Hispanics, Whites Rate Bush Positively, While Blacks Are Much More Negative

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Blacks and Hispanics are more negative about the Supreme Court than are whites

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup poll shows that Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites are just as likely to approve of the job being done by President George W. Bush and Congress, but Hispanics are much more negative in their assessment of the Supreme Court. Non-Hispanic blacks, on the other hand, give Bush much lower job approval ratings than do either non-Hispanic whites or Hispanics, but share Hispanics' more critical view of the Supreme Court. Overall, among the three branches of government, Americans rate the Supreme Court most positively and Congress most negatively.

The new poll, conducted June 11-17, included larger samples of both blacks and Hispanics, allowing for attitude comparisons across racial and ethnic groups. (All data for "whites" and "blacks" in this analysis exclude those who say they are of Hispanic ethnicity.) The following table displays approval ratings for the three branches of government for whites, blacks and Hispanics:

Job Approval by Racial and Ethnic Group

Institution

Overall
%

Whites
%

Blacks
%

Hispanics
%

Presidency

55

58

36

59

Congress

51

50

49

55

Supreme Court

62

63

52

48

Presidential Job Approval

Race and ethnicity were consistent themes throughout the 2000 presidential campaign. As Texas governor, George W. Bush made concerted efforts to attract Hispanic voters in that state, and did the same on a national level in 2000. Bush also made efforts to court black voters, especially during the Republican convention, but in the end received only 9% of the black vote, according to the exit polls. By comparison, Bush netted 35% of the Hispanic vote and 54% of the white vote, and received 48% of the total vote in last year's election.

The new Gallup poll shows Bush with an overall job approval rating of 55%, consistent with his last several ratings. Thirty-three percent of Americans disapprove of the job Bush is doing. The data from the poll show that a higher percentage of both blacks and Hispanics currently approve of the job Bush is doing in office than voted for him on Election Day. Bush gets a 36% approval rating among blacks, which is significantly lower than he gets among whites (58%), but is much higher than the 9% of blacks who voted for him for president. Similarly, 59% of Hispanics now approve of Bush after only 35% of Hispanics chose him in the presidential election contest.

Bush Job Approval by Race and Ethnicity
(Based on % "approve")
June 11-17, 2001

Congressional Job Approval

Currently, 51% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing and 34% disapprove. The current rating is similar to previous ratings this year, which have ranged from 49% to 55% approval. Whites, blacks, and Hispanics show little difference in their ratings of Congress. Fifty percent of whites and 49% of blacks approve of Congress, though blacks are a little more likely to disapprove (39% compared to 35% of whites). Hispanics give Congress slightly higher marks, as 55% approve and 32% disapprove.

Congress Job Approval by Race and Ethnicity
(Based on % "approve")
June 11-17, 2001

Supreme Court Job Approval

Of the three branches of government, Americans give the Supreme Court the highest job approval rating at 62%. One in four Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court's performance. Sixty-three percent of whites approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing, but blacks and Hispanics are much less likely to approve of the nation's highest court. Fifty-two percent of blacks and just 48% of Hispanics say they approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing. Substantial proportions of each racial group disapprove of the Supreme Court's work, including 36% of blacks and 39% of Hispanics.

Supreme Court Job Approval by Race and Ethnicity
(Based on % "approve")
June 11-17, 2001

Differences Not Limited to Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are not the only characteristics that are associated with differing evaluations of the three branches of government. For example, men and women differ considerably in their evaluation of Bush, as 61% of men but only 49% of women approve of the job he is doing as president, reflecting the gender gap that has been apparent in partisan politics for many years. Men are slightly more likely to approve of Congress (55%) than are women (47%), but men and women do not differ in their ratings of the Supreme Court (61% of men and 63% of women approve).

Differences are also quite apparent according to one's party affiliation. Not surprisingly, Republicans are far more likely to approve of the job Bush is doing than are Democrats, by an 87% to 30% margin. The low approval rating for Bush among blacks is clearly linked to blacks' orientation toward the Democratic Party. In this poll, 60% of blacks say they consider themselves Democrats and an additional 16% say they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. Hispanics, by comparison, show only a slight preference for the Democratic Party.

