A solid majority of American voters, 60 per cent, now favor a law that would limit senators and House members to a maximum of 12 years in office.

The proportion in favor of a limit on the time in office for senators is up sharply since 1971, when the figure was 48 per cent. (The question on members of the House was not asked in the earlier survey.)

Although the upward trend is across-the-board with all major population groups. It is most pronounced among younger, better-educated voters.

Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.) recently proposed a constitutional amendent to limit senators and representatives, to 12 years of service.

The sharp upturn in support for a limit on the terms of senators may be, in part, a reflection of their unfavorable public image. A recent Gallup survey showed both senators and representatives rated relatively low among a list of persons in 20 occupations in terms of honesty and ethical standards.

Another Gallup survey showed only 35 per cent of the public saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job.

Here is the question asked 1,523 adults from Nov. 4-7 and the trend:

"A low has been proposed which would limit a senator to two terms, or a total of 12 years in office. Would you javor or oppose such a law?" (TABLE) (COLUMN)Favor(COLUMN)Oppose(COLUMN)No opinion LATEST(COLUMN)60%(COLUMN)30%(COLUMN)10% May 1971(COLUMN)48(COLUMN)39(COLUMN)13 Jan. 1966(COLUMN)50(COLUMN)38(COLUMN)12 March 1964(COLUMN)49(COLUMN)38(COLUMN)13(END TABLE)

Here are the results of the current survey by political affiliation:(TABLE) (COLUMN)Favor(COLUMN)Oppose(COLUMN)No opinion Republicans(COLUMN)64%(COLUMN)29%(COLUMN)7% Democrats(COLUMN)63(COLUMN)27(COLUMN)10 Independents(COLUMN)57(COLUMN)36(COLUMN)7(END TABLE)

This question was also asked:

"A law has been proposed which would limit a member of the House of Representatives ot three terms of four years apiece, or a total of 12 years. Would you favor or oppose such a law?" (TABLE) (COLUMN)Favor(COLUMN)Oppose(COLUMN)No opinion LATEST(COLUMN)59%(COLUMN)31%(COLUMN)10% Republicans(COLUMN)62(COLUMN)29(COLUMN)9 Democrats(COLUMN)61(COLUMN)29(COLUMN)10 Independents(COLUMN)59(COLUMN)34(COLUMN)7(END TABLE)

The plan to limit senators to two terms of six years each has been advocated by at least two Presidents - Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Turman.