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Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

February 19, 2000

SECTION: POLLING; Pg. 563; Vol. 32, No. 8

LENGTH: 723 words

HEADLINE: Poll Track

BYLINE: Deborah L. Acomb


The Hot Question
Health Care Qualms
As Congress takes up the patients' bill of rights, a Health
Benefits Coalition poll found that 51 percent of voters favor the
Senate version of the bill, which would guarantee HMO patients a
review within 10 days if they are denied medical care, while 39
percent prefer the House version, which would give patients the
right to sue their health plans if they believe they have not
received the necessary care. The poll, conducted by Public
Opinion Strategies, found that 80 percent believe it is likely
that employers will drop health coverage if they are vulnerable
to health-related lawsuits by their employees. (1/12/00; 800
registered voters; margin of error +-3.5%)

     Meanwhile, an American Association of Health Plans poll
found that 33 percent of employers say they will stop providing
health insurance for all or some of their employees if the House
version prevails. The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive,
surveyed 400 companies with 100 or more employees. (1/17/00; 400
human resources directors; +-5%)

     But health care apparently isn't the top priority to
voters who are choosing a candidate for President. In an ABC
News-Washington Post survey, education ties entitlements as the
most important issue, with 21 percent choosing each; health care
trails at 13 percent.
Education                    21%
Social Security, Medicare    21%
Economy                      19%
Health care                  13%
Taxes                         9%
International affairs         6%
Campaign finance reform       2%

As President, which candidate would do better on health care?
Thirty-six percent said it's Al Gore, while 32 percent chose
George W. Bush. (1/16/00; 1,007 adults; +-3%)

Education                   21%
Social Security, Medicare   21%
Economy                     19%
Health care                 13%
Taxes                        9%
International affairs        6%
Campaign finance reform      2%

Leading Question
The Right Stuff?

     Would Americans vote against John McCain because of his
volatile temper? Or against George W. Bush because he flubbed a
foreign affairs pop quiz? A survey by Opinion Dynamics Corp. for
Fox News Channel asked about candidates' characteristics and
found that: 60 percent of respondents believe Al Gore has the
integrity to serve as commander in chief; 55 percent say McCain
has the temperament to be effective in office; almost 70 percent
think Bush has the knowledge to serve; and fewer than half say
Bill Bradley has the experience to do the job. (2/10/00; 900
registered voters; margin of error +-3%).
Issue Spotlight
A Higher Power
A few months back, religion was a dominant theme on the
presidential campaign trail, but today the issue has faded. In a
survey for the women's Web site, however, 78 percent
of women responded that it is "very" or "somewhat" important that
a candidate believe in God. And 69 percent agree with George W.
Bush and Al Gore, both of whom support proposals that would give
religious groups federal funds to provide community social
services. The poll, conducted by InterSurvey, drew a nationally
representative sample of households that have access to the
Internet via WebTV. (1/26/00; 661 adult women; +-4%)
Primary Watch
Looking Ahead to March 7
New York (Democratic primary)
Gore       53%
Bradley    29
(New York Daily News-NY1 News (2/11/00; 1,408 registered voters;
New York (Republican primary)
Bush        46%
McCain       34
(New York Daily News-NY1 News; 2/11/00; 1,408 registered voters;
Ohio (Democratic primary)
Gore       68%
Bradley    24
(University of Cincinnati; 2/9/00; 390 likely Democratic primary
voters; +-5%)
Ohio (Republican primary)
Bush       59%
McCain     25
Keyes       5
(University of Cincinnati; 2/9/00; 345 likely GOP primary voters;
California (open primary)
Gore        26%
Bush        22
McCain      19
Bradley      9
(Fairbank, Maslin and Maullin; (2/9/00; 600 likely open-primary
voters; +-4%)

LOAD-DATE: February 22, 2000

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