NEW YORK – A majority of Americans like the newly inaugurated president as a person, but many are withholding judgment on George W. Bush's job performance, according to the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll.
61 percent have a favorable opinion of President Bush, and 64 percent have a favorable view of Vice President Dick Cheney. After only a few days on the job, 46 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing, 14 percent disapprove, and fully 40 percent aren't sure.
The inaugural celebrations appear to have helped Americans form a positive opinion of First Lady Laura Bush. Her favorable rating moved from 49 percent in mid-January to 62 percent in the current poll.
Here are some other highlights from this week's poll, conducted January 24-25 with 902 registered voters nationwide.
- 67 percent think former President Clinton admitted to lying under oath in his statement following the agreement reached with Independent Counsel Robert Ray.
- Americans are divided on whether Clinton's departure rally at Andrews Air Force Base was simply to say good-bye to staff and friends (42 percent) or if Clinton was trying to upstage Bush on his Inauguration Day (36 percent).
- Publishers may want to re-think their contracts when they see that 61 percent of the public says they aren't interested in reading a book by Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, or Al and TipperGore.
- Jesse Jackson's not alone in the cheating department. Thirteen percent admit to cheating in a relationship (including about equal percentages of men and women). Jackson's favorable rating dropped to 27 percent after news that he fathered a child out of wedlock. Almost half of Americans think he should continue his public career, while 36 percent think he should endit.
- A couple of events, such as Bush's Cabinet selection of former Senator John Ashcroft and the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, have brought Roe v. Wade to the forefront recently. A majority (62 percent) thinks the Supreme Court should let the Roe v. Wade decision stand, while 29 percent think it should be overturned. These results remain statistically unchanged from polls taken in 1998 and 1999.
"For a president who has claimed both a slender mandate and a need to unite, Bush's early abortion moves are a little risky," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman.
"Abortion is a divisive issue with no clear winners and losers politically."
- During Sunday's 35th Super Bowl, one-third of the country will be cheering for the New York Giants and 23 percent will root for the Baltimore Ravens.
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll Results
Polling was conducted by telephone January 24-25, 2001 in the evenings. The sample is 902 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. All trend is registered voters unless noted as likely voters (LV).
1. 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)
George W. Bush:
2. Dick Cheney:
3. Laura Bush:
4. Jesse Jackson:
5. John Ashcroft:
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?
7. Do you think religion plays too large or too small a role in most people's lives today? SCALE: 1. Too large 2. Too small 3. (About right) 4. (Not sure)
8. Do you think America is a more or less spiritual nation today than it was 25 years ago? SCALE: 1. More 2. Less 3. (Same) 4. (Don't know)
9. Last week, the independent counsel agreed not to prosecute Bill Clinton in exchange for Clinton's admission that he gave false testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. In a statement about the agreement, Clinton said, quote: "I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and that certain of my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false.'' In his statement, do you think Clintons admits to lying under oath?
10. Which do you think was former President Clinton's greater achievement:
11. During Saturday's inaugural events for President Bush, former President Bill Clinton held a rally at Andrews Air Force Base. Do you think Clinton was simply saying goodbye to his staff and friends or was he trying to upstage Bush on his Inauguration Day?
12. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Al and Tipper Gore, together, are all writing books that will come out soon. Which of these books are you most interested in reading:
13. Do you think Hillary Clinton will tell the truth in her book or not?
14. Have you ever cheated on a person you were in a relationship with?
Have Cheated in a Relationship:
15. Today, do you think relations between the races in the United States are getting better or getting worse? SCALE: 1. Better 2. Worse 3. (Same) 4. (Not sure)
16. February is Black History Month. Who do you think is the most influential African American alive today?
17. It was recently disclosed that civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson fathered a child out of wedlock with a staff member from his Rainbow Coalition organization. Do you think Jackson should continue his public career or end his public career?
18. In 1973, a Supreme Court decision called Roe v. Wade made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Do you think the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade or let it stand? SCALE: 1. Overturn Roe v. Wade 2. Let it stand 3. (Not sure)
19. On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more pro-choice? SCALE: 1. Pro-choice 2. Pro-life 3. (Both, mix) 4. (Not sure)
20. For you personally, is the core issue of the abortion debate:
21. Which football team will you be cheering for during this Sunday's Super Bowl?
22. Which team do you think will actually win?