CBS News Poll Part 2

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LIKELIHOOD OF TERROR ATTACK IN U.S. IN NEXT FEW MONTHS
Very likely
Now
18%
7/2004
24%
8/2003
15%
5/2003
24%

Somewhat likely
Now
48%
7/2004
47%
8/2003
49%
5/2003
47%

Not very/Not at all likely
Now
31%
7/2004
27%
8/2003
33%
5/2003
27%

But there is no connection between belief in an imminent attack and vote choice. Voters who think another attack is very or somewhat likely are about evenly split between the candidates.

Neither Presidential candidate is talking much about Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Many Americans have given up hope that he will ever be captured -- and certainly not before the election. Less than one in ten thinks his capture will take place before November while 38 percent say the capture will never happen.

WHEN WILL THE U.S. CAPTURE OSAMA BIN LADEN?
Before the election
9%
After the election
39%
U.S. never will
38%

IRAQ AND THE CAMPAIGN
The Bush campaign's message -- that the war was the right thing to do, and that the U.S. must stay the course in Iraq -- appears to be gaining or holding ground with voters. But the President isn't seen as altogether forthright in his assessments of the situation there.

Today 54 percent say taking military action was the right thing to do, the highest number since March. Those who say the U.S. should have stayed out has dipped to 39 percent.

U.S. ACTION AGAINST IRAQ:
Right thing
Now
54%
Last week
52%
8/2004
49%
3/2004
58%

Should have stayed out
Now
39%
Last week
41%
8/2004
44%
3/2004
37%

Views on Iraq mirror vote choices: eight in ten of registered voters who think it was the right thing back Bush, three out of four who think the U.S. should have stayed out back Kerry.

But there has been no change since August in Americans' views of how the U.S. effort in Iraq is going: just over half -- 51 percent - say the effort to bring stability to Iraq is going badly. 46 percent say it is going well but almost no one -- just 4 percent -- describes it as going "very" well.

HOW ARE THINGS IN IRAQ GOING FOR U.S.?
Well
Now
46%
8/2004
46%
5/2004
37%
12/2003
47%

Badly
Now
51%
8/2004
51%
5/2004
60%
12/2003
51%

The U.S. recently marked a tragic milestone as the number of soldiers killed in Iraq reached 1,000. That's more than many expected: 45 percent of Americans say the number of casualties incurred in Iraq has been more than they had expected. Fewer than one in five thinks the number is lower than what they had expected, and 22 percent say the number is about as they had expected.

HAS THE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES IN IRAQ BEEN…
More than expected
45%
Fewer than expected
17%
As many as expected
22%
Not sure how many
13%

Americans are not sure that George W. Bush is giving them the full story about how things are going for the U.S. in Iraq. Half think that while the President is telling mostly the truth about how things are going, he is hiding some things from the public, too. 20 percent think he is telling the entire truth.

IN TALKING ABOUT THE IRAQ SITUATION TODAY, BUSH IS…
Telling the entire truth
20%
Telling mostly the truth but hiding something
51%
Mostly lying
24%

Still, most Americans remain undeterred in their belief that troops should stay in Iraq as long as it takes to make that country stable. 54 percent say so, the same number as said so in June.

U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ SHOULD…
Stay as long as it takes
Now
54%
6/2004
54%
5/2004
45%

Leave as soon as possible
Now
39%
6/2004
40%
5/2004
49%

For 39 percent of the public, there is a link between the events of 9/11 and Iraq; nearly four in ten Americans continue to believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. More than half thought so back in 2003 as the first phase of the Iraq war was underway.

WAS SADDAM INVOLVED IN 9-11?
Yes
Now
39%
6/2004
41%
4/2003
53%

No
Now
50%
6/2004
46%
4/2003
38%

This, too, cuts along the lines of vote choice: those voters who think Saddam was involved are for Bush, and most of those who say no are with Kerry.

DOMESTIC POLICIES AND THE CAMPAIGN
Fears of job loss persist, even while 54 percent of the public overall now thinks the economy is in good condition. 56 percent of Americans say they are concerned that someone in their household might be out of work in the next year. Three quarters of Democrats and six in ten Independents are concerned, but six in ten Republicans are not.

CONCERNED THAT SOMEONE IN HOUSEHOLD MIGHT LOSE JOB:
Very concerned
All
30%
Rep.
17%
Dem.
43%
Ind.
31%

Somewhat concerned
All
26%
Rep.
22%
Dem.
31%
Ind.
27%

Not concerned
All
44%
Rep.
61%
Dem.
26%
Ind.
42%

Many Americans have seen job loss in their community in the last four years. By 45 percent to 18 percent, Americans say the number of jobs in their community has decreased, not increased, in the past four years. Just under a third say the number of jobs in their community has not changed, views shared by Americans in all regions.

JOBS IN COMMUNITY IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS:
Increased
18%
Decreased
45%
About same
31%

For this, President Bush's economic policies may be getting most of the blame. By a more than two-to-one margin, voters say the economic policies of the Bush Administration have decreased, rather than increased, the number of jobs in the U.S. About three quarters of voters who say their community has lost jobs in the last four years say this.

BUSH'S ECONOMIC POLICIES:
(Registered Voters)

Increased jobs in U.S.
All
20%
Community added jobs
48%
Community lost jobs
6%

Decreased jobs in U.S.
All
46%
Community added jobs
15%
Community lost jobs
74%

No effect
All
26%
Community added jobs
27%
Community lost jobs
15%

Half of Americans now disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy. In a separate question, 56 percent of voters say they are uneasy about President Bush's approach to the economy.

By a margin of nearly four to one, voters of all ages say the policies of the Bush Administration have increased the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly. 27 percent think these policies have had no effect on the cost of prescription drugs.

