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Why Don’t Americans Trust the Government? – Toplines/Survey

The Washington Post /
Kaiser Family Foundation/
Harvard University Survey Project
1996

– Why Don’t Americans Trust The Government? –

Methodology

This survey is the second in a series from a joint project by TheWashington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and HarvardUniversity. The survey was designed and analyzed by all three partners andconducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. Telephone interviews of1,514 random-sample adults were conducted nationwide from November 28 throughDecember 4, 1995. The margin error in the nationwide sample is plus or minus 3percentage points.

The Washington Post /Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard UniversitySurvey Project
1995-1996

The Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard UniversitySurvey Project is a three-way partnership and an experiment in combining surveyresearch and reporting to better inform the public. The Post, Kaiser,and Harvard jointly design and analyze surveys examining public knowledge,perceptions, and misperceptions on major issues. The Post then reportsthe results as well as the facts to dispel myths and correct misperceptions.We hope this project contributes to a better understanding of public knowledgeon major issues facing the country, and to more effective efforts by the mediato educate, inform, and engage citizens in national debates.

The first report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, The FourAmericas: Government and Social Policy Through the Eye’s of America’sMulti-racial and Multi-ethnic Society, expands on coverage in TheWashington Post of the first survey focusing on the perspectives ofdifferent racial and ethnic groups with regard to social policy and the role ofgovernment in America. The findings show the different perceptions thatAmerica’s racial and ethnic groups have of the social and economic standing ofthe other groups. It also shows how white American’s misperceptions about thesocial and economic realities facing African Americans relate directly to theirviews and opinions on public policies and aid to minorities. Copies of thisreport are available through the Kaiser Family Foundation publications requestline at 1-800-656-4KFF.

This second survey, released by The Washington Post on Sunday, January28, 1996 examines public understanding, perceptions and attitudes about therole of government. It aims to shed light on why Americans are so distrustfuland cynical about the federal government and its abilities to act effectively.The following is a report of the actual questions and national topline datafrom this survey. A full, analytical report with narrative describing the mainfindings from this survey will be available shortly through the Kaiser FamilyFoundation publications request line.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, is a non-profit,independent national health care philanthropy and is not associated with KaiserPermanente or Kaiser Industries. The Foundation’s work is focused on four mainareas: health policy, reproductive health, HIV policy and health anddevelopment in South Africa.

Why Don’t Americans Trust The Government?

Questionnaire and National Toplines

Conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard University
and The Washington Post by Princeton Survey Research Associates

1.To begin, do you think the nation's economy is getting better, gettingworse, or staying about the same?

16Better39Worse43Staying about the same 2 Don't know 1002.Is your personal financial situation getting better, getting worse orstaying about the same?21Getting better24Getting worse54Staying about the same 1Don't know1003.Now I'm going to read you the names of some institutions in Americansociety. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one --a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little. [First, how much confidence doyou have in.../ Next, how about . .]. (ROTATE)

A great deal Quite alot Some Very Little None (VOL.) DK a. TheMilitary 32 38 22 7 * 1=100 b. The U.S. SupremeCourt 13 26 41 16 2 2=100 c. The ClintonAdmin. 9 16 36 33 5 1=100 d. Congress 4 10 41 41 3 1=100 e. Large businesscorporations 6 15 45 30 2 2=100 f. Medicine 24 37 27 10 1 1 =100 g. The newsmedia 6 14 40 37 2 1=100 *=Less than.5%

