NEW YORK – 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
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?
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?
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)
4. Al Gore:
5. George W. Bush:
6. Dick Cheney:
7. Laura Bush:
8. Hillary Clinton:
9. If the election were held over again tomorrow, for whom would you vote: Bush, Gore, Nader, or Buchanan?
10. What do you think are the two most important issues for the federal government to address?
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. 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?
13. Let's say the candidates were (Republican George W. Bush) and (Democrat Hillary Clinton), for whom would you vote?
15. If the Independent Counsel does indict President Clinton after he leaves office, do you think President Bush should pardon him?
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?
17. Overall, how would you rate the quality of the people President-elect Bush has selected to be in his Cabinet?
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?
19. Do you think President-elect Bush's Cabinet selections are:
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?
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?
22. Which of the following people in the Clinton administration had the highest standard of honesty?