BUSH'S RX POLICIES HAVE:
(Registered Voters)

Increased Rx cost
41%
Decreased Rx cost
11%
Had no effect
27%

Views on these "bread and butter" economic issues are related to vote choice. Voters who think the economy is bad, those who think Bush's policies have decreased the number of jobs in the U.S. or increased the cost of prescription drugs, and those who are very concerned that someone in their household might lose their job are voting for Kerry in this election.

Voters who say the economy is good, those who think Bush's policies have not had negative impact on the nation's job market or the cost of prescription drugs, and those who are not as concerned about possibly losing a job are voting for Bush.

PRESIDENTIAL CHOICE
(Registered Voters)

State of the economy:
Good
Kerry
17%
Bush
76%
Nader
2%

Bad
Kerry
72%
Bush
16%
Nader
5%

Concerned about losing job
Very concerned
Kerry
63%
Bush
25%
Nader
3%

Somewhat concerned
Kerry
43%
Bush
44%
Nader
5%

Not concerned
Kerry
25%
Bush
68%
Nader
3%

Bush's policies:
Increased jobs in U.S.
Kerry
2%
Bush
88%
Nader
4%

Decreased jobs in U.S.
Kerry
70%
Bush
21%
Nader
3%

No effect
Kerry
24%
Bush
66%
Nader
3%

Bush's policies:
Increased Rx cost
Kerry
68%
Bush
22%
Nader
4%

Decreased Rx cost
Kerry
24%
Bush
69%
Nader
3%

No effect
Kerry
22%
Bush
70%
Nader
2%

At his convention, Bush pledged to make the tax cuts passed during his first-term permanent. However, more than half of voters don't expect much change in the amount of taxes they pay if Bush is re-elected -- and 36 percent even say their taxes will go up. Just 5 percent say they will go down. 51 percent of voters expect their taxes to increase if Kerry is elected President, 38 percent think they will stay the same, and very few -- 6 percent -- say their taxes will decrease.

PERSONAL TAXES WILL:
(Registered voters)

If Bush is re-elected
Go up
Now
36%
8/2004
36%

Go down
Now
5%
8/2004
5%

Stay the same
Now
55%
8/2004
55%

If Kerry is elected
Go up
Now
51%
8/2004
45%

Go down
Now
6%
8/2004
6%

Stay the same
Now
38%
8/2004
42%

CAMPAIGNING ABOUT THE PAST
Kerry's military service in Vietnam and Bush's service in the National Guard, both more than 30 years ago, have become a major focus of this presidential campaign. But time spent talking about the past may have hurt the Kerry campaign more than the Bush campaign.

52 percent of voters say the Kerry campaign has been spending too much time talking about the past and not enough time talking about the future, while 39 percent say the balance has been right. For the Bush campaign, the numbers are flipped: 52 percent think the Bush campaign has struck the right balance between the past and the future; 41 percent say it has spent too much time talking about the past.

HAVE THE CANDIDATES BEEN SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT THE PAST?
(Registered Voters)

Yes
Kerry has
52%
Bush has
41%

No
Kerry has
39%
Bush has
52%

Majorities of Republicans and Democrats say their own candidate's campaign has struck the right balance between talking about the past and talking about the future. 53 percent of Independent voters think the Kerry campaign has focused too much on the past, but Independents divide when it comes to the Bush campaign: 44 percent say it has been spending too much time talking about the past; 47 percent say Bush campaign's balance is about right.

Voters are very aware of ads targeting John Kerry's war record of thirty years ago. Eight in ten voters have heard or read about the anti-Kerry "Swift Boat Veterans" ads. But they are more inclined to disbelieve them. Among voters who know about the ads, 47 percent think the charges against Kerry are mostly false, but a third think the charges are mostly true.

ARE CHARGES IN SWIFT BOAT ADS MOSTLY TRUE OR MOSTLY FALSE?
(Voters Who Know about the Ads)

Mostly true
33%
Mostly false
47%

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of voters who know about the "Swift Boat Veterans" ads think those veterans speak only for themselves, and that the ads do not represent the views of most Vietnam War veterans.

SWIFT BOAT VETERANS
(Voters Who Know about the Ads)

Speak for themselves
64%
Represent most Vietnam veterans
23%

Voters who have heard or read about the Swift Boat ads are split on whether there has been coordination between the Bush campaign and the people running these ads. 42 percent agree with the Kerry campaign's charges and say there has been coordination, but just as many, 41 percent, don't think so.

HAS THERE BEEN COORDINATION BETWEEN BUSH CAMPAIGN AND SWIFT BOAT ADS?
(Voters Who Know about the Ads)

Yes
42%
No
41%

Veterans are more likely to say there is no coordination.

Voters who know about Kerry's anti-Vietnam war testimony before Congress after returning from Vietnam see it as potentially having some effect on the kind of president Kerry would be, though they disagree on what sort of effect. 22 percent of voters who have heard or read about Kerry's testimony think it would make him a more effective president; 33 percent think it would make him a less effective president. 39 percent don't think it would have any impact. Overall, seven in ten voters have heard or read something about Kerry's testimony before Congress.

Right now, both Kerry and Bush are viewed by about half of voters as hiding something from their past. Among the rest, more think Kerry is telling the entire truth about his service in Vietnam than think this about Bush's National Guard service.

TELLING TRUTH ABOUT THEIR MILITARY SERVICE?
(Registered Voters)

Telling the entire truth
Kerry
29%
Bush
20%

Hiding something
Kerry
49%
Bush
51%

Lying
Kerry
13%
Bush
20%


Click here for Part 3 of the poll.


  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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