3h.Generally speaking, how interested are you in politics and government: Veryinterested, fairly interested, not very interested, or not interested at all?28Very interested47Fairly interested17Not very interested8Not interested at all  *Don't know1004.How much of the time do you trust the government in Washington to do theright thing?  Just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?4Just about always21Most of the time 71Only some of the time4None of the time (VOL.)  *Don't know1005.How much of the time do you trust your STATE government to do the rightthing?  Just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?5Just about always30Most of the time 62Only some of the time2None of the time (VOL.)  1Don't know1006.On another topic... Compared with 10 years ago, do you think the threat of amajor war like World War II has increased, decreased, or stayed about thesame?23Increased41Decreased33Stayed about the same  3Don't know1007.Do you think it will be best for the future of this country if we take anactive part in world affairs, or if we stay out of world affairs?57Take an active part37Stay out   6Don't know100QUESTIONS 8 THROUGH 12 ROTATEDNow I'd like you to compare some things in this country TODAY with the way theywere 20 years ago....8.Compared with 20 years ago, do you think the quality of the air we breatheTODAY is better than it was, worse, or about the same?18Better57Worse24About the same  1Don't know1009.Compared with 20 years ago, do you think the share of Americans over 65 wholive in poverty has increased, decreased or stayed about the same?59Increased15Decreased23Stayed about the same  3Don't know10010.Compared with 20 years ago, do you think the difference in income betweenwealthy and middle-class Americans TODAY is wider,  not as wide, or about thesame?65Wider11Not as wide22About the same  2Don't know10011.Compared with 20 years ago, do you think children in this country TODAY aremore likely to grow up in single-parent families, less likely, or about aslikely to grow up in single-parent families?89More likely3Less likely7About as likely  1Don't know10012.Compared with 20 years ago, do you think the rate of violent crime in thiscountry has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?91Increased2Decreased7Stayed bout the same  *Don't know100BASED ON FORM A; n=71813.Now I'd like to ask you what effect, if any, you think the federalgovernment's programs have had in each of the areas I just asked you about.  Byfederal government, I mean the government in Washington.  How do you think thefederal government's programs have affected...[INSERT ITEM/ ROTATE] ?Have federal programs helped to make things better,  made things worse, or havethey not had much effect either way?

Helped make
thingsbetter Made things
worse Not had
much effect
either way DK a. The quality of the air
we breathe.

44 15 38 3=100 b. The share of Americans
over 65 who live inpoverty. 23 32 39 6=100 c. The difference in income between
wealthy andmiddle-classAmericans.

11

49 36 4=100 d. The chances that children will grow
up in single-parentfamilies. 11 37 48 4=100 e. The rate of violentcrime. 10 34 54 2=100

  BASED ON FORM B; n=79614.Suppose the federal government put more money and effort into the areas Ijust asked you about.  By federal government, I mean the government inWashington. What effect, if any, do you think more effort and spending by thefederal government would have on...[INSERT ITEM / ROTATE ] ? Would it helpmake things better, would it make things worse, or would it not have much effect either way?

Helped make
thingsbetter Made things
worse Not had
much effect
either way DK a. The quality of the air
we breathe. 48 6 43 3 = 100 b. The share of Americans
over 65 who live in poverty. 55 10 32 3 = 100 c. The difference in income between
wealthy and middle-class Americans. 26 17 52 5 = 100 d. The chances that children will grow
up in single-parent families. 23 14 58 5 = 100 e. The rate of violent crime. 44 9 43 4 =100

15.When the government in Washington decides to solve a problem, how muchconfidence do you have that the problem will actually be solved a lot, some,just a little, or none at all?4A lot35Some38Just a little23None at all  *Don't know10016.On another topic... During the past three years, do you think the size ofthe annual federal budget deficit has increased, decreased, or stayed about thesame?69Increased10Decreased19Stayed about the same  2Don't know100BASED ON FORM B; n=79617.In order to lower the federal budget deficit, in which of the followingareas, if any, do you think future government spending should be reduced?[First,]  do you think federal spending for...[INSERT ITEM. ROTATE START]should be reduced, or not? 

