February 4, 2003 - It's Still The Economy, Stupid! U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; Get More Evidence, More Support For War, Voters Say
By a 58 - 36 percent margin, American voters say fixing the economy is a higher priority than war with Iraq, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

American voters favor 59 - 34 percent military action to oust Hussein, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. But voters say:
  • 59 - 39 percent that the U.S. should take more time and gather more evidence to back its case;
  • 59 - 37 percent that the U.S. should give UN weapons inspectors "a few more months to search for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons;"
  • 71 - 24 percent that it's more important to take time to gain international support for action against Iraq than to act quickly without support.
"American voters have put the White House on notice: When the question is guns or butter, butter is better. Secretary of State Colin Powell better make a good case at the United Nations tomorrow," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Yes, we want to get rid of Saddam. But no, we're not in any hurry and we want international support before we act.

"And we still think the economy is a higher priority than Iraq. Just like his father after Gulf War I, President George W. Bush gets high marks as a wartime leader, but he doesn't make the grade for his handling of the economy."

President Bush's approval rating is 54 - 39 percent, down from 62 - 30 percent in a November 13, 2002, Quinnipiac University national poll. Bush's approval ratings for handling key issues are:
  • Negative 43 - 52 percent for his handling of the economy;
  • 51 - 44 percent for his handling of foreign policy;
  • 60 - 35 percent for his handling of the war against terrorism overseas;
  • 69 - 26 percent for his handling of policies to prevent terrorism at home;
  • 50 - 45 percent for his handling of Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
A total of 47 percent of American voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in the nation today," while 52 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

This negative satisfaction rating reflects the 75 percent of voters who say the U.S. economy is "not so good" or "poor," compared to 24 percent who say it is "excellent" or "good." Only 30 percent expect the economy to get better in the next year, while 26 percent expect it to get worse and 39 percent expect it to stay the same.

Americans say 48 - 42 percent that "the President's proposed tax cuts are unfair to people like you."

President Bush's proposed tax cuts favor the rich, 59 percent of voters say, while 6 percent say they benefit the middle class and 26 percent say they treat all people equally.

But 46 percent of voters favor eliminating federal income taxes on stock dividends, with 36 percent opposed and 18 percent undecided.

"It's a mixed bag when people talk about the President's economic plan. They think it favors the rich and it's unfair to them, but a plurality backs the elimination of income taxes on stock dividends," Carroll said.

From January 29 - February 3, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,307 American voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 54% 90% 27% 51% 57% 51% Disapprove 39 7 67 39 38 40 DK/NA 7 3 7 10 5 9



11. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 11% 21% 3% 10% 13% 9% Smwht satisfied 36 59 19 34 38 35 Smwht dissatisfied 27 14 37 28 27 26 Very dissatisfied 25 6 41 26 21 28 DK/NA 1 - 1 2 1 1



12. Which of these should be a higher priority for the nation right now, the economy or the possibility of war with Iraq?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Economy 58% 38% 74% 59% 61% 56% Possibility of war 36 56 22 34 34 38 DK/NA 5 6 3 7 5 6



13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the economy?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 77% 16% 38% 44% 41% Disapprove 52 18 80 56 52 52 DK/NA 5 5 4 6 4 7



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- foreign policy?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 51% 84% 28% 45% 56% 47% Disapprove 44 13 69 47 40 48 DK/NA 5 3 3 8 4 6



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the war against terrorism overseas?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 60% 85% 42% 56% 68% 54% Disapprove 35 12 53 38 29 41 DK/NA 5 3 4 6 4 6



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- policies to prevent and minimize terrorism at home?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 69% 90% 55% 64% 70% 68% Disapprove 26 7 38 31 26 26 DK/NA 5 3 7 5 4 7



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the situation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 50% 82% 27% 46% 55% 46% Disapprove 45 14 69 50 42 48 DK/NA 4 4 4 4 3 6



18. Would you favor or oppose having United States forces take military action against Iraq to force Saddam Hussein from power?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 59% 82% 43% 53% 63% 55% Oppose 34 11 49 42 31 38 DK/NA 7 6 8 5 6 8



19. Do you think President Bush has presented enough evidence showing why the United States should use military force to remove Saddam Hussein from power, or would you like him to present more evidence?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Presented enough evidence 39% 62% 23% 35% 41% 37% Should present more evidence 59 37 75 63 57 60 DK/NA 2 1 3 2 2 2



20. Before deciding whether to attack Iraq, do you think the United States should or should not give United Nations inspectors a few more months to search for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons there?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Should give more time 59% 42% 74% 59% 55% 63% Should not give more time 37 53 23 38 43 32 DK/NA 3 5 2 3 2 5



21. What do you think is more important - for the United States to move quickly against Iraq, even if that means acting without international support; or for the United States to gain international support, even if that delays action against Iraq?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Move quickly 24% 42% 12% 20% 31% 18% Get international support 71 54 84 75 64 78 DK/NA 5 4 4 5 5 4



22. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 1% 2% 1% - 2% - Good 23 42 12 17 26 20 Not so good 48 47 46 52 47 49 Poor 27 9 41 29 25 30 DK/NA 1 - - 1 - 1



23. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in the United States will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Get better 30% 46% 17% 29% 36% 24% Get worse 26 12 36 29 23 28 Stay about the same 39 38 43 35 37 42 DK/NA 5 4 3 7 4 6



24. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 8% 14% 6% 7% 9% 8% Good 52 64 43 54 54 51 Not so good 28 16 35 30 28 27 Poor 11 6 16 8 8 13 DK/NA 1 1 - 1 1 1



25. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better off 36% 48% 26% 35% 39% 33% Worse off 38 24 51 36 33 42 SAME(VOL) 25 27 21 28 27 24 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1



26. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Get better 39% 49% 30% 41% 45% 33% Get worse 11 2 18 10 8 13 Stay about the same 48 46 51 48 44 52 DK/NA 2 2 2 2 2 2



27. How serious a problem do you think the federal budget deficit is -- very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious or not at all serious?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious 44% 25% 58% 46% 47% 42% Smwht serious 42 54 34 40 35 47 Not too serious 9 15 5 9 13 6 No at all serious 2 4 1 2 4 1 DK/NA 3 2 2 3 2 3



28. Based on what you know about the economic plan President Bush has proposed, do you think the President's proposed tax cuts are fair or unfair to people like you?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Fair 42% 73% 18% 40% 45% 40% Unfair 48 17 75 49 47 49 DK/NA 10 10 8 11 9 11



29. Do you think President Bush's proposals on cutting taxes favor the rich, favor the middle class, favor the poor, or treat all people about equally?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor rich 59% 28% 85% 59% 61% 57% Favor middle class 6 12 2 5 6 6 Favor poor 1 2 1 1 - 2 Treat all equally 26 49 8 26 27 25 DK/NA 8 9 4 9 5 10



30. Do you favor or oppose eliminating the federal income tax on stock dividends?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 46% 62% 37% 40% 48% 44% Oppose 36 21 48 42 36 36 DK/NA 18 17 16 18 16 20