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Public Wants Change In Campaign Finance But Who Will Lead? Few Think Clinton, Congress Have Will

Tue., April 8, 1997

Most Americans feel the campaign financing system needs fundamental modification or a complete overhaul, but few believe Congress or the president really plan to change it, the latest New York Times-CBS News poll says.

Close to nine people in 10 surveyed said they felt a need for fundamental changes or a complete makeover in campaign fund raising. However, only three in 10 believe the president is truly committed to such change, as he has said he is.

They doubt Congress even more, with only 23 percent of poll respondents professing to believe that Congress, which is preparing to hold hearings on the matter, truly wants to change the laws.

Meanwhile, poll respondents gave President Clinton a 56 percent job approval rating, only 7 points below his personal high measured by CBS News right after January’s inauguration. Respondents pointed to the president’s handling of the economy as the reason for their strong support.

Vice President Al Gore, meanwhile, saw his approval rating shrink to 25 percent, a drop of almost 24 points in the last three months. Gore has come under fire for soliciting donations in telephone calls from the White House.

The poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,347 randomly selected adults nationwide between April 2 and 5. It has a sampling error of plus or minus four points.

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