Yes, should
be reduced No, should
not be reduced DK a. The environment 26 71 3 = 100 b. Foreign aid 81 18 1 = 100 c. Defense 41 57 2 = 100 d. Medicare, which is the government
program for the elderly 15 84 1 = 100 e.
Welfare, or public assistance
for poor people 47 51 2 = 100

Now I have some questions about politics and the government.  Not everyone willhave heard about all the issues and people I'm asking about.  Please answereach question to the best or your knowledge, but if you're not sure about ananswer, just say so.18.Can you tell me which party, the Democrats or the Republicans, has the mostmembers in...?  (ROTATE)

Democrats Republicans NS a. The U.S. House of Representatives 11 61 28 = 100 b. The U.S. Senate 11 62 27 = 100

19.As far as you know, is there a limit on the number of terms in office apresident of the United States can serve, or not? 81Yes11No  8Not Sure10020.How many years is a single term in office for a U.S. Senator?26Correct answer (six years)42Incorrect answer 32Not sure10021.At the national level, would you say that one of the major politicalparties is more conservative than the other major party, or not?  22.Which party do you think is more conservative... (ROTATE) theRepublican Party or the Democratic Party? 70Yes17The Democratic Party52The Republican Party1Not sure18No 12Not sure10023.Can you tell me who was President when the Watergate scandal took place?86Correct answer (Richard Nixon, Nixon)4Incorrect answer 10Not sure10024.Now I'd like to ask if you happen to know the names of some people who nowhold different titles.  Can you tell me the name of thecurrent...(ROTATE) ?

Correct
Answer[1] Incorrect
Answer NS a. Majority leader of the U.S. Senate 34 10 56 = 100 b. Vice President of the United States 60 4 36 = 100 c. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives 53 4 43 = 100 d. The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 6 8 86 = 100

25.I'm going to read you some major legislation that the Congress inWashington has debated over the last three years.  As I read each one, pleasetell me whether you think it was passed by Congress, or not. [First/Next, howabout. .(ROTATE)]

Passed Not passed NS a. Legislation providing for a national
health insurance plan. 20 67 13 = 100 b. Legislation limiting the number of terms
members of Congress can serve 24 55 21 = 100 c. Legislation providing for family leaves
that require businesses to give employees
time off after the birth of a child or for an
illness in the family. 79 9 12 = 100

26.Can you tell me which party -- the Democrats or the Republicans -- favorsmaking greater reductions in future Medicare and Medicaid spending?15Democrats69Republicans 16Not sure10027.As far as you know, is more of the federal budget now spent on Medicare, oris more spent on foreign aid?27Medicare58Foreign aid  15Not sure 10028.During the past three years, do you think the number of people employed bythe federal government has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?34Increased28Decreased35Stayed about the same  3Not sure 10029.As far as you know, who has the FINAL responsibility to decide if a law isconstitutional or not?  Is it...?(ROTATE)24The President19The Congress54The Supreme Court     *Other (VOL.)  3Not sure100BASED ON FORM A; n=71830.[Earlier in this interview, you said you could trust the government inWashington (just about always/most of the time/only some of the time/none ofthe time)]   What is the MAIN reason you [often / sometimes] don't trust thefederal government?  (OPEN-END)

35 Honesty/integrity (net) 9 Lack of honesty/distrust politicians 7 Promises are made and not kept/politicians lie all the time 5 Politicians don’t give all the facts/withhold information 6 Politicians are corrupt/crooked/cheats 1 Lack of morality 0 A/O Honesty/integrity mentions 6 Special interest groups (net) 4 Lobbyists/lobbyists have too much power 4 Politicians work on behalf of special interestgroups/interest groups have too much power 0 A/O Special interest groups mentions 28 Public interest (net) 0 Politicians don’t represent the interest of the people 2 Politicians don’t listen to the public 1 Politicians don’t care about the middle class 3 Politicians are influenced by money/campaign funders/favor the rich 6 Disagree with their decisions/judgements 0 A/O Public interest mentions 24 Self interest (net) 33 Politicians are concerned with themselves/ only interest in being re-elected 1 Politicians are only concerned with their own states 0 A/O self interest mentions 1 Issues (net) 1 Bosnian situation/war/we are headed to war 2 Foreign affairs/policy 2 Decision on Medicaid/whether or not to cut Medicaid 1 Welfare abuse 1 Favor capitalism/big business 1 Taxes/tax increases 5 A/O Issues mentions 0 Inefficient/wasteful (net) 4 Politicians don’t accomplish anything/nothing gets done 2 Takes too long to accomplish anything 3 Government spending/wasting money/unnecessary spending 1 A/O Inefficient/wasteful mentions 3 Miscellaneous (net) 2 History/the past 1 A/O Miscellaneous mentions 1 Don’t know

