Sep. 30, 1998

White House Scandal Has Families Talking

Introduction and Summary The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal has American parents talking with their children about everything from whether the President lied or should be punished, to broader discussions about values and sex. Parents of younger children wait for their kids to start these conversations, while parents of teenagers are as likely to bring up the subject […]

Sep. 23, 1998

Backlash Softens Clinton Slide

Introduction and Summary Televised release of President Clinton’s grand jury testimony is stemming a decline in his public support. Strong opposition to the release of the grand jury videotape and increased disapproval of Republican congressional leadership accompany the reversal of the trend against Clinton. However, on balance, those who viewed the testimony have a negative […]

Sep. 17, 1998

Clinton Moral Authority Slips

Summary of Findings Phone Calls, Not Polls, May Sway Congress FINDING 1: The percentage of Americans saying President Clinton has the moral standing to lead the country fell in the wake of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report, leaving the country divided: 48% of the public say yes; 43% say no. In late August, a solid […]

Sep. 10, 1998

GOP Image Improves, But Congressional Race Remains Close

Introduction and Summary American voters divided their support for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates nearly equally in the weeks between President Clinton’s televised admission that he had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky and news of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to Congress on the matter. But with two months to go until the midterm […]

Aug. 27, 1998

It’s Still the Economy They Say

Introduction and Summary Americans credit a strong economy and, to a lesser extent, a good foreign policy as reasons why they approve of the president’s job performance, even though they increasingly dislike Bill Clinton personally. Further, strong public criticism of the way he has handled the Monica Lewinsky matter has failed to shake Clinton’s approval […]

Aug. 13, 1998

Lewinsky Testimony – A Yawn

Summary of Findings Monica Lewinsky’s testimony in the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Bill Clinton failed to spark any new interest in the scandal. Similarly, American attitudes toward the importance of the story or the merits of impeachment were unaffected by reports that she recanted her denial of a relationship with Clinton.

Aug. 4, 1998

Americans Unmoved by Prospect of Clinton, Lewinsky Testimony

Introduction and Summary Public interest in the White House sex scandal has not increased at all with the news that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky will soon give grand jury testimony. Only 29% of Americans are following news of the controversy very closely, despite a torrent of media coverage. News interest is nearly identical to […]

Apr. 3, 1998

Democratic Congressional Chances Helped by Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary President Clinton’s lofty performance ratings are benefiting the Democratic Party, which is now in a stronger position with American voters than it has been for some time. In contrast, continuing negative perceptions of Republican congressional leaders are hamstringing the image of their party. By the biggest margin of the decade, the public […]

Feb. 6, 1998

Popular Policies and Unpopular Press Lift Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary A strong State of the Union address combined with public anger at the news media fueled President Clinton’s unexpected lift to a 71% approval rating — even as allegations of a White House sex scandal consumed Washington. When asked in a Pew Research Center re-interview survey why they had changed their minds […]

Oct. 10, 1997

America’s Place in the World II

Introduction and Summary The post-Cold War era may be less than a decade old, but Americans whose views help shape U.S. foreign policy have grown remarkably comfortable with it. Compared to four years ago when they were deeply troubled, American Opinion Leaders today see the world as a better place, where U.S. influence is enhanced […]

Aug. 15, 1997

When Washington Works, Incumbents Prosper

Introduction and Summary For the first time in a very long time, Americans are happy with the country’s course and it is beginning to pay dividends to the political establishment. Not only are Bill Clinton’s approval ratings approaching Reagan’s at a comparable point, but support for Congressional incumbents is at a decade high, and interest […]

Feb. 28, 1997

Widespread Pessimism about Balanced Budget

Survey Findings Despite the new spirit of bipartisanship in Washington and the sense of optimism inside the beltway that a budget agreement may finally be at hand, the American public is extremely bearish about the prospects for a balanced budget. Just 28% believe President Clinton and the GOP Congressional leaders will be able to reach […]

Jan. 16, 1997

A Partisan Public Agenda

Introduction and Summary As Inauguration Day approaches, Bill Clinton is getting his highest ever approval rating (59%). Favorable opinion of Congress is also up sharply (56%) as the GOP begins its second consecutive term of control for the first time in more than sixty years. Newt Gingrich is the only unpopular national leader in the […]

Nov. 15, 1996

Campaign ’96 Gets Lower Grades from Voters

Introduction and Summary Voters were much less pleased with the presidential campaign this year than in 1992. The American electorate was less satisfied with its choice of candidates than in the two previous presidential elections and much more unhappy with the campaign process, particularly compared to 1992. The candidates, the debates, the press, the parties […]

Oct. 25, 1996

Clinton Unites Dems, Gains Working Class Independents

Introduction and Summary After two presidential debates and six weeks of the general campaign Bill Clinton’s lead over Bob Dole is as large as it was in early September. The course of the race has changed little with the passing of each important campaign milestone. The only observable consequence of the debates is that the […]

Jun. 5, 1996

Bill Clinton’s Big Lead and The Electoral College

Also: Tax Cuts and Deficit Reduction … In What Context?; Chance Error and Horse Race Leads

Apr. 5, 1996

Democratic Congressional Prospects Improve

Introduction and Summary Criticism of the GOP legislative agenda and the President’s improved standing in the polls now threaten prospects for continued Republican control of the House. Generic support for GOP Congressional candidates has significantly eroded over the past six months. While things are looking up for the Democrats, there may be worrisome parallels to […]

Jan. 11, 1996

Chance Error and Bill Clinton’s Political Fortunes

The big difference this week between the CNN/USA/Gallup poll and ABC/WP poll is the first major polling disparity of the ’96 campaign. Gallup’s results indicate that support for the President has tumbled sharply, while the GOP leadership is viewed more favorably than a month ago. In sharp contrast, the ABC/WP poll found no trend away […]

Mar. 30, 1995

Very Able, but Character, Compassion and Extreme Views Questioned

Report Summary Newt Gingrich is an enigma to the public. On balance, Americans approve of the job he is doing as Speaker of the House, but they are wary of his character, concerned about his extreme points of view, and wonder about his compassion. There is much more of a consensus that he has the […]

Feb. 17, 1995

Strong Support for Minimum Wage Hike and Preserving Entitlements

Report Summary While the Contract for America is getting all the play in Washington these days, there is still a lot of New Deal thinking in the rest of the country. No fewer than 79% of respondents in the latest Times Mirror Center survey say they approve of Bill Clinton’s proposal to increase the minimum […]