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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

Medical Ethics

It's been more than a year since the end of the high-profile battle over the fate of Terri Schiavo. Although emotions are not running as high as they were when government intervened in her case, a new Gallup Poll shows that most Americans (69 percent) still believe that doctors should be allowed to end patients' lives "by some painless means" at the request of patients and their families. That number is down from 75 percent in Gallup's May 2005 survey.


About two in 10 of the poll's respondents said they had been in a situation where they had to make a decision about removing a family member from life support. (6/19/06, 1,002 adults, margin of error +/-3%; 5/17/05, 1,005 adults, +/-3%)

The Economy

Recession? There's no recession, according to most respondents to an American Research Group poll, but that doesn't mean it's all sunshine for the nation's economy. Half of the poll's respondents said the country is not in a recession, but a similar number (52 percent) predicted that the economy would be in worse shape a year from now than it is today. About a third said things would be the same; only 15 percent said the economy would be better. (6/22/06, 1,100 adults, +/-3%)


Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy?

Approve 34%

Disapprove 61%

Undecided 5%


(American Research Group)

Beating the Bushes

Is the Bush dynasty coming to an end? A CNN poll offers little in the way of good news for the next Bush candidate-in-waiting. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they wouldn't even consider a presidential vote for Republican Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida in 2008. It was the largest negative result of the poll -- higher than the negative responses to Republicans Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry, and, yes, ubercandidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. How about George P. Bush in 2016? (6/19/06, 1,001 adults, margin of error +/-3%)

United We Stand

At long last, something that the people of this polarized nation can agree on: We don't like Congress.

Democratic and Republican respondents alike told Zogby pollsters that they were dissatisfied with the job performance of their elected representatives, although Democrats held more-negative opinions. Fifty-six percent of Democratic respondents called congressional job performance fair; 33 percent deemed it poor. Among GOP respondents, 44 percent described it as fair and 21 percent as poor. Only one in 10 Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans thought members of Congress were doing an excellent or good job.

Zogby's generic ballot had the Democratic candidate ahead of the Republican by 9 percentage points, 38 percent to 29 percent. (6/22/06, 1,050 adults, +/-3%)

Hot Topic, or Hot Air?

Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, may have struck a chord with the youth of America: A new CBS News/MTV poll of 13-to-24-year-olds shows that three-quarters of them are at least somewhat concerned about the issue. Even more young Americans (81 percent) said we should already be taking steps to combat the problem. More than half (56 percent) think the planet is already heating up, and another 29 percent believe that global warming will happen in their lifetime.

Whose information is most reliable? Most young people put their trust in scientists. But despite respectable box office for Gore's documentary, politicians and celebrities (the question named Brad Pitt, Sting, and Cameron Diaz) had significantly lower global-warming cred. (6/20/06, 806 13-to-24-year-olds, +/-4%)

Percentage of young people who have "a lot" or "some" trust in global-warming information from:

Scientists 81%

Political leaders 40%

Celebrities 29%


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