Republicans are also more likely to approve of the job Congress is doing than are Democrats, by a 59% to 47% margin. To some degree, this reflects the fact that Republicans currently have majority control in the House of Representatives and just recently lost control of the Senate to the Democrats when, on May 24, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont defected from the Republican Party and became an independent. Interestingly, the current ratings have shifted somewhat in the time since Republicans lost control of the Senate, with fewer Republicans and more Democrats approving. A May 10-14 Gallup poll showed that 69% of Republicans and 36% of Democrats approved of Congress' job performance.

Finally, the data clearly show that Republicans rate the Supreme Court more favorably than Democrats, 74% to 54%. Opinions of the Supreme Court have changed dramatically in the past several months, following the Supreme Court's involvement in the election controversy in Florida. In January of this year, soon after the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore led to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's concession of the election to Bush, 80% of Republicans approved of the Supreme Court while only 42% of Democrats did. An earlier, pre-election reading on the Supreme Court from August 29-September 5, 2000, showed that Democrats were actually more likely to approve of the Supreme Court than were Republicans, 70% to 60%.

Survey Methods

The results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, 18 years and older, conducted June 11-17, 2001. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Results for the sample of 871 white national adults, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 11-17, 2001. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points of registered voters.

Results for the sample of 264 black national adults, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 11-18, 2001. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points of registered voters.

Results for the sample of 247 Hispanic national adults, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 11-17, 2001. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points of registered voters.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

