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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Poll: Most Americans still confident in Clinton as president

Only a third of public favors impeachment

By Keating Holland/CNN

WASHINGTON (Sept. 12) -- Only a quarter of all Americans say it was necessary for Independent Counsel Ken Starr's report to describe President Bill Clinton's sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky in such specific detail, a new CNN/Gallup poll reveals.

Although the Starr report has made most Americans feel less favorable toward Clinton, the poll suggests only a third say that Friday's revelations have made them lose confidence in his ability to serve as president.

As a result, only 37 percent think Clinton is unfit to be president, and his approval rating is still about 60 percent.

Only a third say Clinton should be impeached and removed from office, although a majority of those questioned call on Congress to censure the president.

Clinton may not be out of the woods, though, since only 39 percent of the country had heard any details of the Starr report by Friday night. As those details become more widespread over the weekend, there is some chance Clinton's standing with the public could suffer some damage.

The poll results are based on interviews with 631 adult Americans conducted September 11, after the Starr report was released to the public. There is a sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is 
handling his job as president?                      

Now  		62%                    
Sept. 10     	60                     
Sept. 1      	62                     

Based on what you know at this point, do you think that 
Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and  
removed from office?

                Yes       No

Now             32%       63%
Sept. 10        31        63
August 21-23    29        67


Do you think Bill Clinton should or should not resign 
now and turn the presidency over to Al Gore? 

                Yes       No

Now             34%       62%
Sept. 10        35        61


Regardless of whether or not you think Clinton should be 
impeached, do you think Congress should or should not vote 
to censure Clinton -- that is, pass a formal resolution 
expressing disapproval of his actions?

                 Yes      No       

Now              58%      36%
Sept. 10         58       36


Clinton Should...

                Yes     No

Be censured     58%     36%
Resign          34      62
Be impeached    32      63


Overall, would you say Bill Clinton is fit or unfit to be 
president of the United States?

Fit       59%
Unfit     37


Have you yourself read or heard any of the specific details 
of the Starr report that was publicly released (Friday) afternoon?

Yes       39%
No        61


Just your impression -- do you think the Starr report is a 
fair and accurate account of Clinton's actions, or  do you 
think it is an unfair and distorted account of Clinton's actions?

            Now    Sept. 10         
Fair        41%      47%
Unfair      37       33


In an effort to establish whether Clinton lied under oath 
about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, do you think 
it is necessary or not necessary for the Starr report to 
describe their sexual encounters in specific detail?
Necessary          26%              
Not necessary      72               

Which of the following statements comes closest to your 
view of Bill Clinton as a result of the Starr report:
(A) You feel less favorably toward Clinton and have lost 
confidence in his ability to serve as president; (B) You 
feel less favorably toward Clinton but have not lost 
confidence in his ability to serve as president; 
(C) You do not feel less favorably and have not lost 
confidence in his ability to serve as president.

Less favorably, lost confidence      	34%
Less favorably, not lost confidence  	32
Not less favorably, not lost confidence 30     

Investigating the President


Saturday September 12, 1998

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