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  Washington Post-ABC News Iraq/Clinton Scandal Poll Results

Friday, February 20, 1998

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on random telephone interviews with 1,026 adults on February 17-18. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.

Presidential Approval | Clinton Honesty | Clinton and Iraq | Bombing | Ground Invasion
Danger to Troops | Sex and Perjury Allegations | Kenneth Starr

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as president?


           ------Approve-----------    -------Disapprove--------   No
           NET   Strongly   Somewhat    NET   Somewhat   Strongly  opin.

2/18/98     67     NA         NA         30      NA        NA        3
1/30/98     69     NA         NA         27      NA        NA        4
1/29/98     68     NA         NA         27      NA        NA        5
1/26/98     60     NA         NA         35      NA        NA        4
1/25/98     59     31         28         37      13        25        4
1/24/98     57     30         26         40      13        27        3
1/19/98     60     24         36         35      15        19        5
1/13/98     62     NA         NA         31      NA        NA        7
11/12/97    59     NA         NA         35      NA        NA        6
10/13/97    59     NA         NA         36      NA        NA        6
8/27/97     58     NA         NA         37      NA        NA        5
7/8/97      64     NA         NA         31      NA        NA        5
6/8/97      59     NA         NA         36      NA        NA        5
4/24/97     56     NA         NA         39      NA        NA        5
3/25/97     56     NA         NA         33      NA        NA       11
3/9/97      55     NA         NA         41      NA        NA        4
10/8/96*    58     NA         NA         38      NA        NA        4
10/8/96**   59     NA         NA         37      NA        NA        4
9/4/96**    57     NA         NA         38      NA        NA        4
8/5/96      59     NA         NA         37      NA        NA        4
6/30/96     56     NA         NA         39      NA        NA        5
5/22/96     58     20         37         39      17        22        3
3/31/96     52     21         30         40      16        25        8
3/17/96     53     19         34         45      19        26        2
3/10/96     55     23         32         40      17        24        4
4/21/96     51     NA         NA         43      NA        NA        6
1/7/96      53     22         31         43      16        28        4
11/19/95    54     NA         NA         41      NA        NA        5
11/13/95    54     20         34         41      20        21        5
10/1/95     52     17         35         43      19        24        5
7/17/95     51     14         37         45      20        25        4
6/8/95      47     NA         NA         45      NA        NA        8
5/14/95     56     20         36         41      23        18        3
3/19/95     52     17         35         45      19        26        3
3/5/95      46     NA         NA         49      NA        NA        4
1/29/95     54     20         34         43      21        22        3
1/4/95      45     13         31         51      22        29        5
12/20/94    44     NA         NA         50      NA        NA        6
11/6/94**   52     20         32         43      16        26        5
10/31/94    48     17         31         49      19        30        3
10/23/94    49     18         31         48      19        29        4
10/9/94     45     13         32         51      21        30        4
9/25/94     44     13         31         51      20        31        5
9/11/94     46     15         30         51      19        33        3
8/16/94     44     NA         NA         51      NA        NA        5
8/7/94      47     17         31         47      20        27        5
6/26/94     50     16         34         44      17        28        6
5/15/94     51     19         32         44      17        28        4
3/27/94     57     23         34         41      16        25        3
3/22/94     47     NA         NA         45      NA        NA        7
3/08/94     52     NA         NA         40      NA        NA        8
2/27/94     58     20         38         38      15        23        4
1/23/94     56     22         34         34      14        20       10
1/9/94      59     20         39         36      15        21        4
12/19/93    58     22         36         40      20        20        3
11/14/93    49     16         33         45      20        25        6
10/31/93    52     17         35         41      17        24        7
10/10/93    51     20         31         43      18        25        5
10/3/93     52     19         33         36      14        22       12
9/19/93     51     NA         NA         41      NA        NA        8
8/8/93      45     16         29         51      19        32        4
6/28/93     43     13         29         50      19        31        7
6/15/93     45     NA         NA         48      NA        NA        7
5/23/93     46     17         30         48      18        30        6
4/26/93     59     22         37         39      17        21        2
2/28/93     60     28         32         33      11        22        7
2/23/93     63     28         35         30      11        19        7
2/14/93     54     23         31         31      15        16       15
* Likely voters
** Registered voters

2. I'm going to read you some statements. After each please tell me whether or not each applies to Clinton or not. How about (READ ITEM) does it apply to Clinton, or not?


SUMMARY TABLE:
                                                No
                                  Yes    No    opin. 

