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  Post-ABC News Poll: Beyond Impeachment

Monday, December 21, 1998

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is based on random telephone interviews with 1285 adults on December 19-20, 1998. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.

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

Clinton Job Approval | Congress Job Approval
Impeachment | Removal from Office

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.
12/20/98    67     48         20         30       6        23       3
12/19/98    66     47         19         31       7        24       3
12/13/98    64     43         21         35      10        25       2
12/11/98    60     NA         NA         37      NA        NA       3
11/22/98    61     NA         NA         34      NA        NA       5
11/7/98     63     NA         NA         36      NA        NA       1
11/1/98     65     41         25         33      10        23       1
11/1/98  LV 58     40         18         41      10        31       1
10/25/98    62     40         22         32       8        23       6
10/25/98 LV 58     42         15         40       8        32       2
10/18/98    62     40         22         34       9        25       4
10/18/98 LV 57     39         18         41       7        34       2
10/10/98    67     48         19         30       8        23       3
10/10/98 LV 61     47         14         38       8        30       1
9/28/98     63     42         21         35       8        26       2
9/28/98  LV 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
9/13/98 eve 60     NA         NA         38      NA        NA       2
9/13/98 day 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 LV  58     NA         NA         38      NA        NA       4
10/8/96 RV  59     NA         NA         37      NA        NA       4
9/4/96  RV  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
3/7/96      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  RV 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

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is doing its job?
                Approve        Disapprove        No opinion
12/20/98          44              51                 5
12/19/98          45              50                 5
12/13/98          49              46                 5
11/7/98           41              55                 4
11/1/98           49              47                 5
11/1/98 LV        47              51                 2
10/25/98          45              44                11
10/25/98 LV       45              48                 7
10/18/98          46              45                 8
10/18/98 LV       45              49                 5
10/10/98          45              49                 7
10/10/98 LV       45              52                 3
9/28/98           52              44                 4
9/28/98 LV        52              46                 2
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

3. As you may know, the House of Representatives has voted to impeach Bill Clinton. Next the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether or not Clinton should be removed from office. First, do you approve or disapprove of the House vote to impeach Clinton?
                 Approve    Disapprove    No opinion
12/20/98           40           59             1
12/19/98           41           59             1
12/16/98*          40           58             2 
12/15/98**         39           60             1
12/13/98***        38           61             1
12/11/98****       38           60             2
12/6/98            33           64             3
11/22/98           30           66             4
11/1/98            27           71             2
11/1/98  LV        33           65             3
10/25/98           29           66             5
10/25/98 LV        32           62             6
10/18/98           29           68             3
10/18/98 LV        34           62             3
9/28/98*****       31           66             3
9/28/98  LV        38           60             2
9/21/98            41           57             2
9/14/98            38           59             3
9/13/98******      30           64             6
8/3/98*******      24           70             6
8/19/98*******     30           65             5
8/17/98*******     25           69             6
8/16/98********    35           59             6
7/29/98********    39           57             4
7/12/98*********   39           55             7
1/31/98********    40           51             9
1/25/98********    55           40             5
1/24/98********    54           41             5
1/23/98********    55           38             7
*". . . House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on whether or not to impeach . . ."
**". . . will vote this week on whether or not to impeach . . ."
***"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?)"
****New introduction
*****Asked strongly/somewhat follow 12/13 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..."

4. Clinton now will face trial by the Senate, which will decide whether or not he should be removed from office. Do you think the Senate should or should not remove Clinton from office?

          Should remove him    Should not remove   No
             from office          from office    opinion
12/20/98         33                    66           2
12/19/98         34                    65           1
12/15/98*        39                    59           1
*"If the House does impeach Clinton, do you think the Senate should or should not remove him from office?"

5. Which would be your preference: for the Senate to remove Clinton from office, for the Senate to censure or officially reprimand Clinton, or for the Senate to drop the whole matter?

           Remove    Censure/officially    Drop      No
           Clinton        reprimand       matter    opin.
12/20/98     29              39             32        1
12/19/98     31              39             30        * 

6. Just your best guess – Do you think the Senate will or will not remove Clinton from office?

            Will remove       Will not remove     No 
             office           him from office    opin.
12/20/98        35                  60             5
12/19/98        35                  58             7
12/15/98*       37                  60             4
*"Again, just your best guess – if the House does impeach Clinton, do you think the Senate will or will not remove him from office?"

7. How do you feel about the House's decision to impeach Clinton – are you 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.
12/20/98  41      20          20          58       33       25      1
12/19/98  42      20          22          57       31       26      1
12/15/98* 43      19          24          56       31       25      1
12/13/98* 40      15          25          58       29       29      1
*"How would you feel if Congress impeaches Clinton and removes himfrom office – would you be pleased about that, satisfied but not pleased, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?"