BASED ON FORM A; n=71831.People have different reasons for not trusting the government. I'm going toread you a list of some of those reasons.  Please tell me if each one is amajor reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all why YOU [often/sometimes ]don't trust the federal government.  (First,) how about... (ROTATE)

Major
reason Minor
reason Not a reason
at all DK a. The federal government’s taxes
are too high. 55 29 15 1 = 100 b. The federal government is inefficient
and wastes too much money. 80 15 4 1 = 100 c. The policies of the federal government
don’t reflect your own beliefs and values. 37 42 19 2 = 100 d. When the federal government makes a
decision, it usually ends up hurting more
people than it helps. 46 34 17 3 = 100 e. The federal government interferes too
much in people’s lives. 41 36 21 2 = 100 f. The problems it is trying to solve cannot
be solved by the federal government. 40 37 20 3 = 100 g. Special interests have too much influence
on the federal government 65 22 10 3 = 100 h. Elected officials lack honesty and integrity. 62 27 8 3 = 100 i. The federal government spends too much
on the wrong things. 79 16 4 1 = 100 j. The federal government doesn’t do enough
to help people who really need it. 59 26 13 2 = 100

32.[Earlier in this interview, you said you could trust the government inWashington (just about always/most of the time/only some of the time/none ofthe time)] Which of the following was most important in giving you theimpression you have of the federal government?  Was it your own personalexperience with a government agency or program, what you learned from friendsand family, or what you saw, heard or read in television, newspapers or othermedia?18Personal experience8Friends and family72TV/newspapers/other media  2Don't know10033.Generally speaking, which do you trust to do a better job runningthings--(ROTATE) the federal government or your state government?24Federal government 61State government11Neither/Both equally (VOL.)   4Don't know100BASED ON FORM B RESPONDENTS WHO TRUST THEIR STATE GOVERNMENT MORE THAN THEFEDERAL GOVERNMENT; n=47634.I'm going to read you a list of reasons people sometimes give for why theytrust their own state government.  For each one, please tell me if it is amajor reason, a minor reason, or not a reason at all why you feel your stategovernment does a better job running things than the federal government?  Yourstate government ...(ROTATE)

Major
reason Minor
reason Not a reason
at all DK a. Wastes less money because
it is better managed. 51 30 17 2 = 100 b. Can solve problems more quickly. 64 24 10 2 = 100 c. Is more likely to spend money
on the right things 56 31 12 1 = 100 d. Is less dominated by special interests. 44 36 17 3 = 100 e. Is more likely to have effective solutions
to problems. 51 38 10 1 = 100 f. Is more responsive to the needs of people. 65 26 9 * = 100 g. Better reflects your own beliefs and values. 49 32 18 1 = 100

BASED ON FORM B RESPONDENTS WHO TRUST THEIR OWN STATE GOVERNMENT MORE THANTHE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; n=47635.[You mentioned (READ ITEMS) as major reasons.]  Which ONE of  thesewould you say is the MOST IMPORTANT REASON?11Wastes less money because it is better managed.10Can solve problems more quickly.10Is more likely to spend money on the right things.10Is less dominated by special interests.8Is more likely to have effective solutions to problems.23Is more responsive to the needs of people like you.16Better reflects your own beliefs and values.7None are major reasons  5Don't know10036.Do you think the federal government threatens your own personal rights andfreedoms, or not?37.Is this a MAJOR threat or a MINOR threat?42Yes20Major21Minor1Don't know54No   4Don't know10038.Do you think the federal government threatens your own personal financialwell-being, or not?39.Is this a MAJOR threat or a MINOR threat?52Yes31Major21Minor*Don't know44No   4Don't know100
40.Now I'm going to read you some statements that may or may not describe yourown feelings  about politics and government.  Please tell me whether you agreeor disagree with each one.  The first statement is. . . [ROTATE]  Do youagree/disagree STRONGLY or only somewhat?

