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Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

May 13, 2000

SECTION: POLLING; Pg. 1552; Vol. 32, No. 20

LENGTH: 924 words

HEADLINE: Poll Track For May 13, 2000

BYLINE: Deborah Acomb


Issue Spotlight
A Prohibitive Price Tag?

     By a narrow 53 percent to 44 percent majority, Americans
say that a proposed land- and space-based limited missile defense
system is too expensive, and fear that it could trigger a new
arms race, says an poll. The system, which the
Congressional Budget Office estimated last month would cost $ 60
billion, is designed to protect the United States from a limited
nuclear attack. Along party lines, 60 percent of Republicans
support the program, but only 41 percent of Democrats favor it.
Women oppose the program, 58 percent to 38 percent, but men are
fairly evenly divided, with 52 percent in favor and 47 percent
opposed. President Clinton will decide later this summer whether
to pursue the plan. (4/30/00; 1,004 adults; margin of error plus
or minus 3%)
China Trade
The House is set to vote later this month on whether to grant
permanent normal trade relations status to China. Although
opposition to China's entry into the World Trade Organization has
hovered around 37 percent since December, support for the trade
pact has declined slightly during the same period, from 50
percent to 44 percent, according to the Hart-Teeter poll for NBC
News and The Wall Street Journal. (5/1/00; 1,003 voters; plus or
minus 3.2%)

Congress                  Congress
Should Approve          Should Not Approve
12/99         50%                        38%
1/00          51                         35
3/00          48                         36
4/00          44                         37

Satisfied Customers
High Grades for High Tech
Even though the antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp. has
dominated the news for months, consumers still gave computer
software manufacturers the highest rating for customer service,
according to a new Harris Poll. Seventy-eight percent of this
year's respondents to the annual survey said software companies
are doing a good job of serving their customers; second place
went to the computer hardware industry, rated "good" by 76
percent. Banks, at 73 percent, rounded out the top three. Tobacco
companies (28 percent), managed care companies, (29 percent), and
health insurance and oil companies (both 39 percent) were the
worst in customer service, according to the poll. Since the
survey was first conducted in 1997, the oil, pharmaceutical, and
managed care industries have taken the biggest hits: The
percentage of consumers who believe those industries are serving
their customers well has dropped by 20 percent or more. (4/10/00;
1,024 adults; margin of error plus or minus 3%)
Legislative Priorities
Get Cracking on Medicare!
What do Americans want Congress to do this year? Add prescription
drug benefits to Medicare coverage, according to a survey by
Hart-Teeter for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal; 26 percent
of registered voters identified Medicare drug coverage as their
top priority.

Legislative Priorities for Congress
Adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare   26%
Cutting taxes                                   19
Tougher gun restrictions                        16
Protecting the privacy of
consumers' financial and medical records        14
Passing a patients' bill of rights               7
Increasing the minimum wage                      6
All, none, not sure                             12

The patients' bill of rights was low on voters' legislative
agendas, but in a separate question on health care reform, 26
percent said that the first priority of any health reform should
be preventing HMOs and insurance companies from limiting medical
treatment because of its cost. Twenty-one percent said
controlling the cost of health insurance should be the leading
priority, and 16 percent identified the lack of Medicare drug
benefits as a prime area for reform. (5/1/00; 1,003 voters, plus
or minus 3.2%)
White House 2000
Choose Your Candidate
Which presidential candidate do you support at this time, or
haven't you picked a candidate yet?

Don't currently
George W. Bush     Al Gore   support a candidate
4/22/00              23%          17%            57%
3/19/00              21           16             50
3/12/00              21           19             49
3/5/00               17           14             55
2/27/00              15           15             59
2/20/00              12           12             61
2/13/00              11            9             68
2/9/00               13           12             63
2/6/00               17           15             54
1/30/00              15           10             66
1/23/00              15            8             66
1/16/00              14            4             70
1/2/00               13            6             73
11/14/99             16            6             64
10/12/99             14           10             62
(Shorenstein Center Poll for the Vanishing Voter Project;
4/30/00; 1,000 adults; plus or minus 3%)

LOAD-DATE: May 15, 2000

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