8. How would you feel if the Senate decides to remove Clinton 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.
12/20/98  37      20           17         62       27       35      1
12/19/98  39      20           19         60       24       36      1

9. Do you think the House voted to impeach Clinton on the basis of the facts of the case, or on the basis of partisan politics?

            Facts of    Partisan      No              
             case       politics     opinion
12/20/98       36          61          3
12/19/98       37          59          4
12/13/98       29          67          4
*"Do you think most members of Congress will vote on Clinton'simpeachment on the basis of . . . "

10. Who do you think is more to blame for Clinton's impeachment – Clinton himself, for his actions; or the Republicans in Congress, for bringing the case this far?

                Clinton     Republicans      No
                himself     in Congress    opinion
12/20/98           55           43            3
12/19/98           57           41            2  

11. How closely have you been following the congressional impeachment proceedings against Clinton – very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely or not closely at all?
            -----Closely------     --------Not closely--------     No
            NET   Very   Somewht   NET    Not too   Not at all    opin.
12/20/98     82    34      49       18       13          5          0
12/19/98     82    36      46       18       12          6          0 
12/16/98*    75    26      49       25       21          4          0
12/13/98*    77    25      52       23       20          3          0
12/11/98*    59    18      41       41       25         16          0
12/10/98*    56    20      36       43       31         12          1
12/9/98*     54    16      38       46       29         17          *
*Gallup

12. (Asked of half sample) Now that the House has impeached Clinton, the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether or not he should be removed from office. What do you think Clinton should do: Fight the charges in the Senate, or resign from office? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly, or only somewhat?)

            ----Fight charges----    --Resign from office--     No
            NET   Strngly   Smwht    NET    Strngly    Smwht   opin.
12/20/98     56      46       10      42       33         9      1
12/19/98     54      43       10      44       36         9      2
12/15/98*    42      NA       NA      57       NA        NA      1
12/13/98*    38      NA       NA      58       NA        NA      3
*"The House of Representatives will vote this week on whether or not to impeach Clinton. If the House impeaches him, the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether or not Clinton should be removed from office. If the full House votes to impeach Clinton, what do you think Clinton should do . . ."

13. (Asked of half sample) Now that the House has impeached Clinton, the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether or not he should be removed from office. What do you think Clinton should do: Resign from office, or remain in office and face trial in the Senate? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly, or only somewhat?)

            --Resign from office--    ---Remain in office---     No
            NET   Strngly   Smwht    NET    Strngly    Smwht   opin.
12/20/98     33      24        8      65       54        11      2
12/19/98     33      26        7      64       51        13      3
12/15/98*    43      NA       NA      55       NA        NA      2
*Washington Post: "As you may know, the House of Representatives will vote this week on whether or not to impeach Bill Clinton. If the House impeaches Clinton, the Senate will hold a trial to decide whether or not he should be removed from office. If the full House votes to impeach Clinton, what do you think Clinton should do . . ."

14. (Of those who said resign in Q12 or Q13) Do you feel that he should resign mainly because of what he did in the Lewinsky matter, or mainly because it would be the quickest way of bringing this matter to an end?

            Because of      Quickest way    No          
          Lewinsky matter    to an end   opinion
12/20/98        57               39          3
12/19/98        56               41          4
12/15/98        38               59          3

15. The vote to impeach Clinton was along party lines, with nearly all Republicans voting in favor of impeachment and nearly all Democrats voting against impeachment. Does this make you more likely to think the case against Clinton is a strong one, more likely to think the case against Clinton is a weak one, or doesn't it make much difference in your opinion on that?

                                 Doesn't make      No
          Strong one   Weak one   difference     opinion
12/20/98      18          24          56            2
12/19/98      20          23          55            2

16. As you may have heard, the man who was going to become the next speaker of the House, Republican Representative Bob Livingston, said Saturday he will not become speaker, and instead will resign from Congress. This came a day after reports that Livingston has had extramarital affairs. Do you approve or disapprove of Livingston's decision to resign?

            Approve    Disapprove     No opinion
12/20/98       52          37             11
12/19/98       53          37             10

17. In announcing his own resignation, Livingston called on Clinton to resign, too. Does Livingston's action make you more likely to think Clinton should resign, less likely to think Clinton should resign, or doesn't it change your opinion on that one way or another?

           More      Less      Doesn't change     No
          likely    likely        opinion       opinion
12/20/98    11        10             79            1
12/19/98    11        10             78            1

18. As you may know, there has been increased attention lately on whether elected officials have had extramarital affairs. Do you approve or disapprove of the attention being paid to this issue?

            Approve    Disapprove     No opinion
12/20/98       19          79              3
12/19/98       20          77              2

19. Of these two groups, which do you think is more responsible for the attention being paid to this issue – the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party?