Agree
Strongly Agree
Somewhat Disagree
Somewhat Disagree
Strongly DK a. I don’t think public officials care
much what people like me think. 40 28 23 8 1 = 100 b. People like me don’t have any say
about what the government does. 29 23 28 19 1 = 100 c. Politics and government are so
complicated that a person like me
can’t really understand what’s going on. 29 25 22 23 1 = 100 d. Politicians tell voters what they want
to hear, not what they will actually try
to do if elected. 67 22 7 3 1 = 100

BASED ON RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THE NATION'S ECONOMY IS GETTING WORSE ORSTAYING THE SAME; n=1211 41.Earlier in this interview, you said you didn't think the nation's economywas getting better....  What do you think is the MAIN reason why  the economyis not getting better?  Is it mainly because of something the federalgovernment HAS DONE,  mainly because of something the federal government hasNOT done, or mainly for other reasons that don't have much to do withgovernment?29Something the federal government has done 34Something the federal government has not done30Other reasons  7Don't know100BASED ON FORM A RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS MAINLYRESPONSIBLE FOR THE NATION'S ECONOMY NOT GETTING BETTER; n=34642.What is the main thing the federal government (has done/has not done) tokeep the economy from getting better? (OPEN-END)

Total Has done Has not
done 80 Economy/policy 86 76 10 Taxes/high taxes 11 8 4 Taxing the rich/rich have tax breaks 3 5 9 Effects on business 14 5 5 Imports/Exports 7 3 3 Welfare/controlling welfare 2 5 12 Unemployment/loss of jobs 8 15 4 Not helping poor people 1 5 40 Government spending (sub-net) 50 33 15 Foreign aid/too much
spending on foreign countries 23 9 9 National debt/not paying off
national debt 8 10 18 Too much spending/wasteful
spending 20 17 1 Military spending 3 *0 A/O Government spending
mentions 0 0 9 A/O Economy/policy mentions 8 10 8 Miscellaneous (net) 6 10 15 Don’t know 11 18

BASED ON FORM A RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS MAINLYRESPONSIBLE FOR THE NATION'S ECONOMY NOT GETTING BETTER; n=346 43. I'm going to read you a list of things some people think the federalgovernment has done - - or has not done -- to keep the economy from gettingbetter.  For each one, please tell me if you think it is a major reason theeconomy hasn't gotten better, a minor reason, or not a reason at all?(ROTATE)

Major
reason Minor
reason Not a
reason at all DK a. They took away or reduced government
benefits people used to receive. 35 39 24 2 = 100 b. They raised taxes. 56 31 12 1 = 100 c. They didn’t reduce the federal budget
deficit fast enough. 67 26 6 1 = 100 d. They did too much for the poor
and minorities. 23 39 36 2 = 100 e. They did too much for the wealthy. 60 22 17 1 = 100 f. Government regulations hurt the economy. 51 40 7 2 = 100 g. They didn’t do enough to keep jobs from
going overseas. 70 18 10 2 = 100 h. They didn’t do enough to make the
economy grow. 62 28 10 * = 100 i. They didn’t tax the wealthy enough
and use the money to help people
who needed it. 60 23 15 2 = 100 j. They didn’t do enough to create new
and better jobs. 68 22 10 * = 100

BASED ON RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THEIR PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION IS GETTINGWORSE OR STAYING THE SAME; n=1177 44.Earlier in this interview, you said your personal financial situation wasnot getting better. What do you think is the MAIN reason that your financialsituation is not getting better?  Do you think it is mainly because ofsomething the federal government HAS DONE, mainly because of something thefederal government has NOT done, or mainly for other reasons that don't havemuch to do with government?23Something the federal government has done17Something the federal government has not done54Other reasons  6Don't know100BASED ON FORM B RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS MAINLYRESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION NOT GETTING BETTER;n=25745.What is the main thing the federal government (has done/has not done) tokeep your personal financial situation from getting better? (OPEN-END)

