Voters leaving the polls today expressed the following attitudes:
ABOUT THE ECONOMY
Overall, voters express optimism about the national economy and about their own personal financial situations.
- Overall, 61% believe things in the country are generally going in the right direction, while 36% say things have gone seriously off track. Republicans are among those most apt to say the country in on the wrong track, with 52% of them expressing this opinion.
- 41% report that their own personal financial situations are better today than they were two years ago and 45% say their financial situations have remained the same. Only 13% report that their personal financial situations have become worse during the past two years.
- Fully 83% rate the economy as being in positive shape with 15% rating it as "excellent" and 68% rating it as "good." Only 16% give negative ratings to the national economy.
- And while only 17% of voters nationwide expect the national economy to improve during the next year, the majority, 59%, expect the economy to remain the same as now. Over a fifth of voters, 23%, do expect the national economy to get worse during the coming year.
- Underlying these attitudes, however, is a growing uneasiness about the national economy. The majority of those surveyed today, 60%, believe an economic recession is likely during the next two years, although only 15% say it's "very likely."
ISSUES THAT MATTERED MOST TODAY
When asked what issue matter most in deciding how they voted for U.S. House races today, the survey reveals:
- Education and moral /ethical ranked on top, with 19% each, while the Clinton/Lewinsky matter came in last with 5%.
- The economy and jobs are the most important issues for 14% of voters today, while social security mattered most to 12% and taxes to 11%.
ABOUT CONGRESS AND GINGRICH:
Overall, party loyalty is a strong factor influencing American voters approval ratings of Congress.
- Overall, 56% of voters today say they disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, but among Republicans 40% disapprove compared to 71% of Democrats.
- Opinions are also sharply divided for approval ratings of Newt Gingrich: Overall, 57% disapprove of Gingrich, but only 32% of Republicans express this opinion compared to 82% of Democrats.
When asked whether Republican control was a factor in their votes for Congress today, 30% of voters say their votes were to express support for Republican control, 30% say their votes were to express opposition to Republican contol and 33% say Republican control was not a factor in their votes.
ABOUT PRESIDENT CLINTON:
- 55% expressed approval of the way Clinton is handling his job as President; 42% expressed disapproval of the way Clinton is doing his job. Not surprisingly, approval ratings are strongly split between Democrats and Republicans: 86% of Democrats approve of the way the President is doing his job while 73% of Republicans disapprove of the way Clinton is doing is job.
- 59% of voters say Clinton was not a factor in their votes for Congress today, while 19% say their votes were in support of Clinton and 20% say their votes were in opposition to Clinton.
- Even the majority of Republicans , 55%, say Clinton was not a factor in the way they voted today, although 38% say they did cast votes to express their opposition to the President
- Overall, 60% say they hold an unfavorable opinion of Bill Clinton as a person, yet strong divisions between Democrats and Republicans define this attitude. Among Republicans, 85% say they hold an unfavorable opinion of Clinton as a person. In strong contrast, only 35% of Democrats share this viewpoint, while 62% of Democrats say they hold a favorable opinion of the Clinton as a person.
ABOUT THE CLINTON/LEWINSKY MATTER:
- 57% do not believe today's Congressional election results are a referendum on whether Clinton should remain in office, and Republicans (57%) and Democrats (57%) are in total agreement with this sentiment.
- 56% do not believe Clinton should resign. And even more, 64% overall, do not believe Congress should impeach the President, although party loyalty is driving this attitude.
- Among Republicans, 58% say Congress should impeach Bill Clinton and remove him from office, and even more Republicans, 67%, believe Clinton should resign. Only 13% of Republicans believe no action should be taken against the President, while 51% believe Congress should censure Clinton.
- Among Democrats, only 12% believe Congress should proceed with impeachment hearings, and only 8% believe the President should be impeached. In addition, only 15% of Democrats favor the President resigning from office. However, Democrats are far more amenable to censure. Although 49% do not believe the Congress should censure the President, 43% do favor this action.
Again Democrats and Republicans strongly split on how the Republicans in Congress have handled the Clinton/Lewinsky matter: 87% of Democrats disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress have addressed this matter. In contrast, 62% of Republicans approve of the way Republicans in Congress have handled the Clinton/Lewinsky matter, while 35% of Republicans disapprove.
--CBS New Media