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  Washington Post-ABC News Poll, August 1997

Friday, Aug. 29, 1997

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on random telephone interviews with 1,526 adults on August 24-27. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Telephone interviewing was conducted by Chilton Research of Radnor, Pa.

Right Direction/Wrong Track | Presidential Approval | Congressional Approval
The Budget Deal | Cooperation vs. Partisanship | Financial Security
Congressional Re-election | Trust in Government

1.1 Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?


                Right      Wrong     No
               Direction   Track   Opinion
8/27/97          39        57        4
6/8/97           37        60        3
3/9/97           34        62        4
9/04/96*         40        54        6
8/21/96          28        67        5
6/30/96          26        70        5
3/17/96          27        70        3
1/21/96          27        66        6
1/3/96           21        77        3
4/5/95           23        73        3
1/4/95           27        68        6
10/31/94         27        69        4
7/20/94          26        70        4
3/27/94          28        69        3
1/23/94          31        60       10
11/14/93         25        69        6
8/8/93           26        71        3
6/20/93          26        71        3
4/26/93          27        71        2
3/11/93          36        57        7
2/28/93          37        59        4
1/17/93          31        63        6
12/14/92         35        60        5
10/27/92*        22        76        2
10/4/92*         18        78        4
6/7/92           14        83        3
4/9/92           16        81        3
3/11/92          18        79        4
1/15/92          19        78        3
11/10/91         24        72        4
10/29/91         26        71        3
8/27/91          31        60        9
7/28/91          30        67        3
6/2/91           39        57        4
4/9/91           42        51        7
2/26/91          58        39        3
1/27/91          49        48        4
10/14/90         19        79        2
9/9/90           36        60        4
8/20/90          35        60        5
7/24/90          37        60        2
5/21/90          39        60        2
3/26/90          44        53        2
2/4/90           49        48        3
1/16/90          48        49        3
5/23/89          42        55        3
3/16/89          46        52        2
1/16/89**        51        46        3
10/25/88**       49        46        6
9/27/88          48        44        8
7/11/88          40        56        4
5/25/88          35        59        6
3/21/88          40        56        4
1/23/88          39        59        2
12/13/87         49        47        4
12/2/87          35        61        4
9/23/87          43        54        4
6/29/87          35        62        3
4/13/87          37        60        3
3/9/87           38        58        4
1/18/87          39        56        5
9/8/86           50        48        2
1/26/86          45        47        8
7/29/85          52        43        6
1/16/85          59        36        4
5/22/84          47        48        5
12/13/83         43        51        6
11/7/83          51        44        5
4/12/83          41        54        4
3/2/83           43        53        3
1/25/83          58        39        3
1/25/83          43        52        4
10/11/82         35        57        8
1/30/82          39        56        5
2/80             20        70       10
2/78             34        53       13
2/77             41        44       14
10/75            19        71        9
10/74            15        75       11
10/73            16        74       10
* Registered voters
** Likely Voters

1.2 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.
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
* Registered voters
** Likely Voters

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


               Approve        Disapprove        No opinion
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
* Gallup

3. As you may know, Clinton and leaders of Congress have agreed on a plan to balance the federal budget within five years. Just your best guess: Do you think the plan will result in a balanced budget in five years, or not?


            Will balance budget    Will not   No opinion
8/27/97             17                79            3
7/8/97              18                79            3

4. Do you expect that the tax bill being negotiated by Congress and the president will lower your taxes, raise your taxes or have little or no effect on your taxes?


          Lower   Raise   No effect   No opinion
8/27/97     6      55        35          4
7/20/97    11      39        38         13

5. Who do you think should get the most credit for the budget agreement, Clinton or the Republicans in Congress?


                                    Both    Neither       No
          Clinton    Republicans   (vol.)   (vol.)      opinion
8/27/97     35           43           8        7          7

6. Some say that President Clinton and the Republicans in Congress are beginning to work together to solve some of the country's biggest problems.

Others say that there's as much partisan political bickering as ever between the president and congressional Republicans. Which view comes closest to your own?


