Most Kansans think President Clinton could be doing a better job, according to a statewide poll.
Kansans are lukewarm to the job performances of President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to a new statewide poll.
The poll, conducted by Political/Media Research Inc., Washington, showed that only 36 percent rate Clinton's performance as "excellent" or "good," up from 31 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, 36 percent rated his performance as "only fair" and 28 percent rate it "poor," up from 27 percent in June 1994.
The telephone survey, conducted June 15 through Sunday, showed that Gingrich didn't fare much better in the eyes of Kansas voters.
Statewide, 39 percent rate Gingrich's performance as "excellent" or "good," while 36 percent rate it as "only fair" and 28 percent rate it as "poor."
Survey respondents gave Kansas Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum much higher marks. Seventy-tow percent of respondents rated Dole's performance as "excellent" or "good"; Kassebaum received an "excellent" or "good" job rating from 82 percent of respondents.
Russell Getter, a Kansas University associate professor of political science and government, said the poll simply indicates "there are people who are just very opposed to Clinton."
"It appears as though a good bit of that antipathy toward Clinton is borne of some personality characteristic rather than overt policy differences," Getter said. "Clinton's policy stances have not been significantly different than from Nancy Kassebaum's policy stances, yet she is so more immensely popular."
Allan Cigler, a KU professor of political science, said he was most intrigued by Kansans' attitudes toward Gingrich.
"An awful lot of Kansans see him as a challenge to Dole," Cigler said. "In Kansas, he's evaluated as a potential rival of Bob Dole -- if not in the electoral process, then in the legislative process. In states outside Kansas, he would probably have a higher rating."
The poll, conducted for the Journal-World and other news media, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The poll surveyed a random sample of 812 registered voters who said they regularly vote.
The sample was split nearly evenly among the state's four congressional districts, with half the respondents men and half women. Thirty-four percent were Democrats, 46 percent were Republicans and 20 percent were independents.