Total Has done Has not done 85 Economy/policy (net) 8 High cost of living 8 9 2 High inflation 2 1 3 Interest rates too low 4 2 5 Unemployment/lost jobs 3 7 5 Jobs have gone out of U.S./NAFTA treaty 5 6 4 Create job security/ maintain employment 3 6 23 Tax Increases/taxes are too high/raise in taxes 31 13 3 Tax change/tax structure 5 0 4 Minimum wage is too low 3 5 5 Lack of educational support/Cut funding
for education 2 10 3 Slow economy (unspecified) 3 2 3 Caps on wages/wage freeze 2 3 2 Haven’t helped the middle class 3 1 4 Health insurance/made health care affordable 3 5 3 Bureaucratic/too much red-tape 2 3 28 Government spending (sub-net) 27 30 14 More Spending (sub-net) 13 15 4 Too much foreign aid 4 3 6 Too much debt/deficit is too big 5 7 2 Spending on welfare/haven’t cut welfare 2 2 6 A/O Government spending mentions 6 5 1 A/O Economy/policy mentions 2 1 1 Miscellaneous (net) 1 0 15 Don’t know 13 17

BASED ON FORM B RESPONDENTS WHO SAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS MAINLYRESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION NOT GETTING BETTER;n=25746.I'm going to read you a list of things that some people say the federalgovernment has done -- or has not done -- to keep their financial situationfrom getting better.  For each one, please tell me if you think it is a majorreason your financial situation hasn't gotten better, a minor reason, or not areason at all? (ROTATE)

reason reason reason at all DK a. They took away or reduced government benefits you used to receive. 27 21 51 1 =100 b. They raised your taxes. 66 25 9 * =100 c. They didn’t reduce the federal budget
deficit fast enough 51 29 19 1 =100 d. You lost out because the federal government 21 33 44 2 =100 e. You lost out because the federal government
did too much for the wealthy. 44 30 24 2 =100 f. Government regulations kept you from
getting ahead. 34 34 31 1 =100 g. They didn’t do enough to keep jobs from
going overseas. 53 23 22 2 =100 h. They didn’t do enough to make the
economy grow. 47 35 15 3 =100 i. They didn’t tax the wealthy enough and
use the money to help people like you
who needed it. 41 32 25 2 =100 j. They didn’t do enough to create new
and better jobs. 51 28 20 1 =100

