New ABC News/Washington Post poll--56% say hand counts should be included in the final tally--but..... : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Election Fatigue Sets In
More Favor Hand Counts, But Most Just Want it Over

By Gary Langer

Nov. 17 -- Americans are showing signs of impatience with the disputed presidential election: Most now favor a quick end to the Florida vote count, with or without the inclusion of hand-recounted ballots.
Most, 56 percent, say hand counts should be included in the final tally. But most, as of now, also say Al Gore should concede if Florida declares George W. Bush the winner, even without hand counts. And most say they'd accept a final tally either way - with the hand counts included, or without them.
All that bespeaks a growing fatigue with the controversy, and another result backs it up: A majority, 57 percent, say it's more important for this to end quickly than for both campaigns to "have a chance to make their full case in court."

Which is more important?
That this ends quickly 57%
A full hearing in court 47%

The results of this survey are shot through with partisanship, and this question is no exception. Among Gore supporters, 65 percent say it's more important for the campaigns to have it out fully in court. Among Bush supporters, 84 percent call for a quick resolution.

Confidence Waning
The poll also finds a decline in confidence in Florida's count. Sunday, 59 percent of Americans said they were confident the Florida results would be counted accurately. Today that's down to 50 percent.
Confidence fell from 57 to 45 percent among Bush supporters, but it declined among Gore supporters as well. That's likely a contributor to the majority's desire to wrap it up.

Confidence in an Accurate Count
11/16 11/12
All 50% 59%
Gore Supporters 54% 62%
Bush Supporters 45% 57%

Harris Loses Points
Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state, receives weak marks for her work on the controversy: Fifty percent disapprove of the way she's handled the situation, while 40 percent approve.
There's a strong partisan aspect to views of Harris' work: Seventy-six of Gore supporters disapprove of her performance, while 67 percent of Bush supporters approve. Harris, who was a state co-chairman of the Bush campaign, has ruled out the hand recounts pending in Broward and Palm Beach counties, saying they're too late for a state-mandated deadline.
Harris has company: The Bush and Gore campaigns don't get grades much better than hers for their handling of the election aftermath. For Gore, 51 percent disapprove, 45 percent approve; for Bush, 48 percent disapprove, 46 percent approve. Naturally, partisanship runs high here as well.

Hand Count Approval Rate Partisan
As noted, 56 percent prefer including hand-recounted ballots in Florida's final vote tally; 49 percent feel that way strongly. Gore supporters dominate here, no surprise given the expectation that Gore stands more to gain from the hand counts.
Specifically, a vast majority of Gore supporters, 87 percent, favor including hand counts in the final vote; 77 percent of Bush supporters oppose it.
Another result shows that the preference for hand counts does not, for the majority, rise to the level of a demand. Seventy-one percent say it would be acceptable to them if the courts step in and order the hand counts to be included in the final tally. But 61 percent also say it would be acceptable if the Florida tally became final without those returns.
Bush's supporters show more give here than do Gore's. Among people who want Gore to become president, 58 percent call a tally without hand counts unacceptable. Among those who favor Bush, fewer - 43 percent - say they would not accept a tally with hand counts.
Some hand count supporters seem to base their views on partisanship, rather than a belief that hand counts are more accurate. While 56 percent prefer the inclusion of hand counts, fewer - 41 percent - think hand counts are more accurate than machine recounts.
Indeed, while 87 percent of Gore supporters want hand counts included, just 62 percent of Gore's supporters call hand counts more accurate than machine recounts. Among Bush supporters, the vast majority - 79 percent - call machine counts more accurate.

Who Wins?
Fifty-four percent say that if Harris declares Bush the winner without including the hand counts (he's ahead by 300 votes in the latest tally), Gore should concede rather than continue to try to have the courts order the hand counts included.
That reaches a majority because it includes 23 percent of Gore's supporters, and it seems to tap into the majority's desire for a quicker resolution. But it's a prospective question - there's no telling whether that opinion will hold in the actual event; more Gore supporters instead might hold the line for their candidate. And with a court ruling on the inclusion of hand counts pending, there's also no telling what the final event may be.
Finally, the public's ultimate preference - Gore or Bush - remains as divided as ever. Forty-four percent in this poll say they want to see Gore become the next president, 43 percent Bush.
And, as perhaps another sign of growing fatigue, 12 percent don't want either one of them.

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 16, 2000, among a random national sample of 610 adults. The results have a four-point error margin. Field work by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

-- (The@2000.election), November 17, 2000


Finally, the public's ultimate preference - Gore or Bush - remains as divided as ever. Forty-four percent in this poll say they want to see Gore become the next president, 43 percent Bush.

It's still razor-thin close the way it was when the voting took place. Welcome to divided government.

-- Still too (, November 17, 2000.

It's hard to believe the 56% figure. Is 610 a decent sample size?

-- (qu@lity.stats), November 17, 2000.

All 50% 59% Gore Supporters 54% 62% Bush Supporters 45% 57%

Yeah yeah sure sure and tomorrow they will find the correct hard drive and actual figures, but then again, it may be tied up in lawyers hands till next sunday.

-- (, November 17, 2000.

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