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Poll: Public Doesn't Want Administration Taking Sides In Mideast Talks

Clinton's approval rating remains high

By Keating Holland/CNN

WASHINGTON (May 11) -- Most Americans believe the United States has not put too much pressure on Israel to make compromises with the Palestinians, but the public does not want to see the Clinton Administration take sides with either party in the Middle Eastern negotiations, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll.

Only 24 percent say the U.S. has put too much pressure on Israel, and 49 percent say the U.S. has not put enough pressure on that country. But 54 percent say the U.S. has not put enough pressure on the Palestinians either.

Nonetheless, three-quarters say the U.S. should refrain from taking sides with either the Israelis or the Palestinians. And only 2 percent say the U.S. should side with the Palestinians, as critics charge the Clinton Administration has done in its recent decisions.

Also in this poll:

The survey of 1,005 adult Americans, including 867 registered voters, was conducted May 8-10, and most questions have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Here are the numbers:

U.S. Pressure on Israel To Settle Mideast Conflict
Too much24%
Not enough49%
U.S. Pressure on Palestinians To Settle Mideast Conflict
Too much21%
Not enough54%
Whose Side Should U.S. Take in Mideast Conflict?
Too much21%
Not enough54%
Whose Side Should U.S. Take in Mideast Conflict?

Americans don't want to see tobacco industry let off the hook

Some provisions in the tobacco bill currently pending in Congress are popular with the general public, but Americans don't want to see the tobacco companies let off the hook in court, and they are split on how to regulate tobacco and how best to reduce teen smoking.

Eighty-seven percent favor severe restrictions on the advertising and sale of tobacco to minors, but are evenly divided over making tobacco companies pay penalties if teen smoking is not reduced by a certain date.

Americans are also split over whether to classify nicotine as a drug so the federal government can regulate it in the same way it does prescription drugs. They do favor increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.10 over five years. But they do not support limits to the amount of money tobacco companies have to pay each year as a result of lawsuits.

Restrictions On Sale Of Tobacco To Minors
Increasing Price Of Pack of Cigarettes
Regulating Tobacco Like A Prescription Drug
Limiting Money Tobacco Companies Must Pay Due To Lawsuits

Clinton approval remains high

President Bill Clinton's approval rating remains high, although the number of Americans who approve of how Congress is handling its job has slipped in the past three weeks.

The number of registered voters who plan to vote for a Republican in the congressional elections this fall has also dropped very slightly during that time, although it is important to note that the GOP continues to maintain a lead among those who have voted in previous off-year elections. If turnout is low in November, as usually happens in off-year elections, that will benefit the Republicans.

Clinton Approval Rating
Congress Approval Rating
Registered Voters' Choice for Congress
Registered Voters Only Sampling error: +/-3.5% pts

In Other News

Monday, May 11, 1998

Independent Counsel To Target Herman
Gingrich, Gephardt To Visit Israel
Democrats Will Support Immunity If Burton Goes
Top Justice Aide To Make Final Report On DNC Fund-Raising Abuses
Lewinsky Family Hires Media Rep

The "Inside Politics" Interview: Randy Tate, Gary Bauer

Bush Leads GOP Field For 2000
Public Doesn't Want Administration Taking Sides In Mideast Talks

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