Mixed Feelings In Aftermath

Bush, The President of the United States, RKF, 001213
More Americans are satisfied with the outcome of the election than dissatisfied, but the margin is thin.

According to the latest CBS News Poll, just 50 percent report being satisfied, while 45 percent are not.

The differences have a great deal to do with how people voted - as might be expected, nine in ten of those who voted for Vice President Al Gore are not satisfied with the outcome. Nine in ten of those who voted for Governor George W. Bush are satisfied with the outcome, while non-voters are almost evenly divided.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Satisfied With Election Outcome?





Fifty-three percent say Bush legitimately won the election, while 40 percent disagree. Although the public is more willing to credit Bush with a legitimate victory, here too there are party differences. Ninety-two percent of Bush voters believe Bush legitimately won, while 81 percent of Gore voters think he did not win legitimately.
CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Did Bush Legitimately Win The Election?





And 71 percent of Americans recognize that Bush did not win the popular vote. Not only has public recognition that Gore won more votes nationwide risen in the last few weeks, but there is also an increase in the belief that more voters in Florida intended to vote for Gore than to vote for Bush. Just 19 percent think Bush won more votes nationally, down from 27 percent a week ago, while by a margin of 46 to 34 percent, the public thinks more voters in Florida intended to vote for Al Gore and not George W. Bush.

And by a margin of more than two to one, the public agrees with Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote: "We may never know with complete certainly the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election." Nearly half of those who voted for Bush agree.

One outcome of the close election is a public perception that Bush needs to include Democrats in his Cabinet. Nearly two-thirds of the public, including a majority of his supporters, say it is necessary to include Democrats in the Cabinet.


The Supreme Court, whose decision last week ended the post-election contest, appears to have suffered somewhat in public confidence as a result. Two weeks ago, 57 percent of the public expressed quite a lot of confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court. Now just 46 percent do, a drop of 11 points. More than half now have very little or only some confidence in the Court.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Confidence In Supreme Court

 Great dealQuite a lotSomeVery little





 Great dealQuite a lotSomeVery little






Two weeks ago, how people voted in the election had little impact on their view of the Supreme Court. Now, ther are enormous differences: 74 percent of Bush voters have quite a lot of confidence in the Court, while just 32 percent of Gore voters do.

Still, the public overall is more willing to credit the Court's decision in Bush v. Gore to an objective interpretation of the law than to partisan politics. Thirty-seven percent of the public (and nearly twice as many Gore voters) say the Court's decision was based more on partisan politics, while 54 percent say it was based on an objective interpretation of the law.


Americans would certainly accept a tax cut, if offered to them. But it's not necessarily the highest priority for most of them - and many are dubious that President-elect Bush has enough public support to pass his proposal.

By 61 percent to 28 percent, Americans favor a five-year, $460 billion tax cut. But only a third think Bush will be able to cut taxes for all people. And as for the specific tax proposal, Americans are divided on whether Bush has enough public support to pass it, given the closeness of the election.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Will Bush Have
Enough Public Support To Pass His Tax Cut?





But lowering taxes is not the highest priority for most Americans. While 11 percent name the tax cut as the single most important thing they would like George W. Bush to accomplish as President, most have other priorities. When asked specifically about the best way to use the surplus, 15 percent name taxes. But half want to use the surplus to help preserve Social Security and Medicare, while 17 percent favor paying down the national debt.
This poll was conducted by telephone December 14-16, 2000, among 1,048 adults nationwide. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample, and the sample of registered voters. Sampling error for subgroups may be higher.