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Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

September 23, 2000

SECTION: POLITICS; Vol. 32, No. 39

LENGTH: 574 words

HEADLINE: Poll Track: Views on policy and politics

BYLINE: Deborah L. Acomb


Congress Watch Fighting for Control
Americans are closely divided over which party should control
Congress, a Peter Hart (D)/Bob Teeter (R) poll for NBC and The
Wall Street Journal finds, with 43 percent favoring Republican
control and 42 percent favoring Democratic control. Fifty-eight
percent described the Republican Congress's effect on the country
as "very" or "somewhat" positive, while 31 percent responded with
"somewhat" or "very" negative. When the question was last asked,
in September 1996, 49 percent of respondents held the positive
opinion, 44 percent the negative.      Looking at the issues, respondents favored a Democratic
majority in Congress when it comes to dealing with prescription
drugs (52 percent to 27 percent), strengthening Social Security
and Medicare (49 percent to 34 percent), improving the quality of
education (42 percent to 36 percent), and passing a patients'
bill of rights
(54 percent to 27 percent). A Democratic-
controlled Congress was favored to provide a middle-class tax cut
(44 percent to 41 percent), while a Republican one was favored to
handle the budget surplus (42 percent to 41 percent), but neither
advantage was outside the poll's margin of error. (9/10/00; 2,017
adults; plus or minus 2.2%)

     What is your preference for the outcome of this
November's congressional elections--a Congress controlled by
Republicans, or a Congress controlled by Democrats?

Republican     43%
Democrat       42
Not Sure       15

Issue Spotlight
Media-ting Kids and Violence
In the wake of a Federal Trade Commission report charging that
Hollywood is targeting violent entertainment to youth, a Newsweek
survey finds that more than nine in 10 parents of children ages
5-17 say limiting the violence that children are exposed to is an
important factor in reducing crime. And while both George W. Bush
and Al Gore have been critical of Hollywood, just 5 percent of
all respondents say the government should be "responsible for
limiting the amount of violence that children are exposed to in
entertainment media." The onus, say 70 percent, should fall on
parents, while 11 percent call on media distributors such as TV
networks and movie theaters to take responsibility. When it comes
to advertising for R-rated movies and media with violent content,
a plurality of parents-59 percent-say they have a "big problem"
with the "violent content in the ads themselves" and "the
pressure the ads might put on kids to buy or see violent
entertainment." (9/16/00; 853 registered voters, 272- parent
subsample; margin of error plus or minus 4% overall, plus or
minus 6% among subsample)
Which ONE of the following do you think should be MAINLY
responsible for limiting the amount of violence that children are
exposed to in entertainment media?

Parents                                        70%
Sellers and distributors of the material
(movie theaters and tv networks)              11
Artists and studios that create the material    7
The government                                  5
Other/None of these                             2
Don't know                                      5

(Princeton Survey Research Associates for Newsweek; 9/16/00; 853
registered voters; plus or minus 4%)

LOAD-DATE: September 26, 2000

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