47.Now I have some more questions about how things are going in your ownlife...  What is your employment status? Are you employed for pay full-time,part-time, retired, or not employed for pay? 52Full-time 14Part-time 18Retired 12Not employed2Disabled (VOL.) 1Student (VOL.)  1Don't know 10047a.Given the chance, would you like to work full-time, or do you prefer towork part-time?7Would prefer full-time7Prefer part-time86Not applicable   0Don't know100BASED ONLY ON RESPONDENTS WHO WORK PART-TIME; n=19648Would prefer full-time52Prefer part-time  0Don't know10048.How worried are you, if at all, that you might lose your job during thenext two years?  Would you say you are very worried, somewhat worried, not tooworried, or not worried at all?6Very worried12Somewhat worried16Not too worried32Not worried at all34Not currently working  *Don't know49.Has there been any time in the past two years when you wereunemployed, but wanted to work? 15Yes51No34Not currently working  *Don't know10050.Do you feel very confident, only fairly confident, or not at all confidentthat life for our children will be better than it has been for us?10Very confident34Fairly confident54Not at all confident  2Don't know10051.Have you ever been a victim of a violent crime involving a physical assaultor robbery of you personally?  19Yes 81No  *Don't know10052.Have you ever been a victim of a property crime involving theft or burglaryof your money or property?47Yes53No  *Don't know10053.How worried are you, if at all, that you might become a victim of violentcrime during the coming year? Would you say you are very worried, somewhatworried, not too worried or not worried at all?14Very worried34Somewhat worried33Not too worried19Not worried at all  *Don't know10054.Now I have some more general questions . . .  Do you think most peoplewould try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try tobe fair?55.Do you feel strongly about that, or not?48Would take advantage39Feel strongly9Do not feel strongly*Don't know50Would try to be fair36Feel strongly13Do not feel strongly1Don't know  2Don't know10056.Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or thatyou can't be too careful in dealing with people? 57.Do you feel strongly about that, or not?35Most people can be trusted28Feel strongly7Do not feel strongly*Don't know63Can't be too careful54Feel strongly9Do not feel strongly*Don't know  2Don't know58.Would you say that most of the time people try to be helpful, or thatthey are mostly just looking out for themselves?59.Do you feel strongly about that, or not?49Try to be helpful38Feel strongly11Do not feel strongly*Don't know48Looking out for themselves39Feel strongly9Do not feel strongly*Don't know  3Don't know10060.Where do you usually get MOST of your news and information about nationalpolitics and government?  Is it from:  Television, radio, newspapers, newsmagazines like Time and Newsweek, from family, friends or co-workers, orsomeplace else? 58Television8Radio24Newspapers3News magazines1Family2Friends or co-workers3Someplace else  1Don't know10061.In a typical week, on how many days, if any, do you read a dailynewspaper?13One day9Two days10Three days5Four days6Five days3Six days43Seven days11None  *Don't know62.How much attention do you usually pay to news about politics andgovernment in the newspaper?  A great deal, quite a lot, some, or not much atall?13A great deal22Quite a lot38Some16Not much at all11Non-newspaper readers  *Don't know10063.Last month,  how often did you read a weekly news magazine such as Time,Newsweek, U.S. News or some other news magazine:  Every week, two or threetimes,  once or not at all?12Every week14Two or three times20Once54Not at all   *Don't know10064.On a typical weekday, about how many hours do you personally watchtelevision?19One hour or less25Two hours19Three hours14Four hours16Five to nine hours6Ten hours or more  1Don't know10065.In a typical week, on how many days, if any, do you watch national networkTV news on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS or CNN? 5One day8Two days8Three days8Four days15Five days5Six days42Seven days8None   1Don't know10066.How much attention do you usually pay to news about politics and governmenton national network TV news?  A great deal, quite a lot, some, or not much atall?18A great deal25Quite a lot37Some11Not much at all9Non-network TV news viewer  *Don't know10067.On a typical day, about how many hours do you listen to talk radio showsthat invite listeners to call in to discuss current events, public issues andpolitics?72None[2]13One hour6Two hours6Three or more hours  3Don't know10068.How often, if ever, do you listen to Rush Limbaugh's RADIO programregularly, sometimes, hardly ever or never?6Regularly12Sometimes16Hardly ever66Never  *Don't know100THERE IS NO QUESTION 6970.Do you regularly attend or participate in a civic organization or serviceclub, like the Chamber of Commerce, The Kiwanis Club, or the PTA?20Yes, attend or participate80No, do not  *Don't know10071.How often do you feel you don't have enough time to get everything done youreally need to do?  