A. He is honest and 
   trustworthy                     40    55      5
B. He has high personal moral      
   and ethical standards           28    66      6
C. He understands the problems     
   of people like you              63    35      2
D. He has done a good job keeping
   the economy strong              80    18      1
E. He is a strong leader           68    31      1
Trend (where available):

A. He is honest and trustworthy
               Yes    No    No opin.
2/18/98         40    55       5
6/8/97          37    59       4
1/15/97         42    54       4
1/6/97          42    53       5
11/3/96#        43    52       6
11/3/96##       42    52       6
9/4/96##        43    52       5
8/5/96          44    52       4
6/30/96         40    54       6
3/17/96         44    53       2
4/5/95          42    55       2
3/27/94*        54    42       4
10/4/92* ##     44    44       3
6/7/92*         40    47      12
*Wording "and trustworthy" omitted
# Likely voters
## Registered voters
B. He has high personal moral and ethical standards
               Yes    No    No opin.
2/18/98         28    66       6
6/8/97          41    54       4
1/15/97         40    55       4
1/6/97 ##       39    56       5
8/5/96          45    51       4
6/30/96         40    54       6
3/17/96         44    54       3
4/5/95          51    46       4
10/31/94        44    49       7
## Registered voters
C. He understands the problems of people like you
                Yes    No    No opin.
2/18/98          63    35       2
6/8/97           52    45       3
1/15/97          50    49       2
9/4/96 ##        57    40       2
8/5/96           55    43       2
6/30/96          56    41       3
3/17/96          55    43       1
6/8/95           51    45       3
3/19/95          55    43       2
3/5/95           50    49       2
10/31/94*        48    50       2
10/23/94*        44    54       1
6/26/94          52    46       2
3/27/94*         63    35       2
1/23/94          55    39       5
4/26/93          60    39       1
1/17/93          76    20       4
10/4/92* ##      67    28       6
10/4/92* #       67    27       6
6/7/92*          59    33       8
4/9/92           49    42       9
* "understands the needs and problems of average Americans"
# Likely voters
## Registered voters
E. He is a strong leader
            Yes    No    No opin.
2/18/98      68    31        1
3/17/96      50    49        1
6/8/95       37    61        2
3/5/95       38    61        1
10/31/94     43    56        1
8/16/94      41    58        1
3/27/94      54    44        2
10/4/92      50    36       14
6/7/92       40    46       14
10/4/92##    50    36       14
10/4/92#     50    35       15
6/7/92       40    46       14
# Likely voters
## Registered voters

3. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Clinton?


                    Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
2/18/98                56            41               3
1/25/98***             54            42               5
1/24/98**              51            44               5
1/19/98                59            35               6
1/12/98                59            33               7
10/13/97               59            37               4
9/10/97                57            38               5
3/9/97                 60            38               3
9/4/96 ##              58            38               4 
6/30/96                56            38               5
10/30/95               54            41               6
7/17/95                59            38               3
6/8/95                 53            43               4
3/19/95                55            42               3
10/31/94               51            44               5
5/15/94                57            40               3
3/27/94                59            37               4
1/23/94                60            32               8
11/14/93               58            37               5 
11/11/93               52            43               6
8/8/93                 56            39               5
4/26/93                59            29              12
2/23/93                59            30              11
1/17/93                68            20              11
10/18/92 #             56            36               8
9/27/92  #             55            36               9
8/23/92  ##            54            36              10
7/19/92  ##            58            23              18
7/8/92                 52            33              15
6/7/92                 41            38              21
3/18/92                37            37              26
3/11/92                39            31              30
2/2/92                 37            24              39
1/27/92                23            11              66
10/21/91               13             9              78
# Likely voters
## Registered voters

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Clinton is handling the situation in Iraq?


            Approve    Disapprove   No opinion
2/18/98        68          26           6
1/29/98        71          19          11
1/19/98        53          39           8
11/11/97       60          28          12
9/15/96        66          26           7
9/8/96         70          19          11
9/4/96         72          20           8
9/3/96         73          22           5
10/23/94       58          37           5

5. As you may know, the United States is warning that it will bomb Iraq unless Iraq stops interfering with United Nations weapons inspection teams. If Iraq does not comply, should the United States bomb Iraq, or not? (IF YES, ASK:) Should it be a major bombing attack or a limited bombing attack?


            ----------Bomb---------    Don't    No
            NET    Major    Limited    Bomb    opin.
2/18/98      63     40        23        31       6
Compare to:
As you may know, the United States says that Iraq has been interfering
with United Nations weapons inspection teams in Iraq.  If that continues,
should the United States bomb Iraq, or not? (IF YES, ASK:) Should it be a
major bombing attack or a limited bombing attack?

