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Washington Post Poll: New Hampshire and the Nation

Thursday, December 16, 1999

The two latest Washington Post-ABC News polls are based on telephone interviews with randomly selected adults conducted between December 12 and December 15, 1999. The national survey was completed with 1,006 adults; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The New Hampshire survey was completed with 1,371 adults, including 744 likely primary voters. All New Hampshire figures are based on likely voters; the margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CORRECTION 1/19/00: TNS Intersearch, the research company that conducted telephone interviews for this survey, reports that a programming error resulted in faulty data in the "candidate qualities" section of this Washington Post-ABC News poll as originally released. The errors are large in some cases, but were limited to the national data reported in questions 9 and 13, items B - K. The following is a corrected version of the trend document.

* = less than 0.5 percent

3. (National poll only) If the election for president in the year 2000 were being held today, and the candidates were (Al Gore, the Democrat), and (George W. Bush, the Republican, who is the son of the former president), for whom would you vote?

Net Leaned Vote:
                            Neither   Other   Wouldn't       No
              Gore   Bush   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opin.
12/15/99       39     55      2        *         3            1
10/31/99       39     55      2        *         2            2
9/2/99         37     56      3        *         3            2
8/22/99        37     49      5        2         3            3
6/6/99         40     53      3        1         1            3
3/14/99        41     54      1        *         2            2
Unleaned:
                             Neither    Wouldn't      No  
              Gore    Bush   (vol.)    vote (vol.)   opin.
10/25/98       34     45       7           1          13
8/21/98        41     43       6           2           7
1/19/98        40     45       5           2           7
9/23/97        35     40      12           4           9

4. (National poll only) Do you support (Gore/Bush) strongly, or not strongly?

              -----------Gore----------     -----------Bush-----------
              Strngly    Not    No opin.    Strngly    Not    No opin.
12/15/99        50       46        4          58        39        3
10/31/99*       35       65        *          37        62        1
9/2/99          38       61        1          43        56        1
3/14/99         38       62        *          40        58        2
*10/99 and previous: "strongly or only somewhat"

5. (National poll only) How about if the candidates were (Bill Bradley, the Democrat), and (George W. Bush, the Republican)?

Net Leaned Vote:
                                 None    Other    Wouldn't       No
              Bradley   Bush    (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opin.
12/15/99        36       56       2        *          3           2
10/31/99        38       54       2        *          3           2
9/2/99          36       57       2        *          2           3
3/14/99         34       58       2        1          2           4

6. (National poll only) How about if the candidates were (Al Gore, the Democrat), and (John McCain, the Republican)?

Net Leaned Vote:
                                  None    Other     Wouldn't      No
               Gore    McCain    (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opin.
12/15/99        47       44         2        *          4          3
10/31/99        51       38         4        *          4          3

7. (National poll only) How about if the candidates were (Bill Bradley, the Democrat), and (John McCain, the Republican)?

Net Leaned Vote:
                                  None    Other    Wouldn't       No
              Bradley   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opin.
12/15/99        45        43       4        1          4           3

8. Overall, how much do you feel you know about the candidates running for president - a great deal, a good amount, just some or hardly anything?

              --Great deal/Good amount--   -Just some/hardly anything-  No
              NET  Great deal  Good amt.   NET  Some  hardly anything opin
12/15/99 Nat   35        8        27       64    45         19          *
12/15/99 NH    68       16        52       32    29          2          *

