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  Post-ABC News Poll: Impeachment Vote

Released Monday, December 14, 1998, 6:30 p.m. EST

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on random telephone interviews with 1,004 adults on December 12-13, 1998. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Clinton Job Approval | Congress Job Approval | Impeachment | Censure
Charges Against Clinton | Judiciary Committee | Removal From Office

LV = Likely voter
RV = Registered voter
* = Less than 0.5 percent

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.
12/13/98    64     43         21         35      10        25        2
10/10/98    67     48         19         30       8        23        3
10/10/98LV  61     47         14         38       8        30        1
9/28/98     63     42         21         35       8        26        2
9/28/98LV   57     43         14         43       6        37        1   
9/21/98     60     NA         NA         39      NA        NA        1
9/14/98     59     NA         NA         37      NA        NA        4
9/13/98C    59     38         21         38       9        29        3
9/13/98B    60     NA         NA         38      NA        NA        2
9/13/98A    59     NA         NA         37      NA        NA        3
9/12/98     59     NA         NA         39      NA        NA        3
9/11/98     56     NA         NA         42      NA        NA        3
9/9/98      57     NA         NA         40      NA        NA        3
8/23/98     64     NA         NA         33      NA        NA        3
8/21/98     66     41         25         31      10        21        3
8/20/98     65     NA         NA         32      NA        NA        3
8/19/98     60     NA         NA         38      NA        NA        2
8/17/98     61     NA         NA         36      NA        NA        3
8/16/98     62     NA         NA         33      NA        NA        4
7/29/98     63     NA         NA         33      NA        NA        4
7/12/98     63     34         29         31      11        20        6
6/18/98     59     NA         NA         34      NA        NA        7
6/2/98      61     NA         NA         34      NA        NA        5
5/12/98     64     NA         NA         32      NA        NA        4
4/4/98      65     NA         NA         31      NA        NA        4
4/1/98      66     NA         NA         29      NA        NA        4
3/17/98     66     NA         NA         30      NA        NA        4
3/16/98     63     NA         NA         34      NA        NA        3
2/18/98     67     NA         NA         30      NA        NA        3
1/31/98     67     42         24         29      10        19        4
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
*Among registered voters
**Among likely voters

9/13/98B = Sunday Evening of 9/13/98
9/13/98A = Sunday Afternoon of 9/13/98
9/13/98C = Washington Post

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

                Approve        Disapprove        No opinion
12/13/98          49              46                 5
10/10/98          45              49                 7
10/10/98LV        45              52                 3
9/28/98           52              44                 4
9/28/98LV         52              46                 2
9/13/98           56              38                 6
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
*Gallup
3. As you may know, the House Judiciary Committee in Congress has voted to recommend that the full House impeach Clinton. Do you support or oppose the committee's vote to recommend impeachment?
          Support    Oppose    No opinion
12/13/98    41         58          1
12/11/98    43         55          2

4. The full House will vote on impeachment next week, and if the House impeaches Clinton the Senate will decide whether he should be removed from office. Based on what you know, do you think Congress should or should not impeach Clinton and remove him from office? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly, or only somewhat?)

              ------Impeach---------    ----Don't Impeach-----    No
              NET   Strngly   Smewht    NET   Strngly   Smewht   opin.
12/13/98**      38     30        8       61      52       10       1
12/11/98*       38     NA       NA       60      NA       NA       2
12/6/98         33     NA       NA       64      NA       NA       3
11/22/98        30     NA       NA       66      NA       NA       4
11/1/98         27     NA       NA       71      NA       NA       2
11/1/98  LV     33     NA       NA       65      NA       NA       3
10/25/98        29     NA       NA       66      NA       NA       5
10/25/98 LV     32     NA       NA       62      NA       NA       6
10/18/98        29     NA       NA       68      NA       NA       3
10/18/98 LV     34     NA       NA       62      NA       NA       3
9/28/98**       31     24        7       66      52       14       3
9/28/98  LV     38     31        6       60      50       10       2
9/21/98         41     NA       NA       57      NA       NA       2
9/14/98         38     NA       NA       59      NA       NA       3
9/13/98***      30     NA       NA       64      NA       NA       6
8/23/98****     24     NA       NA       70      NA       NA       6
8/19/98****     30     NA       NA       65      NA       NA       5
8/17/98****     25     NA       NA       69      NA       NA       6
8/16/98*****    35     NA       NA       59      NA       NA       6
7/29/98*****    39     NA       NA       57      NA       NA       4
7/12/98******   39     NA       NA       55      NA       NA       7
1/31/98*****    40     NA       NA       51      NA       NA       9
1/25/98*****    55     NA       NA       40      NA       NA       5
1/24/98*****    54     NA       NA       41      NA       NA       5
1/23/98*****    55     NA       NA       38      NA       NA       7
*New introduction
**Asked strongly/somewhat follow 12/12 and 9/28
***Washington Post: "As you may know, the independent counsel Kenneth Starr has delivered a report to Congress summarizing his investigation of the Lewinsky matter. Based on what you know or have heard..."
**** "If he does not resign, do you think..."
***** "If Clinton lied by testifying under oath last January that he did not have an affair with Lewinsky, and he did not resign, is this something for which Clinton should be impeached, or not?"
******"If Starr reports to Congress that he has evidence that Clinton had an affair with Lewinsky and lied about it under oath, do you think..."