Approve
%

Disapprove
%

No opinion
%

2001 Jun 11-17

National Adults

55

33

12

Men

61

31

8

Women

49

34

17

Whites

58

31

11

Blacks

36

50

14

Hispanics

59

28

13

NATIONAL ADULT TREND

Approve
%

Disapprove
%

No opinion
%

(NA) 2001 Jun 11-17

55

33

12

(NA) 2001 Jun 8-10

55

35

10

(NA) 2001 May 18-20

56

36

8

(NA) 2001 May 10-14

56

31

13

(NA) 2001 May 7-9

53

33

14

(NA) 2001 Apr 20-22

62

29

9

(NA) 2001 Apr 6-8

59

30

11

(NA) 2001 Mar 26-28

53

29

18

(NA) 2001 Mar 9-11

58

29

13

(NA) 2001 Mar 5-7

63

22

15

(NA) 2001 Feb 19-21

62

21

17

(NA) 2001 Feb 9-11

57

25

18

(NA) 2001 Feb 1-4

57

25

18

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Approve
%

Disapprove
%

No opinion
%

2001 Jun 11-17

National Adults

51

34

15

Men

55

34

11

Women

47

35

18

Whites

50

35

15

Blacks

49

39

12

Hispanics

55

32

13

NATIONAL ADULT TREND


Ap-
prove

%


Disap-
prove

%

No
opinion

%

Ap-
prove
%


Disap-
prove

%

No
opinion

%

2001

1995

2001 Jun 11-17

51

34

15

1995 Sep 22-24

30

61

9

2001 May 10-14

49

34

17

1995 Aug 28-30

30

60

10

2001 Apr 6-8

55

32

13

1995 Jul 7-9

35

55

10

2001 Mar 5-7

55

28

17

1995 May 11-14

34

57

9

2001 Feb 1-4

53

32

15

1995 Apr 17-19

37

54

9

2001 Jan 10-14

50

40

10

1995 Mar 27-29

31

61

8

2000

1995 Mar 17-19

32

59

9

2000 Dec 2-4

56

34

10

1995 Feb 24-26

35

53

12

2000 Oct 6-9

49

42

9

1995 Feb 3-5

38

53

9

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

48

42

10

1995 Jan 16-18

33

52

15

2000 May 18-21

39

52

9

1994

2000 Jan 7-10

51

42

7

1994 Dec 28-30

23

66

11

1999

1994 Oct 22-25

23

70

7

1999 Sep 23-26

37

56

7

1994 Oct 7-9

21

73

6

1999 Jul 13-14

39

51

10

1994 Jul 15-17

27

65

8

1999 Jun 11-13

41

53

6

1994 Mar 25-27

29

63

8

1999 Apr 13-14

45

47

8

1994 Feb 26-28

28

66

6

1999 Feb 12-13

41

54

5

1993

1999 Jan 15-17

50

46

4

1993 Nov 2-4

24

69

8

1998

1993 Aug 8-10

23

69

8

1998 Dec 15-16

42

52

6

1993 Jul 19-21

24

65

11

1998 Nov 13-15

41

54

5

1993 Feb 26-28

27

54

19

1998 Oct 29-Nov 1

44

47

9

1992

1998 Oct 9-12

47

46

7

1992 Mar 3 ^

18

78

3

1998 Oct 6-7

44

48

8

1991

1998 Sep 11-12

55

36

9

1991 Oct 10-13

40

54

6

1998 May 8-10

44

48

8

1991 Jul 25-28

32

53

15

1998 Apr 17-19

49

40

11

1990

1998 Feb 13-15

57

33

10

1990 Nov 2-4

26

63

11

1998 Jan 30-Feb 1

56

35

9

1990 Oct 25-28

24

68

8

1998 Jan 16-18

42

47

11

1990 Oct 18-21

23

64

13

1997

1990 Oct 11-14

28

65

7

1997 Dec 18-21

39

52

9

1988

1997 Oct 27-29

36

53

11

1988 Sep 9-11

42

42

16

1997 Aug 22-25

41

48

11

1987

1997 Jul 25-27

34

57

9

1987 Aug 24-Sep 2

42

49

9

1997 May 6-7

32

58

10

1986

1997 Apr 18-20

30

59

11

1986 Apr 11-14

42

37

21

1997 Feb 24-26

37

48

15

1983

1997 Jan 31-Feb 2

36

51

13

1983 Apr 29-May 2

33

43

24

1997 Jan 10-13

41

49

10

1982

1996

1982 Jun 11-14

29

54

17

1996 Oct 26-29

34

51

15

1981

1996 Aug 5-7

39

49

12

1981 Jun 19-22

38

40

22

1996 May 9-12

30

65

5

1980

1996 Apr 9-10

35

57

8

1980 Jun 13-16

25

56

19

Approve
%


Disapprove
%

No
opinion

%

1979

1979 Jun 1-4

19

61

20

1978

1978 Sep 8-11

29

49

22

1977

1977 Sep 9-12

35

44

21

1977 Aug 5-8

36

44

20

1977 Jun 3-6

34

42

24

1977 May 20-23

40

40

20

1977 Mar 25-28

36

42

22

1976

1976 Jan 23-26

24

58

18

1975

1975 Oct 31-Nov 3

28

54

18

1975 Jun 27-30

29

54

17

1975 Apr 18-21

38

48

14

1975 Feb 28-Mar 3

32

50

18

1974

1974 Oct 11-14

35

43

22

1974 Aug 16-19

30

47

23

1974 Apr 12-15

30

47

23

^ Gallup/Newsweek

Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job?

Approve
%

Disapprove
%

No opinion
%

2001 Jun 11-17

National Adults

62

25

13

Men

61

29

10

Women

63

22

15

Whites

63

24

13

Blacks

52

36

12

Hispanics

48

39

13

NATIONAL ADULT & PARTY ID TREND

Approve
%

Disapprove
%

No opinion
%

National Adults

2001 Jun 11-17

62

25

13

2001 Jan 10-14

59

34

7

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

62

29

9

Republicans

2001 Jun 11-17

74

18

8

2001 Jan 10-14

80

15

5

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

60

35

5

Independents

2001 Jun 11-17

59

26

15

2001 Jan 10-14

54

38

8

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

57

34

9

Democrats

2001 Jun 11-17

54

32

14

2001 Jan 10-14

42

50

8

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

70

18

12

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