9. Please tell me whether the following statement applies to (Gore/Bush), or not?

National Poll:
12/15/99
                                   -------Bush-------    -------Gore------
                                     Yes   No   No opin.  Yes  No   No op.
A. He's not a typical politician     42    52      6      44   51     5
B. He is honest and trustworthy      63    28      9      58   35     7
C. He understands the problems
   of people like you                47    46      7      46   49     6
D. He is a strong leader             67    26      7      43   51     7
E. He has the right kind of
   experience to be president        62    32      6      69   27     5
F. He has the kind of personality
   and temperament it takes to serve
   effectively as president          71    22      7      55   40     5
G. He would bring needed change
   to Washington                     52    40      8      33   60     7
H. He has the knowledge of world 
   affairs it takes to serve 
   effectively as president          54    38      8      68   27     6
I. He's very intelligent             77    16      7      74   21     6
J. He can be trusted in a crisis     62    27     11      53   38     9
K. He has a clear idea of where he
   wants to lead the nation          60    32      7      57   36     7
L. He says what he really thinks,
   even if it's not politically
   popular                           57    36      7      43   51     7
New Hampshire Poll:
                                     Among GOP Voters    Among Dem. Voters
                                    -------Bush-------    -----Gore------
                                     Yes   No    No op.   Yes  No    No op.
A. He's not a typical politician     40    58      3      34   64     2
B. He is honest and trustworthy      80    13      7      79   18     3
C. He understands the problems
   of people like you                59    35      6      65   32     3
D. He is a strong leader             72    21      7      63   33     5
E. He has the right kind of
   experience to be president        71    23      5      85   14     1
F. He has the kind of personality
   and temperament it takes to serve
   effectively as president          78    17      5      75   21     4
G. He would bring needed change
   to Washington                     57    35      7      40   54     6
H. He has the knowledge of world 
   affairs it takes to serve 
   effectively as president          53    36     10      89    9     2
I. He's very intelligent             79    15      6      91    6     2
J. He can be trusted in a crisis     71    15     14      79   16     5
K. He has a clear idea of where he
   wants to lead the nation          71    24      5      71   24     5
L. He says what he really thinks,
   even if it's not politically
   popular                           52    42      6      45   49     6
M. He takes the concerns of
   New Hampshire voters seriously    63    30      7      77   18     4

National trend (where available):

B. He is honest and trustworthy

              -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        63   28       9       58   35       7
10/31/99        68   22      10       67   28       6
9/2/99          63   23      14       63   27      11
3/14/99         67   12      22       63   24      13

C. He understands the problems of people like you

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        47   46       7       46   49       6
10/31/99        54   39       7       57   38       4
9/2/99          50   39      11       47   45       8
6/13/99         NA   NA      NA       44   44      12
3/14/99         52   27      21       48   41      11

D. He is a strong leader

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        67    26      7       43   51       7
10/31/99        77    18      5       47   47       6
9/2/99          70    18     12       38   52      10
6/13/99         NA    NA     NA       39   51       9
3/14/99         68    13     20       41   47      12

E. He has the right kind of experience to be president

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        62   32       6       69   27       5
10/31/99        66   28       6       70   27       3
9/2/99          61   30       9       69   27       4

F. He has the kind of personality and temperament it takes to serve effectively as president

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        71    22      7       55   40       5
10/31/99        72    22      6       53   40       7
9/2/99          67    21     12       52   40       8

G. He would bring needed change to Washington

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        52   40       8       33   60       7
10/31/99        61   32       7       36   57       7
9/2/99          56   32      12       34   56      11

H. He has the knowledge of world affairs it takes to serve effectively as president

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        54   38       8       68   27      6
11/14/99        59   36       6       NA   NA     NA

J. He can be trusted in a crisis

               -------Bush--------   -------Gore-------   
               Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
12/15/99        62   27      11       53   38       9
9/2/99          58   22      19       55   33      12
10. What's the single most important issue to you in deciding whom to support for president - education, the economy, taxes, Social Security and Medicare, campaign finance reform, world affairs, health care, or what? [I'll repeat the list...]
                             12/15/99 Nat        12/15/99 NH
Education                       19                  17
The economy                     19                  12
Taxes                           12                  11
Social Security and Medicare    20                  18
Campaign finance reform          1                   7
International affairs            6                   9
Health care                     15                  19
Other                            7                   8
No opinion                       1                   1

11. As you may know, federal law limits the amount of money people can contribute to any presidential candidate's campaign, but people can give as much money as they want to any political party. Do you think the amount of money people can contribute to political parties should be limited, or unlimited?

                Limited    Unlimited    No opin.
12/15/99 Nat      68           30           1
12/15/99 NH       76           22           2
National trend:
10/17/99          63           33           4

12. Which one of these candidates do you trust most to handle the issue of campaign finance reform: (George W. Bush), (John McCain), (Bill Bradley), or (Al Gore)?

