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  Washington Post-ABC News Poll: Kosovo and Gun Laws

Tuesday, May 18, 1999

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews conducted May 16 with 761 randomly selected adults. The margin of error for the overall results is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sampling error is, however, only one source of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.




* = Less than 0.5 percent

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling the situation in Kosovo?

           Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
5/16/99       53          41             6
4/26/99       56          36             9
4/8/99        56          38             6
4/6/99        60          34             6
4/5/99        57          36             8
3/30/99       54          30            16
3/28/99       51          31            17
3/26/99       51          32            17
3/23/99       48          39            12
2. Do you support or oppose the United States and its European allies conducting air strikes against Serbia?
           Support    Oppose    No opinion
5/16/99       59        38           3
4/26/99       65        30           5
4/8/99        64        32           4
4/6/99        67        30           3
4/5/99        68        29           3
3/30/99       55        33          11
3/28/99       55        33          12
3/26/99       60        31           9
Compare to:
3/23/99*      47        47           6
3/14/99**     26        62          12
*The United States and its European allies have said they may bomb military targets in Serbia because it won't agree to a peace plan for Kosovo. If Serbia does not agree to the peace plan, should the United States participate in bombing Serbia, or not?
**The United States has said it may bomb Serbia unless Serbia agrees to a peace plan for Kosovo. If Serbia does not agree to the peace plan, should the United States bomb Serbia or not?

3. (and 4) Suppose the bombing does NOT stop Serbia's military action in Kosovo. Would you support or oppose the United States and its European allies sending in ground troops to try to end the conflict in Kosovo?

                                Support   Oppose   No opin.
5/16/99:  Send in ground troops    52       46        2
  ..if some casualties*            43       56        1
4/26/99:  Send in ground troops    56       40        4
  ..if some casualties*            45       52        3
4/8/99: Send in ground troops      57       39        4
  ..if some casualties*            44       50        5
  ..if 100 casualties**            37       57        6
  ..if 500 casualties***           31       62        7
  ..1,000 casualties****           26       66        7
4/6/99: Send in ground troops      57       39        5
4/5/99: Send in ground troops      55       41        4
*(IF SUPPORT GROUND TROOPS in q4) Would you support or oppose sending in ground troops if there was a good chance that some U.S. soldiers would be killed in the fighting?
**(IF SOME).. if there was a good chance that up to 100 U.S. soldiers would be killed in the fighting?
***(IF 100) up to 500?
****(IF 1,000) up to 1,000?

5. (of those who support/don't know for sending in ground troops in Q3) Should the United States and its allies send in ground troops now, or should they give more time for the air strikes to work?

              Send in troops now    Give more time    No opin.
5/16/99               27                  67              6
6. Do you think the United States and its European allies in the NATO alliance should negotiate with Serbia on terms for ending the conflict, or should they continue to require Serbia to accept NATO's terms?
         NATO should negotiate     Require Serbia to       No
         with Serbia on terms     accept NATO's terms    opinion
5/16/99           58                      38                5
7. Should the NATO allies continue bombing Serbia to keep pressure on it to withdraw from Kosovo, or should the NATO allies suspend the bombing of Serbia to encourage Serbia to withdraw?
           Continue bombing    Suspend bombing    No opin.
5/16/99           52                  44             4 
8. I'm going to name some of the NATO allies' conditions for ending the conflict. For each, please tell me if you think it should be up for negotiation, or if it should be non-negotiable.
5/16/99
                                 Up for         Should be         No
                               Negotiation    non-negotiable    opinion
a. Requiring Serbia to remove
   almost all of its soldiers and
   special police from Kosovo      37               59             4
b. Requiring Serbia to allow a 
   NATO-led peacekeeping force
   in Kosovo                       47               50             3
c. The return of all refugees 
   to Kosovo                       42               54             4
d. A political settlement allowing 
   Kosovo limited self-rule as a 
   province of Serbia              55               37             9
9. As you may know, some civilians have been killed in the air strikes against Serbia, and recently the NATO allies bombed the Chinese consulate in Serbia's capital. Do you think that the United States and its European allies are not being careful enough to avoid civilian casualties, or do you think these are just unavoidable accidents of war?
            Not being         Unavoidable         No
          careful enough    accidents of war    opinion
5/16/99        32                 66              2
4/26/99*       19                 78              3
*As you may know, some civilians have been killed in the air strikes against Serbia by the United States and its European allies. Do you think…"

10. As of now, which side do you think is winning the Kosovo conflict - (Serbia), or (the United States and its European allies)?

                        US and its        Neither       No
           Serbia    European allies    draw (vol.)    opin.
5/16/99      22             45              28           5
4/26/99      25             47              21           6
11. Considering everything, do you think the United States did the right thing in getting involved in a military conflict in Serbia, or do you think it was a mistake?
             Yes, right thing    No, mistake    No opinion
5/16/99            54                42             3
4/26/99            56                41				2
4/6/99             58                40             2
12. On another subject, do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws in this country? (GET ANSWER THEN ASK: Is that strongly or somewhat favor/oppose?)
          ----------Favor---------    -------Oppose--------     No
           NET    Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    67        55       12       31      21       10       1
13. Which political party, the Democrats or the Republicans, do you trust to do a better job handling the issue of gun control?
                               Both    Neither     No
             Dems.    Reps.   (vol.)    (vol.)    opin.
5/16/99       39       31        3        22        5
14. Would you support or oppose a law requiring (READ ITEM). How about a law requiring (NEXT ITEM). For each: Do you feel that way strongly, or only somewhat? a. Background checks on people buying guns at gun shows
           --------Support--------    -------Oppose--------     No
           NET    Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    89        77       12       11       7        4       *
b. Trigger locks on all stored guns
           --------Support--------    -------Oppose--------     No
           NET    Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    75        61       14       22      14        8       3
c. A nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons
          --------Support--------    -------Oppose--------     No
           NET    Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    79        67       12       19      12        7       2
Compare To:
In your opinion, should there be a nationwide ban on the sale of assault rifles, or not?
               Yes    No    No opinion
6/14/94         80    18         2
d. A nationwide ban on gun sales by mail-order and over the Internet
           --------Support--------    -------Oppose--------     No
           NET    Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    70        60       10       28      19        9       2
15. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the National Rifle Association? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK: Is that Very/somewhat favorable/unfavorable?)
           -------Favorable-------    -----Unfavorable-----     No
           NET      Very   Smewht    NET      Very   Somwht   opin.
5/16/99    48        22       26       39      20       19      13
5/14/95    44        20       24       46      19       26      
1116. Do you or does anyone in your house own a gun, or not?
                  Yes    No    No opinion
5/16/99*           46     53         *
4/25/99 Teen       47     52         1
4/25/99 Parent     52     48         0
*"…or not" added

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