5. Given what you know, do you think Congress should or should not censure or officially reprimand Clinton for his actions in the Lewinsky matter?

             Should censure    Should not censure    No opin.
 12/13/98        59              37                    4
 12/11/98        61              34                    4
 12/6/98         59              38                    3
 11/1/98         59              38                    3
 11/1/98LV       62              34                    4
 10/18/98        60              34                    5
 10/18/98LV      64              32                    4
 9/28/98*        61              33                    6
 9/28/98LV       64              33                    3
 9/21/98*        64              31                    4
 9/14/98*        68              26                    6
 9/11/98         67              26                    8
 9/9/98          66              29                    4
 8/23/98         55              40                    5
 *"Given what you know…"

6. If Clinton is not impeached, but is censured, do you think Congress should or should not make him pay a fine?

            Should make    Should not make    No
            him pay fine    him pay fine     opin.
12/13/98        54               42            4  
COMPARE TO:
Do you think Congress should or should not order Clinton to pay a fine because of the Lewinsky matter?
          Yes    No    No opinion
10/18/98   40    54        5
10/18/98LV 38    55        7
7. Just your best guess - do you think Clinton did or did not lie under oath about having an affair with Lewinsky?
            Yes    No    No opinion
12/13/98     80    14         5
12/11/98     86    11         4
11/22/98     76    16         7
9/28/98      75    18         7
9/28/98 LV   77    18         5
8. In general, do you think that lying under oath about an extramarital affair is or is not a good enough reason to impeach a president and remove him from office?
            Good enough    Not good enough    No opinion
12/13/98      38               61                1
12/11/98      41               56                2
11/22/98      35               63                2
9. Just your best guess - do you think Clinton did or did not obstruct the investigation of his affair with Lewinsky?
          
            Yes    No    No opinion
12/13/98     59    34        7
12/11/98     63    33        5
11/22/98*    45    46        9
8/19/98**    58    34        8
8/17/98***   41    52        8
* "Starr also said Clinton obstructed the investigation of Lewinsky affair and other matters. Clinton has said he did not obstruct Starr and only raised legitimate legal issues. Just your best guess, do you think Clinton did or did not obstruct Starr's investigation?"
** "Do you think Clinton did or did not obstruct justice in the investigation of his relationship with Lewinsky?
*** "Clinton said that he did nothing to obstruct justice in the investigation of his relationship with Lewinsky. Do you believe him, or not?"

10. In general, do you think that obstructing the investigation of an extramarital affair is or is not a good enough reason to impeach a president and remove him from office?

  
         Good enough    Not good enough    No opinion
12/13/98      38              61                 1
12/11/98      38              59                 3
11. Do you think Clinton tried to conceal his affair with Monica Lewinsky mainly to avoid the embarrassment it would cause him and his family, or mainly to help his side in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones?
            Avoid embarrassment it would    Help his side in     No
              cause him and his family       the lawsuit       opinion
12/13/98                64                        29              7
12. Do you think that lying under oath to help your side in a sexual harassment lawsuit is or is not a good enough reason to impeach a president and remove him from office?
            Good enough    Not a good        No
               reason     enough reason    opinion
12/13/98         44             54            2
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have handled the issue of impeachment?
           Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
12/13/98      38          58             4
COMPARE TO:
*Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the issue of impeachment?
            Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
10/10/98      31         62              7
10/10/98LV    37         60              3
*Washington Post
COMPARE TO:
Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the investigation of these charges? (If disapprove:) Is that because you think they're being too hard on Clinton, or too easy on him?
                        -------Disapprove---------
              Approve   NET   Too hard    Too easy    No opinion
11/22/98        34      56       45          10           10
11/1/98*        32      62       53           9            6
11/1/98  LV     37      59       50           9            5
10/25/98        31      54       47           7           15
10/25/98 LV     38      52       45           8           10
10/18/98        35      61       NA          NA            4
10/18/98 LV     36      61       NA          NA            3
9/28/98         35      60       NA          NA            6
9/28/98  LV     40      57       NA          NA            4
9/21/98         34      62       NA          NA            5
*11/1 and previous: "Investigation of Lewinsky issue"

14. Do you approve of disapprove of the way the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have handled the issue of impeachment?

          Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
12/13/98    46           46             8
COMPARE TO:
*Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling the issue of impeachment?
            Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
10/10/98      39         49              12
10/10/98LV    42         49               9
*Washington Post
COMPARE TO:
Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling the investigation of the Lewinsky issue?
        Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
9/28/98    40         52              8
15. Who do you think did a better job before the Judiciary Committee: the special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, presenting the case against Clinton, or Clinton's lawyers, presenting his defense?
          Kenneth    Clinton's    Both equally    Neither    No
           Starr      lawyers        (vol.)       (vol.)    opin.
12/13/98    42          37             3             9       9
16. Do you think Clinton has made a good faith effort to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee, or not?
             Yes    No    No opinion
12/13/98      54    41          4
17. Do you think the House Judiciary Committee hearings were fair to Clinton, or unfair? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly, or only somewhat?)
         -------------Fair--------    ---------Unfair--------      No
         NET   Strongly   Somewhat    NET   Strongly   Somewhat   opin.
12/13/98  57      30         27        38      24         14        5
12/11/98  53      29         24        42      28         14        5
18. (Asked of those who said Clinton should not be impeached in Q4) You said before that Clinton should not be impeached. Do you feel that way mainly because you don't think he did anything serious enough to impeach him, or mainly because impeaching him would be too disruptive to the nation?
            Not serious    Too disruptive    Both     Neither    No
               enough       to the nation    (vol.)    (vol.)   opin.
12/13/98         45               31           20         3        1
9/28/98*         40               43           12         4        1
9/28/98LV        43               36           16         4        1
*(Among impeachment opposers) You said before that based on what youknow, Clinton should not be impeached. Do you feel that way mainly because you don't think it's been shown that he did anything serious enough to impeach him, or mainly because impeaching him would be too disruptive to the nation?

19. How would you feel if Congress impeaches Clinton and removes him from office - would you be pleased about that, satisfied but not pleased, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?

          ------Pleased/Satisfied----   --Dissatisfied/Angry---
               Pleased     Satisfied,         Dissatified,         No
         NET  about that  not pleased    NET   not angry  Angry   opin.
12/13/98  40      15           25         58       29       29      1
20. If Congress impeaches Clinton and removes him from office, do you think the country would be better off, worse off, or don't you think that would make much of a difference?
           Better off   Worse off    No difference    No opinion
12/13/98       13            51            33              3
21. Do you think most members of Congress will vote on Clinton's impeachment on the basis of the facts of the case, or on the basis of partisan politics?
            Facts of    Partisan      No
              case      politics    opinion
12/13/98       29          67          4
22. Regardless of what Congress does, do you think Clinton should or should not be charged with perjury and put on trial after he leaves office?
            Should be    Should not      No
             charged     be charged    opinion
12/13/98        54           42           4
Compare To:
As you may know, the special prosecutor Kenneth Starr has said Clinton lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton has said he did not lie. Do you think Clinton should or should not be charged with perjury and put on trial after he leaves office in two years?
            Should be     Should not      No
             charged      be charged     opin.
12/06/98        51            45           4
23. Do you think Clinton has honestly explained his actions in the Lewinsky matter, or do you think he's still trying to mislead the public?
           Yes, he has honestly     No, he is still trying    No
           explained his actions       to mislead public    opinion
12/13/98            44                         51              5
COMPARE TO:
As you may know, Clinton made a speech on television Monday in which he admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and said he regrets it. Do you think Clinton said enough to explain the situation, or should he have said more?
                        Yes     No    No opinion
8/19/98                  52     45       3
8/17/98 Among Viewers    59     39       3
24. If the full House votes to impeach Clinton, what do you think Clinton should do: Fight charges in the Senate, or resign from office?
            Fight charges    Resign from     No
            in the Senate      office      opinion
12/13/98         38              58           3 
25. Just your best guess - do you think Clinton will be removed from office, or do you think he'll serve out his full term?
         Removed from    Serve out    No
           office          term     opinion
12/13/98      21            76         4          

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