           Republican    Democratic    No opinion
12/20/98       74            15            11
12/19/98       74            15            11

20. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the Republicans in Congress, or don't you know enough to say?

           Favorable    Unfavorable    No opinion
12/20/98      23            34             43
12/19/98      25            34             40           
1/31/98+      41            33             26
6/30/96       41            42             17
+Half sample

21. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the Democrats in Congress, or don't you know enough to say?

           Favorable    Unfavorable      No opinion
12/20/98      29            21              49
12/19/98      32            22              46           
1/31/98+      49            27              24
6/30/96       43            37              20
+Half sample

22. (Asked of half sample) Do you think the Clinton/Lewinsky issue has damaged Clinton's ability to serve effectively as president, or not? (IF YES ASK: Has it damaged it a great deal, or only somewhat?)

           ------------Yes-------------
           NET   Great Deal    Somewhat    No    No opinion
12/20/98    38        24           14       60         2
12/19/98    39        23           16       59         2
10/18/98    49        29           20       49         1
10/18/98LV  55        36           19       43         2
9/28/98     54        35           19       45         1
9/28/98LV   58        42           16       42         *
9/13/98     58        41           17       42         1
8/23/98     52        27           25       47         2
8/19/98     58        34           24       40         2

23. (Asked of half sample) Do you think the Clinton/Lewinsky issue has damaged Congress' ability to do its work effectively, or not? (IF YES ASK: Has it damaged it a great deal, or only somewhat?)

           ------------Yes-------------           
            NET   Great Deal    Somewhat   No    No opinion
12/20/98    52        27           26      44         4 
12/19/98    51        26           25      46         3

24. On another subject, as you may know, the United States has launched air strikes against Iraq, after United Nations weapons inspectors there reported that Iraq was interfering with their work. Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. attack on Iraq?

            -------Approve-------    ------Disapprove------     No
            NET   Strngly  Somwht    NET   Strngly  Somwht     opin.
12/20/98     78      NA      NA       17      NA       NA        4
12/19/98     80      NA      NA       15      NA       NA        5
12/16/98*    73      54      19       19      11        8        7
9/3/96**     79      NA      NA       16      NA       NA        5
6/28/93***   63      NA      NA       28      NA       NA        9
1/13/93****  83      NA      NA       10      NA       NA        7
*As you may know, the United States launched air strikes against Iraq tonight, after United Nations weapons inspectors there reported that Iraq was interfering with their work."
**"As you may know, this weekend Iraq attacked Kurdish rebels in the United Nations protection zone in northern Iraq. The United States says this violated the cease fire that ended the Persian Gulf war, and retaliated with a missile attack on Iraq early Tuesday."
***"...the U.S. missile attack on Iraq, on Saturday, in retaliation for an assassination plot against former president Bush?"
****"As you may have heard, the United States and its allies conducted a bombing raid against Iraq today. The Bush administration said it was trying to stop Iraqi violations of the terms of the cease fire that ended the Persian Gulf war. Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S.-led bombing of Iraq?"

25. Please tell me whether the following statement applies to Clinton, or not: He has high personal moral and ethical standards.

               Yes    No    No opinion
12/20/98        24    71       5
12/19/98        21    74       4
9/13/98         20    77       3
8/23/97         19    77       4
8/21/98         19    78       3
8/19/98         18    79       3
7/12/98         29    63       7
5/12/98         24    70       6
4/4/98          29    64       7
3/16/98         28    66       6
2/18/98         28    66       6
6/8/97          41    54       4
1/15/97         40    55       4
1/6/97          38    59       3
9/4/96*         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
*Among registered voters

26. Which statement comes closest to the way you feel: The impeachment process is mainly an attempt to show that no American is above the law, not even the president; OR the impeachment process is mainly an attempt by the president's political opponents to remove him from office.

             No American is    Attempt to remove      No
             above the law      him from office     opinion
12/20/98          46                   51              2
12/19/98          48                   50              2

27. As you know, Clinton is a member of the generation that came of age in the 1960s. Do you think that Clinton's moral and ethical standards are better, worse or about the same as those of most people in his generation? (IF SAY BETTER/WORSE) Is that a great deal (better/worse), or only somewhat?

            ------Better--------   -------Worse-------    About    No
            NET  Grt deal  Smwht   NET  Grt deal  Smwht    same   opin.
12/20/98      7       3       3     27     12       15      61      5
12/19/98      7       3       4     27     13       14      62      4

28. Which of these comes closer to your opinion? The president is like the head of any organization: As long as he does a good job running the country, whatever he does in his personal life is not important; OR, the president has a greater responsibility than leaders of other organizations to set an example with his personal life.

        President's personal    President has responsibility    No 
        life is not important          to set example         opinion
12/20/98        48                          51                   1
12/19/98        45                          54                   1
8/16/98*        49                          48                   2
*Washington Post


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