bullet Only 12% of men and 9% of women support boneheaded "liberal" programs like affirmative action for women.
bullet Only 15% of men and 11% of women support affirmative action by race.
bullet John Lott PROVES that rampant government spending is the direct result of the 19th Amendment.

 

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr001101.asp

 

 

POLL RELEASES
November 1, 2000

Issue Referendum Reveals Mix of Liberal and Conservative Views in America Today
Public favors both liberal and conservative propositions

by Wendy W. Simmons and Frank Newport 

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- There are a great number of issues that arise in the normal discourse of American political life, and that number expands in a hotly contested election year such as this one. Many issues are complex and involved, but it is sometimes useful to distill them into simple for/against choices as if they were on the ballot on Election Day.

In a poll conducted this past weekend, October 25-28, Gallup asked Americans if they would vote for or against a variety of twenty different proposals. Many of the issues tested in this referendum format were the same as those asked in a similar referendum four years ago, while others were distilled from the topics and issues in the news of this campaign year. The twenty propositions, of course, include only a sampling of potential proposals which could be put before Congress, but they serve as a representative list of the types of concerns with which elected representatives, candidates for office and average Americans often find themselves grappling.

The results of this referendum process show once again the difficulty of attempting to assign broad labels to the American population. The people have decidedly mixed views overall, and the results show that over two-thirds of the American people say they would vote "for" both a number of what could be considered traditionally conservative issues, as well as what could also be considered liberal propositions.

For example, super-majorities of Americans favor mandatory testing of public school teachers and students, raising the minimum wage, stiffer penalties for hate crimes, across-the-board tax cuts, keeping abortion legal, licensing new handguns, prayer in the public schools and privatizing part of Social Security. A majority of Americans also favor a ban on "partial birth" abortions and support reducing the size of government. The public is divided on several other questions, ranging from an assault weapons ban to oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Traditionally Liberal Issues
Large majorities of the public support proposals with a traditionally liberal bent:
bullet Eighty-six percent of Americans support raising the minimum age by one dollar per hour. Although this idea is widely supported by almost everyone, women are more likely to be in favor of a minimum wage hike than are men -- 76% of men would vote "for," compared to 87% of women.
bullet Mandatory licensing and registration of new handgun purchases receives majority support from the public, as 72% of Americans say they would vote for such a proposal.
bullet More than two-thirds of the public (67%) say that, if they had the opportunity, they would not vote to overturn the Supreme Court decision on abortion (Roe vs. Wade).
bullet Eighty-three percent of Americans say they would support a law that gave harsher penalties to perpetrators of hate crimes. Women are more united on this issue than are men -- 88% of women favor such legislation, compared with 78% of men.

 

Americans Also Support Issues Associated With a Conservative Perspective
Sixty-nine percent of Americans say they would vote for a constitutional amendment to allow prayer in public schools. Women are more likely than men to support such a measure -- 74% of women favor prayer in public schools, compared to 64% of men.
bullet Sixty-three percent of Americans favor a ban on partial birth abortion. This is not a particularly partisan issue -- 67% of Republicans support the idea, compared to 59% of Democrats.
bullet A majority of Americans are opposed to a proposal creating legal civil unions between homosexual couples -- 54% say that they would vote against such a law, while 42% say they would vote for this proposal. This controversial issue is highly partisan. Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to support the civil unions proposal (54% vs. 25%).
bullet A large majority of Americans is against allowing states to have racial and gender preferences in hiring and school admissions -- 85% did not favor the racial preferences proposal and 86% did not favor the gender preferences proposal.
bullet Most Americans (78%) would vote for an across-the-board tax cut.
bullet A smaller but still significant majority would vote to reduce the size and budget of all government agencies (62%). Support for both of these ideas, however, varies according to party identification. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans favor broad tax cuts, compared with 69% of Democrats. Seventy-two percent of Republicans support a reduction in the size of government agencies, compared to 54% of Democrats.

 

Public Divided on Oil Exploration and Immigration
Three of the proposals on Gallup’s issue referendum received mixed support from the public.
bullet Forty-four percent of Americans say they are in favor of exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil, while 50% are opposed. This issue of Alaskan oil drilling reveals substantial gender and partisan gap. Fifty-two percent of men say they would vote for this proposal, compared with just 37% of women. Less than a third of Democrats (30%) say they are in favor of explorations, compared with 63% of Republicans. Those who have been following the news about this issue closely are more likely to support the idea than those who have not (51% vs. 36%) -- mostly because Republicans are more likely to be following the issue than are Democrats.
bullet Curtailing the level of legal immigration in this country is also met with mixed support. Forty-three percent of Americans say they would stop most legal immigration, while 51% say they would not vote for such a proposal.

Three Education Propositions Receive Majority Support
Seventy-five percent of Americans say they would support a law mandating national standardized tests in public schools every year. Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to support this proposal.
bullet Almost all Americans -- 95% -- favor a law that would require new public school teachers to pass competency tests.
bullet Fifty-six percent of Americans support the idea of giving parents government funded school vouchers to pay for tuition at private schools.

 

The tables that follow indicate support for these issues by gender and party identification:

The Gender Gap: support for the twenty issues among men and women

Men-

Men

Women

Women

"for"

"for"

"for"

Issue

%

%

%

Re-establishing relations with Cuba

67

46

21

Oil exploration in Alaska

52

37

15

Reducing government agencies

64

60

4

Racial preferences

15

11

4

Privatizing Social Security

68

65

3

Targeted tax cuts

54

51

3

Gender preferences

12

9

3

Mandatory teacher testing

95

95

0

Public school testing

75

75

0

School vouchers

56

56

0

Overturning Roe vs Wade

30

30

0

Across-the-board tax cuts

77

78

-1

Assault weapons ban

58

60

-2

Stopping legal immigration

42

45

-3

Banning "partial birth" abortion

61

65

-4

Legalization of civil unions

39

45

-6

Hate crime legislation

78

88

-10

Prayer in public schools

64

74

-10

Raising minimum wage

76

87

-11

Licensing of new handguns

71

83

-12

 

The Party Gap: support for the twenty issues among Republicans, Democrats and Independents

Rep-

Rep

Dem

Dem

ind.

"for"

"for"

"for"

"for"

Issue

%

%

%

%

Privatizing Social Security

85

51

34

70

Oil exploration in Alaska

63

30

33

41

Overturning Roe vs Wade

45

20

25

28

School vouchers

68

46

22

57

Across-the-board tax cuts

89

69

20

80

Reducing government agencies

72

54

18

63

Prayer in public schools

76

66

10

64

Banning "partial birth" abortion

67

59

8

67

Public school testing

79

72

7

76

Mandatory teacher testing

94

95

-1

96

Stopping legal immigration

41

45

-4

42

Gender preferences

6

15

-9

7

Re-establishing relations with Cuba

50

61

-11

54

Assault weapons ban

51

64

-13

60

Racial preferences

6

19

-13

11

Hate crime legislation

75

90

-15

79

Licensing of new handguns

68

83

-15

78

Raising minimum wage

71

90

-19

82

Targeted tax cuts

37

65

-28

46

Legalization of civil unions

25

54

-29

46

 

Survey Methods

The results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, 18 years and older, conducted October 25-28, 2000. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.