Newsweek Poll: Sixty Nine Percent Support Bush's Handling of Spy Plane Incident; Bush Job Approval Rating Steady at 57%; But Americans Split on Whether Earlier Regrets Would Have Released Crew Sooner

Majorities See Only Short-Term Damage in US-China Relations,

Back Beijing for WTO Membership; Half Oppose Military Sales to Taiwan



Apr 14, 2001, 01:00 ET from Newsweek

    NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A 69-percent majority of Americans
 approve of the way President George W. Bush handled the situation involving
 the crew of a U.S. surveillance plane who were detained in China for eleven
 days before being released this week, the latest Newsweek Poll shows.  But
 Americans polled are split on whether or not the Chinese government would have
 released the American crew much earlier if the Bush administration had
 expressed regrets about the incident to the Chinese soon after the plane went
 down (44% say the crew would have been released sooner, 45% say no).
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010415/HSSU001)
     Looking ahead, 51 percent of those polled say the incident will result in
 only short-term damage in future relations between the U.S. and China; 22% say
 there will be long-term damage.  Sixty-nine percent say the U.S. should
 continue with the military surveillance flights off the Chinese coast, to
 which China objects; just 10 percent say the flights should end.  But
 50 percent say the U.S. Congress should not approve the Bush administration's
 request to sell new military equipment to Taiwan.  Fifty-four percent say the
 U.S. should support China's membership in the World Trade Organization and
 50 percent say the U.S. should support China's bid to host the 2008 Olympic
 games, according to the poll which is part of the plane incident coverage in
 the April 23 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, April 16).
     President Bush's overall job approval rating remained steady at 57
 percent, the poll shows.  But the public is nearly evenly split on most issues
 involving Bush's stand on the environment:  43 percent say he is not committed
 to protecting the environment, 41 percent say he is; 43 percent say the Bush
 administration is not tough enough on U.S. business and industry in making
 decisions about environmental policy (38% say about right), and 48 percent
 disapprove of Bush's proposal to open up some protected Alaskan wilderness
 areas for oil exploration (44% approve), the poll shows.
     Most Americans (53%) favor building new nuclear power plants to help the
 U.S. meet its energy needs.  They're split on which is the more important
 priority for the country:  developing new sources of energy (49%) or
 protecting the environment (44%).
     Forty-three percent generally agree with Bush's spending priorities in his
 proposed budget for the federal government; 37 percent disagree.
 Specifically, 53 percent say the plan is spending too little on health care,
 47 percent say too little on education and 45 percent say too little on
 environmental protection.  Forty-two percent say the money allotted for
 national defense and the military is just right.
     Only 35 percent of those polled say they'd rather see the House-Senate
 conference committee come closer to the Bush plan to cut federal income taxes
 by $1.6 trillion over 10 years that was passed by the House; forty-eight
 percent favor the smaller, but quicker-acting alternative tax-cut plan passed
 by the Senate.
 
     For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed
 1000 adults aged 18 and older by telephone on April 12-13.  The margin of
 error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
 
 

SOURCE Newsweek
    NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A 69-percent majority of Americans
 approve of the way President George W. Bush handled the situation involving
 the crew of a U.S. surveillance plane who were detained in China for eleven
 days before being released this week, the latest Newsweek Poll shows.  But
 Americans polled are split on whether or not the Chinese government would have
 released the American crew much earlier if the Bush administration had
 expressed regrets about the incident to the Chinese soon after the plane went
 down (44% say the crew would have been released sooner, 45% say no).
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010415/HSSU001)
     Looking ahead, 51 percent of those polled say the incident will result in
 only short-term damage in future relations between the U.S. and China; 22% say
 there will be long-term damage.  Sixty-nine percent say the U.S. should
 continue with the military surveillance flights off the Chinese coast, to
 which China objects; just 10 percent say the flights should end.  But
 50 percent say the U.S. Congress should not approve the Bush administration's
 request to sell new military equipment to Taiwan.  Fifty-four percent say the
 U.S. should support China's membership in the World Trade Organization and
 50 percent say the U.S. should support China's bid to host the 2008 Olympic
 games, according to the poll which is part of the plane incident coverage in
 the April 23 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, April 16).
     President Bush's overall job approval rating remained steady at 57
 percent, the poll shows.  But the public is nearly evenly split on most issues
 involving Bush's stand on the environment:  43 percent say he is not committed
 to protecting the environment, 41 percent say he is; 43 percent say the Bush
 administration is not tough enough on U.S. business and industry in making
 decisions about environmental policy (38% say about right), and 48 percent
 disapprove of Bush's proposal to open up some protected Alaskan wilderness
 areas for oil exploration (44% approve), the poll shows.
     Most Americans (53%) favor building new nuclear power plants to help the
 U.S. meet its energy needs.  They're split on which is the more important
 priority for the country:  developing new sources of energy (49%) or
 protecting the environment (44%).
     Forty-three percent generally agree with Bush's spending priorities in his
 proposed budget for the federal government; 37 percent disagree.
 Specifically, 53 percent say the plan is spending too little on health care,
 47 percent say too little on education and 45 percent say too little on
 environmental protection.  Forty-two percent say the money allotted for
 national defense and the military is just right.
     Only 35 percent of those polled say they'd rather see the House-Senate
 conference committee come closer to the Bush plan to cut federal income taxes
 by $1.6 trillion over 10 years that was passed by the House; forty-eight
 percent favor the smaller, but quicker-acting alternative tax-cut plan passed
 by the Senate.
 
     For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed
 1000 adults aged 18 and older by telephone on April 12-13.  The margin of
 error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
 
 SOURCE  Newsweek