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Business Week/Harris Executive Poll: Campaign '96


News: Analysis & Commentary: ELECTION '96

BUSINESS WEEK/HARRIS EXECUTIVE POLL: CAMPAIGN '96

No surprise: Business still likes Bob, sort of. Even as President Clinton's lead over Dole in general public opinion polls remains at 20 points or more, executives favor the Republican senator by more than two-to-one for the Presidency. Yet their opinion of Clinton is rising impressively, especially on such issues as providing leadership and ensuring economic growth. Dole's mandate on the issues is hard-ly overwhelming, and his campaigning style is viewed as a liability. But most polling was done before Dole announced he will quit the Senate.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDSReturn to top

TABLE

Poll: A Half-Hearted Hooray For Bob Dole

TOP PRIORITY

What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to

address?

Federal deficit/budget 53% Education 8%

Economy 23% Foreign policy 5%

Taxes 20% Welfare 5%

Crime/violence 13% Other 43%

Health care (not including Medicare/Medicaid) 12%

BOB BY A LANDSLIDE

If the next Presidential election were held today and you had to choose between

Bill Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Bob Dole, the Republican candidate,

who would you vote for, or would you probably not vote?

Bill Clinton 25% Someone else 1%

Bob Dole 67% Not sure 5%

Would probably not vote 2%

WHY BILL IS AHEAD

President Clinton has a lead of 20 points or more over Senator Dole in most

current polls. Do you think that [the following] is a major reason, a minor

reason, or not a reason at all?

MAJOR MINOR NOT A NOT

REASON REASON REASON SURE

Clinton's campaigning style 62% 25% 12% 1%

Dole's campaigning style 59% 29% 9% 3%

The economy's strength 54% 33% 11% 2%

Clinton's advantage over Dole

with the women's vote 50% 33% 10% 7%

Congress's performance 36% 46% 16% 2%

The Republican agenda 33% 46% 18% 3%

Foreign policy issues 11% 53% 34% 2%

The Democratic agenda 9% 54% 34% 3%

THE GOP CONGRESS: GOOD BUT NOT GREAT

How you would rate the job Republicans have been doing as the majority party in

Congress the last two years--excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent 9% Poor 11%

Pretty good 45% Not sure 0%

Only fair 35%

THE FAT TIMES AIN'T OVER

How would you characterize your outlook for the U.S. economy in the next 12

months--would you say you are very optimistic, somewhat optimistic, somewhat

pessimistic, or very pessimistic?

MAY, 1996 SEPTEMBER, 1994

Very optimistic 13% 4%

Somewhat optimistic 73% 77%

Somewhat pessimistic 12% 19%

Very pessimistic 1% 0%

Not sure 1% 0%

CLINTON'S ECONOMIC RECORD

How do you rate President Clinton's handling of the economy --excellent, pretty

good, only fair, or poor?

MAY, 1996 SEPT., 1994 MAY, 1996 SEPT., 1994

Excellent 3% 1% Poor 12% 28%

Pretty good 34% 14% Not sure 1% 0%

Only fair 50% 57%

THE ADMINISTRATION: SCATTERED APPLAUSE

How would you rate the Clinton Administration on each of the

following--excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?

EXCELLENT PRETTY FAIR POOR NOT

GOOD SURE

Assuring fair trade (5/96) 5% 38% 39% 17% 1%

(9/94) 7% 47% 35% 10% 1%

Creating jobs (5/96) 3% 27% 49% 21% 0%

(9/94) 2% 20% 51% 25% 2%

Ensuring economic

growth (5/96) 1% 28% 48% 23% 0%

(9/94) 1% 16% 56% 26% 1%

Setting foreign

policy (5/96) 0% 22% 46% 32% 0%

(9/94) NA NA NA NA NA

Fighting crime (5/96) 1% 20% 48% 28% 3%

(9/94) 2% 24% 44% 30% 0%

Providing strong

leadership (5/96) 1% 17% 44% 37% 1%

(9/94) 0% 8% 32% 60% 0%

Cutting the defi-

cit and government (5/96) 1% 12% 29% 57% 1%

spending (9/94) 3% 10% 40% 46% 1%

HOW DOLE STACKS UP

How would you rate Senator Dole on each of the following--excellent, pretty

good, only fair, or poor?

EXCELLENT PRETTY FAIR POOR NOT

GOOD SURE

Cutting the deficit and

government spending 11% 46% 33% 8% 2%

Assuring fair trade 6% 48% 34% 5% 7%

Setting foreign policy 11% 39% 33% 9% 8%

Providing strong leadership 8% 41% 38% 12% 1%

Ensuring economic growth 5% 43% 45% 4% 3%

Fighting crime 5% 36% 39% 11% 9%

Creating jobs 3% 35% 48% 9% 5%

`CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY'? BULL

President Clinton is trying to publicize the need for greater "corporate

responsibility" to workers and communities. Do you think this is a worthwhile

idea that is worthy of serious discussion, or do you think this is just a

campaign gimmick?

Worthwhile idea 31%

Campaign gimmick 66%

Not sure 3%

Survey of 402 senior executives at corporations drawn from the BUSINESS WEEK

superscript1000. Interviews were conducted May 10-17, 1996 for BUSINESS WEEK by

Louis Harris & Associates Inc. Previous survey of 400 executives was conducted

Sept. 19-26, 1994.

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