Do you feel this way all the time, most of the time, someof the time, every once in a while, or never?26All the time26Most of the time28Some of the time15Every once in a while5Never  *Don't know10072.How many years have you lived in your present community or city?12Two years or less11Three to five years14Six to ten years18Eleven to twenty years17Twenty-one to thirty years28More than 30 years  *Don't Know10073.Are you now married, living as married, widowed, divorced, separated, orhave you never been married?56Married3Living as married8Widowed11Divorced3Separated19Never married  *Don't know10074.Have you ever been divorced?26Yes, have been divorced/are divorced74No, never been divorced/Never married  *Don't know10075.Did you grow up in a family in which your parents were divorced?76.Did you grow up in a family in which your parents never married?20Yes, parents divorced2Yes, parents never married78No, neither  *Don't know10077.Do you have any children who are under the age of 18?   38Yes62No  *Don't know10078.What is your religious preference?  Are you Protestant,  Roman Catholic,Jewish, or some other religion? 79.Do you consider yourself a Christian?80.Would you describe yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian, ornot?60Protestant/Christian34Evangelical24Non-Evangelical2Don't know27Roman Catholic2Jewish6Other religion5No religion (VOL.) *Don't know *Refused       10081.In politics TODAY, do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat orIndependent?29Republican32Democrat34Independent  5All others       10082.As of today, do you LEAN more to the Republican Party or the DemocraticParty?41Republican/Lean Republican45Democrat/Lean Democrat 14All others       10083.Are you NOW registered to vote in your precinct or election district, orhaven't you had a chance to register yet?77Yes22No1Don't have to register (VOL.)  *Don't know10084.Thinking back to the 1992 Presidential election, when Clinton ran againstBush and Perot, did things come up that kept you from voting, or did you happento vote?85.Did you vote for Clinton, Bush or Perot?73Yes, voted31Clinton25Bush11Perot1Other candidate (VOL.)1Don't remember / Not sure4Refused26No, did not vote/Too young (VOL.)1Don't remember / Not sure  *Refused       10086.Did you happen to vote in the 1994 election for U.S. Congress, or didn'tyou get a chance to vote?  87.Did you vote for the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate forCongress in your district?45Yes, voted21Democratic candidate 20Republican candidate*Other candidate (VOL.)3Don't remember / Not sure1Refused51No, did not vote4Don't remember / Not sure  *Refused       10088.Would you say your views in most political matters are very liberal,somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative?6Very liberal19Somewhat liberal32Moderate27Somewhat conservative12Very conservative  4Don't know10089.What is the last grade or class that you COMPLETED in school? 5None, or grade 1 to 812High school incomplete (grade 9-11)36High School graduate2Business, technical or vocational school after high school23Some college, but no four-year degree14College graduate, four-year degree8Post-graduate or professional schooling after college  *Don't know10090.How old are you?2118-294430-491750-641665+0Don't know  2Refused10091.Are you of Hispanic or Latino background, such as Mexican, Puerto Rican,Cuban, or some other Spanish background?5Yes94No0Don't know  1Refused10092.What is your race?  Are you white, black, Asian, or some other race?85White10Black or African-American 1Asian3Other/Mixed race*Don't Know  1Refused10093.Last year, that is in 1994, what was your total family income from allsources, BEFORE taxes?  Just stop me when I get to the right category.10Less than $10,00015$10,000 to under $20,00018$20,000 to under $30,00024$30,000 to under $50,00014$50,000 to under $75,0005$75,000 to under $100,0004$100,000 or more4Don't know  6Refused100BASED ON FORM A; n=71893A.As you may know there was a recent shutdown of the federal government thatresulted from a budget disagreement between President Clinton and theRepublicans in Congress. Which of the following two statements comes closer toyour own view of President Clinton's role in the shutdown ? (ROTATE)a. President Clinton was trying to gain political advantage by creating acrisis when he could have reached a reasonable compromise with the Republicans,ORb. President Clinton was standing up for what he believes are importantnational priorities36Statement a.57Statement b.2Neither (VOL.)0Haven't heard about (VOL.)  5Don't know100BASED ON FORM B; n=79693B.As you may know there was a recent shutdown of the federal government thatresulted from a budget disagreement between President Clinton and theRepublicans in Congress. Which of the following two statements comes closer toyour own view of the Congressional Republican's role in the shutdown ?(ROTATE)a. The Republicans in Congress were trying to gain political advantage bycreating a crisis when they could have reached a reasonable compromise with thePresidentb. The Republicans in Congress were standing up for what they believe areimportant national priorities52Statement a.38Statement b.2Neither (VOL.)1Haven't heard about (VOL.)  7Don't know10094.Respondent's gender:47Male  53Female10095.Finally, in the coming weeks, Washington Post reporters will becalling back some survey participants to talk more about the survey topics.Would you be willing to talk with a reporter by phone sometime in the nearfuture?  70Yes, willing 30No, not willing10096.Reporters may receive some brief background information about you and youropinions before they call.  May  I have your name, so it will be easier for areporter to reach you?Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.