           Beginning To    As Much Bickering    No
           Work Together       As Ever        opinion
8/27/97         43               52              5
7/8/97          43               51              6

7.1 Are you better off or worse off financially now than you were four years ago?


                  Better   Worse    Same (vol.)  No opinion
8/27/97             52       27         21            1
6/8/97              53       26         20            1
1/15/97             52       26         20            1
10/13/96*           50       25         25            1
10/8/96**           48       25         26            1
10/8/96*            48       26         25            1
9/4/96* ****        50       26         23            1
8/5/96  Gen Pop**** 47       29         23            1
3/17/96 Gen Pop***  50       31         19            *
7/17/95 Gen Pop***  48       31         20            1
* Registered voters
** Likely Voters
***"three years ago"
**** "three and a half years ago"

7.2 Right now, are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress in the next election or are you inclined to look around for someone else to vote for?


                Re-elect      Look around      Depends(vol.)    No opinion
8/27/97             34             52              9               5
11/6/94*            37             47              7               8
10/31/94            35             56              2               7
10/23/94            32             58              4               6
9/11/94             36             53              4               7
6/26/94             35             54              6               5
3/27/94             32             56              6               7
1/23/94             32             46             10              12
11/14/93            38             52              5               5
7/8/92              34             54              3               9
6/7/92              36             53              4               7
4/9/92              33             56              3               8
3/11/92             36             54              3               7
2/2/92              38             51              4               7
10/21/91            31             55              7               6
6/2/91              37             49              5               9
11/4/90**           41             50             NA               8
10/14/90            36             57             NA               7
5/21/90             43             50              3               3
5/23/89             45             44              4               6
* Registered voters
** Likely Voters

7.3 I am going to mention four phrases and ask you which one best describes how you feel about the way the federal government works. Do you feel enthusiastic, satisfied but not enthusiastic, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?


            ------Positive--------     ------Negative------
            Pos.  Enthusi-  Satis-     Neg.  Dissat-         None/  No
            NET   astic     fied       NET   isfied   Angry  Other Opin.
8/27/97      34      2        33       64      52      11     2     1
3/17/96      29      2        27       70      54      16     NA    *
1/4/95       29      2        27       69      53      16     *     1
11/6/94 Reg. 28      2        26       70      49      21     1     1
10/31/94     26      1        25       73      55      18     1     1
10/23/94     28      1        26       71      52      20     *     *
10/9/94      25      2        24       72      53      19     2     *
9/11/94      26      2        25       73      53      20     NA    *
3/27/94      30      1        29       68      48      20     1     1
2/28/93      33      4        29       66      50      16     *     *
7/8/92       23      1        22       76      53      23     *     1
6/7/92       21      1        20       79      58      21     *     1
4/9/92       21      1        20       79      55      24     1     *
3/18/92      22      1        21       77      54      23     1     *
3/11/92      18      1        17       80      60      20     1     1

7.4 How much of the time do you trust the government in Washington to do what is right -- would you say just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?


               Just about    Most of    Some of   None of the       No
                 always      the time   the time  time (vol.)     opinion
8/27/97             2           20         76        NA             1
5/6/96              5           29         62         4             *
11/19/95            3           22         67         6             1
3/19/95             3           19         69         8             1
10/31/94  All       2           18         75         4             *
10/31/94  Likely    1           17         78         4             1
1/23/94             3           21         68         8             1
1/17/93             5           23         67         5             1
1/27/91             7           39         52         2             *
10/21/91            8           28         58         5             1
3/4/91              7           38         52         3             *
1/27/91*            7           39         52         2             *
9/9/90              7           35         55         2             1
1/16/90             8           31         58         3             *
1/23/88             6           34         59         2             *
6/1/87              9           39         51         1             *
1/18/87             7           37         55        NA             1
9/8/86              6           34         58         2             *
7/29/85             6           32         58         3             1
3/25/85             5           32         60         2             1
2/26/85             5           38         55         1             1
* Washington Post poll: "How much of the time do you trust the government
in Washington to do what is right: Just about always, most of the time or
only some of the time?"
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