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Poll Track: Views on Policy and Politics Poll Track: Views on Policy and Politics

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Poll Track: Views on Policy and Politics

May 20, 2006

Prescription Drugs

President Bush hit the road to remind seniors of the May 15 deadline for enrollment in the new Medicare prescription drug plan, but many respondents to a new CBS News/New York Times survey still aren't ready to commit: 48 percent of the seniors surveyed said they didn't plan to join the program. Eighty-one percent said the enrollment deadline should be extended without penalty. Seventy percent said the program was difficult to understand, although 61 percent of those who enrolled said the process was easy. (5/9/06, 500 adults age 65 and over, margin of error +/-4%)

Iraq: Forward March

 

Is the United States making progress in Iraq? A slim majority of voters think not, according to a new Fox News Channel poll. Asked whether "real progress" has been made in Iraq in the past year, 52 percent said no; 43 percent said yes.

Respondents were also split on the future of Iraq: 49 percent said they were optimistic that the Iraqi people will someday create a stable government, but 46 percent said they were pessimistic. (5/9/06, 900 registered voters, +/-4%)

A Nuclear Iran

If there is any chance of Iran's getting nuclear weapons before President Bush leaves office, do you support his taking U.S. military action against Iran, or not?

Yes 48%

No 44%

Don't know 8%

(Fox News Channel)

Hung Up

Revelations about the National Security Agency's database of phone records have left the public uneasy -- and divided.

Some polls showed that Americans were disturbed by the revelation. A majority of respondents told a Newsweek survey they were uncomfortable with the program: 53 percent said it "goes too far in invading people's privacy," while 41 percent called it a "necessary tool to combat terrorism." In a Gallup poll for USA Today, respondents echoed those sentiments: 51 percent disapproved of the program, and 43 percent approved. A larger majority -- 57 percent -- said they felt their privacy would be violated if the NSA had their call logs, and nearly two-thirds said they'd favor congressional hearings to investigate the matter.

But the same polls also suggest that Americans are largely unfazed by the disclosure that their own call histories may have been monitored. According to the Gallup/USA Today poll, 64 percent of respondents said they wouldn't be concerned if they learned that the government had their phone records; 66 percent told ABC News/Washington Post pollsters earlier in the week that it wouldn't bother them if the NSA had a record of their calls. (Newsweek, 5/13/06, 1,007 adults, margin of error +/-3%; Gallup/USA Today, 5/15/06, 809 adults, +/-3%; ABC News/Washington Post, 5/12/06, 502 adults, +/-4.5%)

Civil Liberties

57%of Americans think the administration has "gone too far"

in expanding presidential power.

(Newsweek)

Same Old Same Old

President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to record lows. The 29-percent-positive rating Bush received in a recent Harris poll marked the first time his job approval has dropped below 30 percent in a national survey. Seventy-one percent of the Harris respondents had a negative opinion of Bush's job performance. Polls from CBS News/The New York Times, Gallup/USA Today, and Newsweek also showed the president's job-approval slipping into the low 30s. (Harris, 5/12/06, 1,003 adults, +/-3%; CBS/Times, 5/9/06, 1,241 adults, +/-3%; Gallup/USA Today, 5/8/06, 1,013 adults, +/-3%; Newsweek, 5/13/06, 1,007 adults, +/-3%)

His and Hers

The first lady's approval rating continues to eclipse her husband's. In a new CNN poll, more than six in 10 respondents said they approve of the way Laura Bush is handling her job, while only 34 percent approved of the president's job performance. (5/10/06, 1,021 adults, +/-3%)

The Decider, a Divider?

How would you rate the overall job George W. Bush is doing as president?

All

Positive: 29%

Negative: 71%

Republicans

Positive: 67%

Negative: 33%

Democrats

Positive: 10%

Negative: 90%

Independents

Positive: 19%

Negative: 81%

(Harris)

 

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