In the week leading up to his inauguration, President-elect George W. Bush receives positive marks on the team he has put together to run his administration.

In this week's FOX News/Opinion Dynamics nationwide poll of registered voters, over half rate the quality of people Bush has selected to be in his Cabinet as "excellent" or "good," and 49 percent think the nominees are neither too conservative nor too liberal, but "mainstream" politically. One-fifth think the selections are "too conservative," only three percent say "too liberal," and 27 percent don't know enough yet to tell.

When compared to the Clinton administration, a plurality expects the Bush administration to be more effective (42 percent), and a majority think it will be more ethical (59 percent). Twenty-nine percent say the Bush administration will be less effective, while only 16 percent expect it to be less ethical than the Clinton administration.

As they have been on so many other things, including the election itself, Americans are evenly divided on how the process of reviewing Bush's Cabinet choices is being conducted. Thirty-nine percent think the scrutiny of nominees is being done fairly; however, the same number (39 percent) think it's being handled in a partisan fashion.

"The president-elect is beginning with favorable ratings after what everyone agrees was a bitter and partisan election. There is enough good feeling that people are going to give him a chance to prove himself," commented Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "However, it is also clear that the divisions still exist-and are strongly held by some. The new president
has less room for even small mistakes than his recent predecessors."

Bush's favorability rating remains steady at 58 percent - a full 10 percentage points higher than President Clinton's. Although Clinton has a fairly high unfavorable rating (46 percent), most Americans (57 percent) do not want to see him face charges in the Monica Lewinsky case after he leaves office.

If Independent Counsel Robert Ray were to indict Clinton, 45 percent think President Bush should pardon him, up from 34 percent support for a pardon in April 2000. Even more, fully 62 percent (including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats) agree with Senator Orrin Hatch's comment on FOX News Sunday that no jury in America would convict Bill
Clinton.


Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll Results

Polling was conducted by telephone January 10-11, 2001 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

1. Considering how things are today, would you say that the U.S. is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?

Right direction Undecided Wrong track
12 Jan 01 53% 19 28
1 Dec 00 51% 15 34
3 Nov 00 60% 11 29

2. Considering just the moral climate of the U.S. today, would you say that the U.S. is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?

Right direction Undecided Wrong track
12 Jan 01 31% 14 55
1 Dec 00 31% 14 55
3 Nov 00 35% 11 54

3. I'm going to read the names of some prominent people. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each one. If you've never heard of someone, please just say so.
SCALE: 1. Favorable 2. Unfavorable 3. (Can't say) 4. (Never heard of)

Bill Clinton:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 48% 46 6 --
1 Dec 00 43% 51 6 --
3 Nov 00 45% 50 5 --

4. Al Gore:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 55% 38 7 --
1 Dec 00 46% 48 6 --
3 Nov 00 54% 39 7 --

5. George W. Bush:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 43% 51 6 --
1 Dec 00 58% 31 11 --
3 Nov 00 56% 36 8 --

6. Dick Cheney:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 57% 19 20 4
1 Dec 00 64% 17 15 4
3 Nov 00 55% 23 18 4

7. Laura Bush:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 49% 9 33 9
25 Aug 00 49% 10 34 7

8. Hillary Clinton:

  Favorable Unfavorable (Can't Say) (Never Heard)
12 Jan 01 52% 38 10 --
1 Dec 00 46% 47 7 --
3 Nov 00 46% 47 7 --

9. If the election were held over again tomorrow, for whom would you vote: Bush, Gore, Nader, or Buchanan?

  Bush Gore Nader Buchanan (Other) (Won't say)
12 Jan 01 44% 40 5 1 2 8
1 Dec 00 49% 36 3 1 2 9

