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Archive for Friday, July 1, 1994

CLINTON, FINNEY GET LOW MARKS FROM KANSANS

July 1, 1994

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Kansas voters don't appear very pleased with the jobs being done by President Bill Clinton and Gov. Joan Finney, a survey shows.

Making the grade

A survey of 820 Kansas voters done earlier this week asked respondents to assess the job performance of several top officials.

President Bill Clinton

President Clinton and Gov. Joan Finney share more than party affiliation -- the two Democrats both got low marks for job performance in a survey of Kansas voters.

Meanwhile, those surveyed gave much higher ratings to the state's top two Republican office-holders, U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum.

In the poll, state voters gave Clinton a mixed job performance. Thirty-one percent said he was doing an "excellent" or "good" job, while 27 percent rated his performance "poor."

Finney got even lower marks. Thirty-six percent said she was doing a "poor" job, while 21 percent gave her "excellent" or "good" marks.

Voters seem happier with Dole and Kassebaum -- especially Kassebaum. Seventy-three percent said she was doing an "excellent" or "good" job, while 58 percent gave Dole an "excellent" or "good" rating.

Told of the results, Russell Getter, a Kansas University assistant professor of political science and government said some of the findings were unexpected.

"I was surprised that Governor Finney's rating are as high as they are, given what I perceive to be a very bad performance over the last four years," Getter said.

Getter said he was also surprised that 73 percent rated president Clinton's job performance as "excellent," "good" or "fair," "which is very good for this stage in a president's term in office."

Getter said the Clinton results surprised him because Kansas is the political base of support for Dole, who, as Senate Republican Leader, is Clinton's No. 1 adversary.

Kassebaum's performance came as no surprise to Getter.

"She is the original Teflon politician, and she always has been thusly regarded by the citizens of Kansas," Getter said. "Negative things do not stick to her. It is amazing that she is as successful as she is."

The survey also indicated that party affiliation swayed the ratings. Democrats gave Clinton and Finney much higher ratings than Republicans, and Republicans gave far better marks than Democrats for Dole. The difference wasn't as dramatic for Kassebaum.

"While people say that political parties are a thing of the past, people still frame their political views and their evaluation of candidate performance on the basis of their long-held party viewpoint," Getter said.

The telephone survey was conducted for the Journal-World and three state television stations by Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research Inc., Columbia, Md. The pollsters contacted 820 registered voters from Sunday to Tuesday.

The poll has a 3.5 percent margin of error, which means the results could increase or decrease by that amount.

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