            ----------Bomb---------    Don't    No
            NET    Major    Limited    Bomb    opin.
1/29/98      55     27        28        33      13
11/11/97*    54     24        30        37       9
*Wording: "If Iraq continues to refuse to let United Nations
weapons-inspection teams include Americans..."

6. Just your best guess, do you think a U.S. bombing attack on Iraq would or would not put a large number of U.S. servicemen and women at risk of losing their lives?


           At risk    Not at risk    No opinion
2/18/98       68          30              2

7. Would you support or oppose a U.S. invasion of Iraq with ground troops?


Summary table:
                        Favorable   Unfavorable   No opinion
Bill Clinton               60           34             6
Al Gore                    52           29            19
Hilary Clinton             60           29            10
Newt Gingrich              27           46            27
Monica Lewinsky             7           58            36
Republicans in Congress    41           33            26
Deomcrats in Congress      49           27            24
Kenneth Starr              21           36            43

8. Just your best guess, do you think a U.S. invasion of Iraq with ground troops would or would not put a large number of U.S. servicemen and women at risk of losing their lives?


           At risk    Not at risk    No opinion
2/18/98       90           8              1        

9. Do you think the United States should try to force Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein from power, or would you say this is not the role of the U.S. government?


            U.S. should force      Not the          No
           Hussein from power    role of U.S.     opinion
2/18/98            56                 40             4

10. Which of these two statements comes closer to your opinion (read list): Diplomacy does not work with Iraq and it's about time for the United States to stop talking and take military action, or Diplomacy with Iraq still might work and the United States should hold off on military action and keep trying for a diplomatic solution.


            Does not work    Still might work    No opinion
2/18/98          49                49                 2

11. Do you think Clinton has a clear policy on Iraq, or not?


           Yes    No    No opinion
2/18/98     58    35         7

13. (and 14) As you may know, allegations are being reported that Clinton had an affair for a year and a half with a 21-year-old intern worker at the White House. Clinton has denied it. Are you inclined to think Clinton did or did not have an affair with an intern at the White House, or don't you know enough about it to say? (IF NO OPINION:) Well, if you had to guess, are you inclined to think Clinton did or did not have this affair?


             -----Think he did-----     -----Think he didn't---    No 
             NET  Think so  Lean yes    NET  Think not  Lean no   opin.

2/18/98       59     45       14         33     20        14        7
1/30/98       50     37       12         36     26        10       13
1/29/98       48     36       12         40     28        12       11
1/28/98       49     36       13         39     27        13       10
1/27/98       49     34       14         38     26        12       13
1/26/98       55     41       14         36     25        11        9
1/25/98       57     44       14         34     23        11        8
1/24/98       58     45       13         33     23        10        9
1/23/98       62     48       14         30     21         9        8
1/21/98       na     28       na         na     26        46        8

15. Do you think the question of whether Clinton had an affair with a 21-year-old intern at the White House is an important issue, or not important? (IF IMPORTANT, THEN ASK:) Do you think it's very important, or somewhat important?


           -----Think he did-----     -----Think he didn't---    No 
           NET  Think so  Lean yes    NET  Think not  Lean no   opin.
1/31/98     53     39       14         34     23        11       13
1/25/98     57     44       14         34     23        11        8

16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kenneth Starr, the Whitewater special prosecutor, is handling his investigation of the intern matter?


            Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
2/18/98      31            54          15
1/26/98      35            41          24         

17. Do you think Starr is mainly interested in finding out the truth, or do you think he's mainly interested in hurting Clinton politically?


           Finding truth    Hurting Clinton    No opinion
2/18/98         30               63                7
1/26/98         30               56               14       

18. Suppose for a moment that Clinton did have an extramarital affair while in office. Would you say that's his private business and it has nothing to do with his doing his job; or would you say it reflects on his judgment and calls into question whether he can do his job?


           Nothing to     Reflects        No
           do with job	on judgment    opinion
2/18/98         66            33           1              

19. Suppose for a moment Clinton did lie to the American people when he said he never had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern. Would you say that's his private business and it has nothing to do with his doing his job; or would you say it reflects on his judgment and calls into question whether he can do his job?

           Nothing to     Reflects        No
           do with job	on judgment    opinion

2/18/98         47            51           2

20. And, suppose for a moment Clinton did lie under oath about this affair or told Lewinsky to lie. Would you say that's his private business and it has nothing to do with his doing his job; or would you say it reflects on his judgment and calls into question whether he can do his job.


           Nothing to     Reflects        No
           do with job	on judgment    opinion

2/18/98         32            66           2             
* indicates percentage of less than .5
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