10. What do you think are the two most important issues for the federal government to address?

  12 Jan 01 11 Aug 00 12 May 00
Education 32% 33% 28%
Health Care 23% 20% 18%
Economy 19% 9% 9%
Social Security 15% 22% 20%
Taxes 13% 16% 14%
Medicare/Medicaid Reform 10% 10% 8%
Crime/drugs 7% 7% 8%
Defense 7% 8% 4%
Foreign Policy 6% 5% 4%
Family values/morals (decline of) 5% 5% 3%
Balanced Budget 4% 4% 3%
Employment/jobs 4% 3% 3%
Abortion 4% 5% 2%
Environment 4% 3% 3%
Welfare 3% 4% 4%
Gun control 2% 3% 10%
Federal deficit 2% 2% 2%
Poverty/
homelessness
2% 2% 2%
Campaign finance reform 1% 1% 1%
Immigration 1% -- 1%
Race relations -- 1% --
IRS Problems -- -- --
Child care -- 1% 1%
Other 3% 4% 4%
(Don't Know) 6% 7% 12%

11. Thinking ahead to the year 2002, if the congressional election were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate in your district or the Democratic candidate in your district? (If undecided) Well, if you had to vote, which way would you lean?

  12 Jan 01 8 Sep 00 26 May 00 14 Jan 00
Republican Vote 26% 32 36 35
Republican Lean 7% 8 6 7
Republican Total 33% 40 42 42
Democratic Vote 32% 34 33 32
Democratic Lean 6% 7 6 4
Democratic Total 38% 41 39 36
(Other/Not Sure) 29% 19 19 22

12. Thinking ahead to the 2004 presidential elections, if the candidates for president were (Democrat Al Gore) and (Republican George W. Bush), for whom would you vote?

Bush 39%
Gore 36%
(Other/Neither) 6%
(Not sure) 19%

13. Let's say the candidates were (Republican George W. Bush) and (Democrat Hillary Clinton), for whom would you vote?

Bush 45%
Clinton 34%
(Other/Neither) 7%
(Not sure) 14%

14.

      12 Jan 01 25 Aug 00 * 13 Feb 99 *
Yes 35% 34 28
No 57% 59 63
(Not sure) 8% 7 9
* "Independent Counsel Robert Ray has convened a new grand jury to determine if President Clinton should be charged with a crime in connection with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Should the Independent Counsel bring charges in court against President Clinton after he leaves office?"

15. If the Independent Counsel does indict President Clinton after he leaves office, do you think President Bush should pardon him?

      12 Jan 01 25 Aug 00 * 28 Apr 00 *
Yes 45% 39 34
No 38% 50 53
(Not sure) 17% 11 13
* "Do you think President Clinton should be pardoned if the special prosecutor tries to put him on trial after he leaves office?"

16. Senator Orrin Hatch recently said, if President Clinton is indicted in connection with the Lewinsky scandal, quote: "I don't think there's a jury in America that is going to convict President Clinton." Do you agree or disagree with Hatch's statement?

Agree - no jury would convict President Clinton 62%
Disagree 29%
(Not sure) 9%

17. Overall, how would you rate the quality of the people President-elect Bush has selected to be in his Cabinet?

Excellent 16%
Good 37%
Fair 22%
Poor 8%
(Not sure) 17%

18. Do you think the scrutiny of President-elect Bush's Cabinet nominees is being done fairly, and with sincere concern for the high-level of office the nominees will hold, or is it being done in a partisan fashion in an effort to gain political advantage and harm Bush?

Being done fairly 39%
Being done in a partisan fashion 39%
(Not sure) 22%

19. Do you think President-elect Bush's Cabinet selections are:

Too conservative 21%
Too liberal, or 3%
Pretty much in the mainstream 49%
(Not sure) 12%
(Too soon, don't know enough to tell) 15%

20. Based on Bush's Cabinet selections and his other appointees so far, do you think the Bush administration will be more effective or less effective than the Clinton administration?

More effective 42%
Less effective 29%
(The same) 7%
(Not sure) 9%
(Too soon to tell) 13%

21. Based on Bush's Cabinet selections and his other appointees so far, do you think the Bush administration will be more ethical or less ethical than the Clinton administration?

More ethical 59%
Less ethical 16%
(The same) 7%
(Not sure) 11%
(Too soon to tell) 7%

22. Which of the following people in the Clinton administration had the highest standard of honesty?

President Clinton himself 3%
Attorney General Janet Reno 34%
Vice President Al Gore 26%
First Lady Hillary Clinton 12%
(None) 15%
(Not sure) 10%