                Bush    McCain    Bradley    Gore    None (vol.) No opin
12/15/99 Nat     34       19         14       24          5            4
12/15/99 NH      18       43         20       11          5            4

13. (McCain asked for half sample, Bradley among other half) Please tell me whether the following statement applies to (McCain/Bradley), or not?

National Poll:
12/15/99
                                    ------McCain------  ------Bradley-----
                                     Yes   No   No op.   Yes   No   No op.
A. He's not a typical politician     40    38     21      35   45     20
B. He is honest and trustworthy      56    24     20      60   20     20
C. He understands the problems
   of people like you                38    43     19      44   37     20
D. He is a strong leader             49    29     21      49   30     21
E. He has the right kind of
   experience to be president        40    38     22      39   41     20
F. He has the kind of personality
   and temperament it takes to serve
   effectively as president          47    31     22      56   25     19
G. He would bring needed change
   to Washington                     41    38     21      43   38     19
H. He has the knowledge of world 
   affairs it takes to serve 
   effectively as president          44    36     20      45   34     21
I. He's very intelligent             64    16     20      72   11     18
J. He can be trusted in a crisis     51    28     21      51   26     23
K. He has a clear idea of where he
   wants to lead the nation          50    30     21      52   30     18
L. He says what he really thinks,
   even if it's not politically
   popular                           52    29     19      46   33     21
New Hampshire Poll:
                                     Among GOP Voters     Among Dem. Voters
                                    ------McCain-------   ------Bradley-----
                                     Yes   No   No opin.  Yes  No   No opin.
A. He's not a typical politician     56    41      4      54   42      4
B. He is honest and trustworthy      91     4      5      87    7      6
C. He understands the problems
   of people like you                74    19      7      79   16      6
D. He is a strong leader             78    15      7      71   18     11
E. He has the right kind of
   experience to be president        72    20      8      66   24      9
F. He has the kind of personality
   and temperament it takes to serve
   effectively as president          77    14      9      81   12      8
G. He would bring needed change
   to Washington                     77    18      5      68   24      7
H. He has the knowledge of world 
   affairs it takes to serve 
   effectively as president          79    11      9      63   25     12
I. He's very intelligent             90     4      6      90    6      5
J. He can be trusted in a crisis     84     7      9      77   12     11
K. He has a clear idea of where he
   wants to lead the nation          85    11      4      78   16      6
L. He says what he really thinks,
   even if it's not politically
   popular                           85    11      4      76   17      7
M. He takes the concerns of 
   New Hampshire voters seriously    83    10      7      86    9      5

16. Do you think George W. Bush would be able to keep the federal budget balanced and cut income taxes at the same time, or not?

                Yes    No    No opinion
12/15/99 Nat     38    55         7
12/15/99 NH      36    59         6

Compare To:
Do you think Dole would be able to reduce the federal budget deficit and cut income taxes 15 percent at the same time or not?

                Yes    No    No opin.
10/17/96 Reg.    25    67        8
10/16/96 Reg.    23    69        8
10/15/96 Reg.    22    70        8
10/14/96 Reg.    23    69        8
10/13/96 Reg.    24    67        8
9/29/96 Reg.     27    63       10
9/22/96 Reg.     26    67        7
8/29/96 Reg.     24    69        7
8/28/96 Reg.     24    68        8
8/27/96 Reg.     23    69        7
8/26/96 Reg.     23    70        6
8/25/96 Reg.     26    67        7
8/24/96 Reg.     25    67        8
8/19/96 Reg.     25    68        7
8/18/96 Reg.     26    66        8
8/15/96 Reg.     26    68        6
8/14/96 Reg.     26    68        5
8/9/96  Reg.     22    70        8
8/6/96           23    75        2

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

                  Better   Worse    Same (vol.)  No opinion
12/15/99 Nat        61       20         19            *
12/15/99 NH         64       14         22            1
National trend:
8/27/97             52       27         21            1
6/8/97              53       26         20            1
1/15/97             52       26         20            1
10/13/96 Reg.       50       25         25            1
10/8/96  Like.      48       25         26            1
10/8/96  Reg.       48       26         25            1
9/4/96*  Reg.       50       26         23            1
8/5/96*             47       29         23            1
3/17/96**           50       31         19            *
7/17/95**           48       31         20            1
*"three and a half years ago"
**"three years ago"

18. Just your opinion, do you think voters in New Hampshire have too much influence in determining who wins the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, too little influence or about the right amount?

