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Washington Post-ABC News Poll: The Bush Transition

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews with 1,513 randomly selected adults nationwide, and was conducted January 11-15, 2001. The margin of error for overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

*= less than 0.5 percent

8. On another subject, would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                  ----Excellent/Good-----    -----Not so good/Poor-----   No  
                  NET   Excellent    Good    NET    Not so good    Poor  opin.
1/15/01           70       10        59      29        24           6      1 
10/27/00 LV       86       24        61      14        11           3      * 
10/26/00 LV       86       24        61      14        11           3      * 
6/11/00           74       17        57      26        19           6      * 
2/27/00           80       25        55      20        14           5      * 
10/31/99          74       18        56      26        18           7      1 
9/2/99            76       19        57      23        16           6      1 
3/14/99           80       22        58      19        15           4      1 
11/1/98           73       12        61      26        21           5      1 
11/1/98  LV       78       13        65      22        19           3      * 
10/13/97          61       12        49      39        27          11      * 
Call for full trend.


9. We'd like to know what kind of priority you want to see George W. Bush and the Congress give to some issues. For each one, please tell me if it should receive the highest priority, a high priority but not the highest, a middle priority, or a lower priority.

1/15/01
                              -------High-------                   (VOL)   No.
                              NET  Highest  High   Middle   Lower   None   op.
a. Keeping the economy 
   strong                      95    47      48       4       1       0     0     
b. Protecting the Social 
   Security system             88    46      42      10       3       0     *    
c. Holding down the cost of 
   health care and health 
   insurance                   86    44      42      11       3       *     *
d. Keeping the federal 
   budget balanced             86    35      51      12       1       *     1
e. Reducing the use of 
   illegal drugs               71    32      40      18      10       1     1
f. Reforming election 
   campaign finance laws       54    20      34      29      15       1     1
g. Reducing the political 
   partisanship in Washington  50    17      34      29      11       3     7
h. Raising pay and benefits 
   for military personnel      58    19      38      33       8       *     1
i. Improving opportunities 
   in jobs and education for 
   women and minorities        71    29      42      23       6       *     0
j. Cutting taxes               65    26      39      24       9       1     2
k. Improving education and 
   the schools                 91    49      42       5       2       1     0
l. Expanding health care 
   coverage for the uninsured  74    31      43      20       5       1     1
m. Helping the elderly pay 
   for prescription drugs      86    39      46      11       2       1     1
n. Protecting the environment  71    27      45      21       6       *     2
o. Upgrading military 
   systems and equipment       63    24      39      22      13       *     2
p. Banning the abortion 
   procedure known as 
   partial-birth abortion      45    26      19      17      26       7     5
q. Establishing uniform 
   standards for ballots, 
   voting machines and 
   recount rules in 
   presidential elections      67    32      35      18      12       1     2
r. Improving race relations    65    24      42      26       6       1     1


10. Which of these would you prefer: (A large tax-cut plan that provides an across-the-board tax cut for everyone), or (A smaller tax cut plan that provides targeted tax cuts mainly for lower and middle-income people).

                       Large cut     Smaller cut    No opinion
1/15/01                    47            51              2
10/9/00 RV                 48            48              4
9/6/00  RV                 45            53              2


11. As you know, Bush is about to begin his first term as president. What type of president do you think Bush will be - an outstanding president, above average, below average, or poor?

                 -----Above Average-----    Avg.    --Below Average-----    No
                 NET  Outstanding  Above   (vol.)   NET    Below    Poor    op.
1/15/01           51      10         40      19      27      16     11       3
Compare to:
1/17/93 Clinton   56      11         45      21      19      14      5       5
1/16/89 Bush      50       8         42      28      18      13      5       4


12. Do you think Bush will do a better job as president than Clinton, a worse job than Clinton or what?

                                         (VOL) About      No 
                    Better     Worse      the same       opin.   
1/15/01               43         39          12            6
Compare to:
1/17/93 Clinton       55         21          17            7
1/16/89 Bush          23         11          64            2


13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the presidential transition?

