Miércoles 8 de Marzo de 2006, Ip nº 143

Keep government snooping, but get a warrant, American voters tell
By a 76 - 19 percent margin, American voters say the government should continue monitoring phone calls or e-mail between suspected terrorists in other countries and people in the U.S., according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. But voters say 55 - 42 percent that the government should get court orders for this surveillance.

Voters in "purple states," 12 states in which there was a popular vote margin of 5 percentage points or less in the 2004 Presidential election, plus Missouri, considered the most accurate barometer of Presidential voting, want wiretap warrants 57 - 39 percent.

Red states, where President George W. Bush's margin was more than 5 percent in 2004, disagree 51 - 46 percent with the President that the government does not need warrants. Blue state voters who backed John Kerry by more than 5 percent want warrants 57 - 40 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

A total of 57 percent of voters are "extremely" or "quite" worried that phone and e-mail taps without warrants could be misused to violate people's privacy. But 54 percent believe these taps have prevented some acts of terror.

"Don't turn off the wiretaps, most Americans say, but the White House ought to tell a judge first. Even red state voters, who backed President Bush in 2004, want to see a court okay for wiretaps," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Forget the rights and wrongs. Who'll win the political battle, the President or his Congressional critics? A color-coded majority - in red, blue and purple states - picks the President 56 - 33 percent," Carroll added. President Bush's Approval

Only 36 percent of voters approve of the job President Bush is doing, while 58 percent disapprove, his worst approval rating in a Quinnipiac University national poll and down 9 points from his 45 - 48 percent approval rating one year ago. Purple state voters give Bush a negative 31 - 63 percent approval, and blue state voters go negative 34 - 61 percent. Even red state voters are negative 42 - 51 percent.

Voters disapprove 52 - 42 percent, 57 - 39 percent in purple states, of the way Bush is handling terrorism, his lowest score on this issue.

By a 49 - 37 percent margin, voters want the Democrats to win control of Congress in this year's House and Senate elections. And if a candidate for Congress supports President Bush, only 16 percent of Americans are more likely to vote for that candidate, with 37 percent less likely and 45 percent who say it won't make a difference.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 23 percent of voters say the war in Iraq is the most important problem facing the U.S. today, followed by 13 percent who list economic issues and 11 percent who list terrorism or safety.

Only 38 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the U.S., with 61 percent who are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied," the lowest satisfaction rate in a Quinnipiac University national poll.

"President Bush has lost the middle, the purple states, at least for now. He gets low marks on handling the situation in Iraq and his best score on handling terrorism is only a split in the red states," Carroll said.

  02/03/2006. Quinnipiac University.