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What Americans Think Archive
What Americans Think
Richard Morin's column returns after the elections. Read The Poll Watchers every Wednesday to keep up with the latest polling analysis by Morin and Washington Post assistant polling director Claudia Deane.

This Is His Father's Election
Sept. 18, 2000
Based on poll trends, this is beginning to look more and more like Bush's election – Poppy Bush's, not Dubya's.

Into Home Stretch, Gore, Bush Neck-and-Neck
Sept. 11, 2000
George W. Bush and Vice President Gore are in a dead heat in the first of the post-Labor Day polls. As history shows, that means anything could happen in November.

Take This Job and Love It
Sept. 4, 2000
Recent polls reveal a large majority of Americans are generally at least "broadly satisfied" with their jobs, and even like their bosses, although they enjoy their leisure time more.

Famous for 15 Minutes
Aug. 28, 2000
According to a fun new Harris Poll, nearly a third of all adults believe "they are at least somewhat likely to become famous for at least 15 minutes," and about one in eight are certain they're going to be someone, someday.

Bush Lead Dwindles, or Does It?
Aug. 14, 2000
A recent USA Today/Gallup/CNN poll showed George W. Bush's lead apparently shrank from 19 points to 4 points the day after Vice President Gore named his running mate. But the results of this overnight survey are likely skewed.

Bush Draws Poll Numbers, But Not Votes
July 31, 2000
In recent polls, Republican Gov. George W. Bush trumps Democratic Vice President Al Gore on the issues and on candidate qualities. At the same time, he is barely holding onto his slim advantage over Gore in the presidential horse race, and some polls suggest his lead is shrinking. Why isn't Bush doing much better?

Follow the Bouncing Politician
July 24, 2000
Suppose they threw a political convention and nobody bounced? Chances are reasonably good that we may find out this year, because the major networks are threatening to cut back on prime-time coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions.

The Internet: News for the News-Weary
June 19, 2000
Will the last network news watcher please turn off the set? It's not that bad. At least not yet. But a new study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggests that the Internet is decimating the broadcast news audience.

A Nation of Strangers: The Decline of Socializing
June 12, 2000
Researchers have long known that people aren't joining volunteer groups like the PTA, League of Women Voters or bowling leagues any more. Is informal contact, from water cooler conversations to Internet chat rooms, serving the same function? A controversial survey says it isn't.

Who Supports Public Campaign Financing?
June 5, 2000
You don't have to search far to find a national survey conducted by a reputable pollster with numbers to support your position–whatever it is. This time, the topic is public campaign financing.

The Forgotten Majority
May 29, 2000
Forget about chasing after those yuppified soccer moms this election year. Candidates would be better off courting waitress moms and their husbands, the auto mechanic dads.

What to Do About Health Care
May 22, 2000
Most Americans believe that the rising number of people without health insurance is a serious national problem but the public remains stymied about what to do about it.

Lights Out for Tradition Polls?
May 15, 2000
Cyber-maven Andy Grove, the founder of Intel, predicted last year that in five years, all companies will be Internet companies or they won't be companies at all. Which makes me wonder: In five years, will all polls be Internet polls or will there be polls at all?

College Degree: Key to the American Dream?
May 8, 2000
Seven years ago, a majority of Americans thought too many people were going to college. Today, all that's changed. A new survey by the Public Agenda reports that three in four Americans say there "cannot be too many people with education and training beyond high school."

Are Presidential Debates Too Exclusive?
May 1, 2000
A group of prominent Americans has asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to lower the bar for participation in the presidential debates, a move that potentially would open the door to independent and other third-party candidates.

Do Americans Believe in God?
April 24, 2000
Do Americans believe in miracles? Is Heaven a real place? What about Hell? Is God a He or a She? The answers are found in a facinating compilation of recent national surveys on God, religion and religious beliefs.

What Every Student Should Know
April 17, 2000
A recent survey tested the historical knowledge of seniors at the 55 top colleges in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and found that the majority of students don't know the basics of American history.

Voters Say Bush Is No Lightweight
April 3, 2000
Journalists, take notes: Americans do not think that George W. Bush is dumb, at least not yet; voters do not think that Bush is an immature lightweight lacking the gravitas to lead the nation, at least not yet.

It's Good to Be Green
March 20, 2000
America is poised to vote clean and green, according to a new national survey of likely voters commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters.

God and Darwin Coexisting in the Classroom?
March 13, 2000
Most Americans say God and Darwin can coexist in America's classrooms, but public thinking on these issues is incomplete and uninformed.

Why Exit Polls Face Extinction
March 6, 2000
Exit polls have an immense value to journalists and political scientists. But even their value may not rescue them from the frenzy of bad behavior fed by the worst instincts of the media.

Online Polling Done Right
February 28, 2000
InterSurvey represents the first and best attempt to apply rigorous survey methods to research over the Internet.

Predicting S.C. Primary Winner Virtually Impossible
February 14, 2000
Polling in New Hampshire is tough. Polling in South Carolina -- particularly this year -- is virtually impossible.

Surveys Way Off the Mark for N.H. Primary
February 7, 2000
Few surveys foreshadowed Ariz. Sen. John McCain's wipeout win over Tex. Gov. George W. Bush, and many had Vice President Gore with double-digit leads over former senator Bill Bradley.

Everyone Loves a Winner
January 31, 2000
With the start of the presidential primaries, a new survey shows that candidate preference is closely associated with who voters think will win in the fall.

Past Years



Richard Morin is director of polling for The Washington Post. "What Americans Think" appears Mondays in The Washington Post National Weekly Edition. Morin can be reached at morinr@clark.net .

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

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