As if things weren't contentious enough this election year, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has resurfaced. The amendment managed to get through the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. But it's unlikely to pass in the full Senate -- an outcome that might be just fine with the public. A new Gallup Poll shows ambivalence: Fifty percent favored the amendment, and 47 percent opposed it.
That's a narrower margin than in previous surveys.
A year ago, CNN/Gallup/USA Today polls showed that Americans favored an amendment banning same-sex marriage by 9 percentage points; in March 2005, they favored it by 20 points. (Gallup, 5/22/06, 1,002 adults, margin of error +/-3%; CNN/Gallup/USA Today, 5/17/05, 1,006 adults, +/-3%; CNN/Gallup/USA Today, 4/1/05, 909 adults, +/-4%)
House, Sweet House
Congress's approval rating has long been languishing well below 50 percent; the most recent Gallup Poll put it at 26 percent, certainly nothing to brag about. But respondents to a recent CNN poll think the House of Representatives is doing a little better than the Senate. Thirty-four percent said they approved of the job the House was doing. The Senate's job-approval rating was 25 percent -- nearly 10 points lower. Fifty-seven percent said they disapproved of the Senate's performance; 46 percent disapproved of the House's performance.
(5/19/06, 1,022 adults, +/-3%)
The first televised briefing from newly minted White House press secretary Tony Snow came just one day before Harris released a poll measuring public reaction to the recent staff shuffles at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Nearly three-quarters of Harris's respondents said the White House staffing changes are "mostly cosmetic" and do not reflect real change in the Bush administration. Along party lines, 50 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents, and 86 percent of Democrats agreed that the new staffers won't change things in the White House. (5/17/06, 1,003 adults, margin of error +/-3%)
An overnight poll conducted after President Bush's May 15 immigration speech suggests that some of his remarks resonated with the public. Eight in 10 of the 461 prescreened adults who watched the prime-time address had a positive reaction, according to a CNN poll. Sixty-seven percent said they had a "generally positive" view of the immigration policies Bush set forth, and 27 percent said they had a "generally negative" view.
Certain proposals got a better reception: About three-quarters said they favored Bush's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to earn their citizenship, and about seven in 10 said they supported Bush's proposal to allow foreign citizens to work temporarily in the United States. (5/15/06, 461 adults who watched the speech, +/-5%)
In a Fox poll of registered voters conducted several days after the president's speech, 52 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay an extra $100 a year in taxes if the money were used specifically for border security. (5/18/06, 900 registered voters, +/-3%)
The White House
70% of Americans say staffing changes at the White House
were made to "boost job approval." (Harris)
Before the Storms
Fifty-two percent of Americans say they are confident that
the federal government can handle damage from this year's
hurricanes. (CNN, 5/7/06, 1,021 adults, +/-3%)
Those Were the Days?
With gasoline prices running more than $3 a gallon, who among us remembers that blue dress -- or parsing the precise meaning of the word "is"? While it's true that Bill Clinton didn't always enjoy stellar approval ratings during his presidency, a recent CNN survey shows him matching up favorably with the current occupant of the Oval Office. Tested on six job-handling measures -- including foreign affairs, taxes, and national security -- Clinton topped Bush on every one.
Respondents also said that Clinton was "more honest and trustworthy" than Bush, 46 percent to 41 percent. (5/12/06, 1,021 adults, +/-3%)
Who do you think did more to divide the country -- current
President Bush, or former President Clinton?
No opinion 14%