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Whitewater Case Verdicts Have Little Effect On Voters

Sun., June 2, 1996

Fewer than a quarter of Americans believe the Whitewater matter is a serious issue for the country to resolve, while more than 60 percent see it as a case of partisan politics, according to a poll released Saturday.

The Newsweek poll among 761 adults, 622 of them registered voters, also found that the Whitewater verdicts had caused little significant change in President Clinton’s standing with voters, even though 58 percent of those polled said they think the Clinton administration knowingly covered up information about Whitewater that could be damaging to the president or Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If the elections were held today, Clinton would receive 49 percent of the votes, while Sen. Bob Dole, the presumptive Republican nominee, would get 32 percent, according to the survey. Ten percent would choose a third party candidate. That was a drop of three points each for Clinton and Dole and a gain of four points for a third party candidate from a week earlier.

Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they thought of the Whitewater affair as a case of partisan politics, while 23 percent considered it as a serious issue for the country to resolve, according to the survey. Those figures were essentially unchanged from March 1994.

The findings of the Newsweek poll mirror those of a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll released Thursday, two days after the Arkansas verdict.

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