                Too much     Too little     About the         No
                influence    influence     right amount    opinion
12/15/99 Nat        35             5            49            10
12/15/99 NH         11             9            78             3

19. (Asked of leaned Republicans nationally and Republican primary voters) Suppose your state holds a Republican primary or caucus for president in 2000 and the candidates are: (READ LIST). For whom would you vote - I'll read the list again:

Net Leaned Vote:
                                                               None/
                                                       Other  Wouldn't No
             Bush  Forbes  McCain  Bauer  Keyes  Hatch  (vol.)  (vol.) opin
12/15/99 Nat  72      7      13       1      3      2      0      1       *
12/15/99 NH   39     10      40       1      5      *      *      *       3
National trend:
10/31/99      75      4      10       3      5      2      0       1      1
9/2/99**      60      6       5       2      3      1      *       2      2
8/8/99***     54      4       4       1      2      1      *       4      7
3/4/99****    52      4       2       1      2     NA      *       *      2 
**Dole=15, Quayle=3, Buchanan=3
***Dole=14, Quayle=3, Buchanan=3, Alexander < 0.5%
****Dole=25, Quayle=6, Buchanan=3, Kasich=2, Alexander=1, Smith < 0.5%

20. Do you support (Republican candidate) strongly, or not strongly?

National:
                Strongly    Not strongly    No opinion
George W. Bush     72            27              1
New Hampshire:
                Strongly    Not strongly    No opinion
George W. Bush     68            30              2
John McCain        74            22              3
[*insufficient N for other candidates]

21. (Asked of leaned Democrats nationally and Democratic primary voters in Hew Hampshire) Suppose your state holds a Democratic primary or caucus for president in 2000 and the candidates are Al Gore and Bill Bradley. For whom would you vote?

Net Leaned Vote:
                               Other      Neither/         No
               Gore  Bradley   (vol.)   Wouldn't (vol.)   opin.
12/15/99 Nat    64     31        0           2             3
12/15/99 NH     45     48        *           3             4
National Trend:
10/31/99        67     29        *           1             3
9/2/99          69     24        *           3             4
8/15/99*        61     24        1           2             3
6/13/99         65     26        *           4             5
6/6/99**        56     19        0           2             4
3/14/99***      58     21        *           2             2
*Beatty=9
**Jackson=19
***Jackson=17
22. Do you support (Democratic candidate) strongly, or not strongly
             ----------Gore------------     ----------Bradley----------
             Strongly    Not    No opin.    Strongly    Not    No opin.
12/15/99 Nat    62        36        3          37        60        3
12/15/99 NH     68        31        1          64        34        2

23. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Bill Clinton as a person?

               Favorable   Unfavorable   No opinion
12/15/99 Nat       36           62             2
12/15/99 NH        21           77             2
National trend:
9/2/99             38           59             3
3/14/99            30           67             4
3/4/99             40           54             6
12/15/98**         41           56             3
11/1/98            42           54             4
11/1/98 LV         37           60             3
*Strongly/somewhat follow up asked 12/15/98

24. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Bill Clinton's policies and programs?

               Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
12/15/99 Nat      61            37             2
12/15/99 NH       54            43             3
25. As you may have heard, Bill Bradley has a medical condition that requires him to take medication for an occasional irregular heartbeat. Does this make you concerned about Bradley's physical fitness to serve as president, or do you think his condition is not that serious?
           Concerned about fitness    Condition not       No
                to serve as president      that serious    opinion
12/15/99 Nat             21                     75             4
12/15/99 NH              11                     87             2

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company


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