NEW YORK – As we close in on President Bush’s first 100 days in office, majorities of Americans give him positive ratings on his overall job performance, his personal favorability, and on his handling of the recent conflict with China.
According to the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 63 percent approve of the job Bush is doing as president and 64 percent have a favorable opinion of him as a person. Both of these ratings are the highest he’s received since taking office in January. Most people (69 percent) say Bush is meeting the expectations they had for him as president while 21 percent say he’s doing better than expected and 7 percent say worse.
With respect to the detention of 24 U.S. Navy crewmembers after their surveillance plane collided with a Chinese plane, 67 percent think Bush’s actions were "just about right." Only 4 percent thought he was too tough on China and 20 percent said too soft.
However, a significant number of Americans do want to punish China still. Just over one-third would like to see retaliation either by opposing China’s membership in the World Trade Organization (36 percent) or its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2008 (39 percent).
Otherwise, Americans are feeling happy; fully 68 percent say they are either "very happy" or "happy" with their lives. Among groups, Republicans are the happiest with 82 percent compared to 54 percent of Democrats.
Folks may be happy in part because they see the current economic slowdown as temporary (74 percent), not a "long-lasting recession" (16 percent). More are feeling positive about the future of the economy this month than were earlier in the year. Just over half (52 percent) think the economy will be in better shape a year from now and only 27 percent think it will be worse. In January, 36 percent said better and 38 percent said worse.
Future of the Economy
It’s important to note that the Federal Reserve Board reducing long-term interest rates this week while polling was underway and the rally in the stock market may have influenced this optimism, so it could be short-lived.
A large majority of Americans opposes human cloning (90 percent), but 60 percent say they actually think it’s likely that a human has already been secretly cloned somewhere in the world. The percentage of the public that is opposed to human cloning remains unchanged since the question was first asked by FOX News in March 1997.
The most acceptable use for cloning is to reproduce endangered species (32 percent), followed by reproducing livestock (27 percent), and reintroducing extinct species (23 percent). Only 16 percent find it acceptable to use cloning to reproduce a family pet.
If cloned, less than 20 percent think they would enjoy spending time with their clone. Maybe thinking it would double their income, those making more than $100,000 are the most likely group (at 29 percent) to think they would enjoy hanging out with a copy of themselves.
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll Results
Polling was conducted by telephone April 18-19, 2001 in the evenings. The sample is 904 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. LV=likely voters
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?
I'm going to read the names of some political figures. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. If you've never heard of someone, please just say so.
SCALE: 1. Favorable 2. Unfavorable 3. (Can't say) 4. (Never heard of)
3. George Bush:
4. Dick Cheney:
5. Bill Clinton:
6. Hillary Clinton:
7. Laura Bush:
8. Al Gore:
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?
10. Next week President Bush will have been in office for 100 days. So far, would you say Bush is doing a better job than you expected him to do, a worse job than you expected, or is his job performance about what you expected it to be?
11. As you may know, Chinese officials detained 24 U.S. Navy crewmembers for 11 days after their surveillance plane collided with a Chinese plane. Do you think President Bush’s actions in this incident were:
12. Do you think the United States should demonstrate its unhappiness with China for its actions by opposing China’s membership in the World Trade Organization?
13. Do you think the United States should demonstrate its unhappiness with China for its actions by opposing China’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2008?
14. Taking all aspects of their lives into account, how happy do you think most Americans are today?
15. How about you personally, are you:
16. On a scale of excellent, good, only fair and poor, how would you rate economic conditions today?
SCALE: 1. Excellent 2. Good 3. Only Fair 4. Poor 5. (Not Sure)
17. A year from now, do you think the economy will be better or worse? Is that a lot (better/worse) or only a little (better/worse)?
SCALE: 1. A Lot Better 2. A Little Better 3. A Little Worse 4. A Lots Worse 5. (Not Sure) 6. (No change/The same)
18. Do you think the current economic problems will become a long-lasting recession, or do you think this will be a temporary economic slowdown?
19. How about your own personal financial situation. Are you frightened about your personal financial future or do you feel safe and secure?
20. As you may know both President Bush and the Democrats in Congress have proposed tax cuts. Whose tax cut proposal do you think would do more to stimulate the economy -- Bush's or the Democrats'?
21. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of premeditated murder?
22. Taking a specific case, Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of committing the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 people, is scheduled to be executed next month. Do you think the proper sentence for McVeigh is the death penalty or life in prison?
23. Timothy McVeigh has asked to have his execution televised. Do you think that the execution should be televised or not?
Compare to: What if it was televised on pay TV and the revenue went to a fund for the victims and their families, then do you think it should be televised or not? (23 Feb 01)
24. What about survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing and the families of those who were killed – should they be allowed to watch McVeigh’s execution on closed circuit television or not?
25. If McVeigh’s execution were shown on television, do you think most people you know would watch the execution, even if they wouldn’t admit it?
26. If you could choose the method of execution for McVeigh, what would you choose? (Rotate)
As you may know, scientists have made advances in cloning, where they can reproduce a whole animal from a single cell. Do you think it is acceptable to use cloning to:
SCALE: 1. Excellent 2. Good 3. Only Fair 4. Poor 5. (Not Sure)
27. Reintroduce extinct species?
28. Reproduce endangered species?
29. Reproduce livestock?
30. Reproduce a beloved pet such as a dog or cat?
31. Reproduce humans?
32. How likely do you think it is that somewhere in the world a human has already been secretly cloned?
33. If you were cloned, do you think you would enjoy spending time with that copy of yourself?
34. If you were cloned, would you think of yourself as the clone’s brother or sister, or as the clone’s parent?
35. Would you rather be given a million dollars today or the guarantee of a long and healthy life?