                    Approve      Disapprove     No opinion
1/15/01               72            21              6
Compare to:
1/17/93   Clinton     81            13              6
12/14/92* Clinton     72            13             15
12/14/92  Bush        76            16              7
*"is handling"


14. Do you approve or disapprove of most of the choices Bush has made for his Cabinet and other top positions in his administration?

                                                Approve Some/             No
                    Approve    Disapprove    Disapprove Others(vol.)    opinion
1/15/01                66          22                  4                    8
Compare to:
Clinton:
1/15/97                58          30                  6                    6
1/17/93                60          17                  6                   17
12/14/92               61          13                  5                   21
Bush:
2/27/89*               75          20                 NA                    5
2/14/89                73          18                 NA                   10
2/9/89                 71          20                 NA                    9 
1/16/89**              59          15                 NA                   26
*2/27/89 and previous: "Do you approve or disapprove of most of the choices
Bush has made for his Cabinet?" **"so far?"


15. (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE) Bush has nominated John Ashcroft for attorney general. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Ashcroft as attorney general?

                Should      Should not      No 
                confirm      confirm       opin.
1/15/01           54            26           21


16. (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE) Bush has nominated John Ashcroft for attorney general. This nomination is opposed by organized labor and by some groups that advocate women's rights, legal abortion, civil rights, and gun control. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Ashcroft as attorney general?

                Should      Should not      No 
                confirm      confirm       opin.
1/15/01           47            43           10


17. (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE) Bush has nominated Gale Norton for secretary of the interior. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Norton as secretary of the interior?

                Should      Should not      No 
                confirm      confirm       opin.
1/15/01           51            17           32


18. (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE) Bush has nominated Gale Norton for secretary of the interior. Some environmental groups oppose this nomination. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Norton as secretary of the interior?

                Should      Should not      No 
                confirm      confirm       opin.
1/15/01           46            28           25


19. Do you think Bush is able to deal with the big issues facing this country, or not?

                   Yes    No    No opinion
1/15/01             66    31        3  
Compare to:
                   Yes    No    No opinion
1/15/97 Clinton     60    38        1  
1/17/93 Clinton     67    28        5
8/9/92 Bush         43    54        3
2/2/92 Bush         50    48        2
3/4/91 Bush         84    15        1


20. Do you consider Bush to have been legitimately elected as president, or not?

           Yes   No   No opin.
1/15/01    58    40       2
12/15/00   55    42       3
12/10/00*  71    27       1
12/3/00    73    23       4
11/26/00   76    19       5
*12/10 and previous: "If this ends with Bush winning the presidency, will 
you consider him ..."


21. Do you think Bush has a mandate to carry out the agenda he presented during the presidential campaign, or should he compromise on the things the Democrats strongly oppose?

          Has mandate     Should compromise     No opinion
1/15/01       41                  52                 7


22. Do you think Bush has a mandate to work for (major new social and economic programs) or for (only small policy changes)?

          Major new     Small policy     No        
          programs        changes       opin.
1/15/01       47             38          15


23. For each group I name, please tell me whether you think Bush will work mainly FOR or mainly AGAINST the interests of that group. First is (READ ITEM). How about (NEXT ITEM)?

1/15/01
                           ------Bush will work------     No
                           For group    Against group    opin.
a. Labor unions               45             47             9  
b. Large corporations         86             10             4
c. Poor people                52             44             4
d. Wealthy people             85             10             5
e. The middle class           65             32             3
f. Women's rights groups      56             39             5
g. The military               92              5             3
h. Environmental groups       50             42             7
i. Religious conservatives    74             15            11 
j. Blacks/African-Americans   64             29             7
k. Hispanics                  67             26            7x
l. Other racial and ethnic 
   minorities                 65             27            8x
m. White men                  85              5            10


24. Just your best guess, do you think the economy is heading into a recession, or not?

           Yes   No   No opin.
1/15/01    55    42       3


© Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company


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