilty to corruption charges allegedly involving a U.S. congressman. Do you think this case (is limited to a few corrupt individuals); or do you think it (is evidence of widespread corruption in Washington)?

            Limited to a                       Neither/None       No 
           few individuals     Widespread         (vol.)        opinion
1/8/06           34                58               2              6

15a. Now thinking about (ITEM) - if it occurs at all, do you think corruption in (REPEAT ITEM) (is limited to a few corrupt individuals) or (is widespread)?

a. The local government in your area

            Limited to a                       Neither/None       No 
           few individuals     Widespread         (vol.)        opinion
1/8/06           68                27               3              2

b. Your state government

            Limited to a                       Neither/None       No 
           few individuals     Widespread         (vol.)        opinion
1/8/06           60                35               2              2

16. On another subject, as you may know, Bush has nominated federal judge Samuel A. Alito to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court?

                     Should     Should not     No opinion
Alito, 1/8/06          53           27             20
Alito, 12/18/05        54           28             19
Alito, 11/2/05         49           29             22

Roberts, 9/11/05*      55           26             19
Roberts, 8/28/05       57           22             20
Roberts, 7/21/05       59           23             17

Breyer, 5/15/94        52           10             37

Thomas, 10/14/91**     59           28             14
Thomas, 10/13/91       56           29             15
Thomas, 10/12/91       50           29             20
Thomas, 10/9/91        47           23             30
Thomas, 10/8/91        50           25             24
Thomas, 9/15/91        63           24             14

*as chief justice
**No opin. for Thomas includes "wait and see" (vol.)

17. How closely will you be following the Senate confirmation hearings for Alito, which start (next/this) week - very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely or not closely at all?

           ------Closely------      ------Not Closely------        No
           NET  Very  Somewhat      NET  Not too  Not at all     opinion 
1/8/06     60    18      43         39      24        15            *   

20. The Supreme Court legalized abortion 33 years ago in the ruling known as Roe versus Wade. Do you think that if Alito is confirmed to the court, he would vote to (overturn Roe versus Wade entirely); vote to (keep abortion legal but with greater restrictions); or vote to leave current abortion law as it is?

           Overturn     Greater restrictions     Leave as is     No opinion
1/8/06        18                 26                   38             18

20a. (AMONG THOSE WHO GAVE AN ANSWER AT Q20) Is that what you would want him to do, or not?

           Yes     No     No opinion
1/8/06     58      39          3 

Related Story: In Abramoff Case, Most See Evidence of Wider Problem.


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