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Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington

Issue 204 * November 9, 1998

The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Ridenour, President
20 F Street NW, Suite 700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398 * Fax (202) 408-773



* Pollster Reviews Election Data
* Dem Vulnerability on Military Issues Ignored
* Winners & Losers List
* 8 Leading Senators Conclude ABM Treaty is Not Binding
* Administration Continues to Push for Requiring the Public to Cut its Energy Use by 30%
* German Elections Reviewed
* Gingrich Opposed to Puerto Rico As Commonwealth; Seeks Statehood

Activities at the November 4 Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).

Pollster Reviews Election Data

Republican pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick of The Polling Company admonished participants not to believe all the mainstream media's poll data, saying it is no more accurate than their other reporting. She then reviewed some of her firm's poll data, including: in 1998, 52% of self-identified Catholics voted Republican (down a little from 1994, up a little from 1996); the labor union turnout was about the same as in 1994, except more union members voted GOP in 1994; 40% of self-identified born again Christians voted Democratic in 1998; in 1994 the Democrats lost ground among their core voters (union members), while in 1998 the Republicans did (religious conservatives); 20% of self-identified conservatives voted Democratic while less than 20% of self-identified liberals voted Republican. She also gave the two parties' "score" on the question of which party was: more honest (GOP, by 9 points); better on traditional family values (GOP by five points); better on taxes (GOP by 2 points); better at handling the economy (Democrats by 1 point); better on Social Security (Democrats by 2 points); better on Medicare (Democrats by 4 points); better at caring about people (Democrats by 8 points); better on the environment (Democrats by 10 points); better on education (Democrats by 11 points). Fitzpatrick noted that 25% of voters had named education as a "priority" issue influencing their vote. Fitzpatrick also explained that most media polls frame poll questions about impeachment in an incomplete way, which influences the results they get. When the question is framed in this approximate way, "If Congress were to find that the President had lied under oath, would you support your Member of Congress voting to impeach?," 43% say "impeach" and 50% "don't impeach." Another question she has asked is, approximately, "Assume Congress voted to impeach the President. Would he have deserved it under the law or would it be because of partisan politics?" To this, 60% said the President would have deserved it. Fitzpatrick also compared 1996 and 1998 answers to the following question: Would you rather have a larger government and more benefits, or a smaller government and less benefits? In 1996, by a 64%-28% margin, the public preferred a larger government. In 1998, the public still preferred a larger government, but by the much-reduced margin of 47%-40%. Fitzpatrick concluded: "Voters can't really tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats. That's not good for us because we are not in the default position for the American electorate. You can't beat vanilla by being French Vanilla." Contact Kellyanne Fitzpatrick at 202/667-6557.

Dem Vulnerability on Military Issues Ignored

Major Andy Messing (USA-Ret.) of the National Defense Council Foundation noted that military issues are the natural bridge the unites social and economic conservatives, yet the GOP gave the Democrats a "free pass" on them. Messing estimated that Democrats are vulnerable on about 10 defense issues and 10 foreign policy issues. Contact Andy Messing at 703/836-3443 or

Winners & Losers List

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation distributed his list of election "winners and losers," complete with commentary. Winners included the Clintons, Al Gore, George W. Bush, liberal Republicans, pro-abortionists, pollsters, the mainstream media, the Democrats, the Reform Party, pragmatic politics. Losers included the GOP, the 106th Congress, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Trent Lott and others. Contact Paul Weyrich at 202/546-3000 .


Stanton Meeting: Activities at the October 29 Stanton foreign and defense policy meeting chaired by Laszlo Pasztor of Coalitions for America and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).

8 Leading Senators Conclude ABM Treaty is Not Binding

Baker Spring of The Heritage Foundation reported that 8 Senate leaders have signed a letter to the President stating that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union is no longer binding. There has been no formal response from the Administration as yet, Spring said, but the Administration has telegraphed its likely response, which is that the ABM treaty remains in force because there has been no formal Senate action declaring the treaty null and void. Spring pointed out that the Administration's position has no legal validity because international law clearly holds that the treaty no longer exists because one of the two signatory parties (the USSR) has ceased to exist. (For a better description of the legal argument that the 1972 ABM treaty is now void, read pages 36 and 37 of the Heritage Foundation's 1998 publication "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the End of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: A Memorandum of Law.")

Contact Baker Spring at 202/546-4400 or (Review other Heritage recent papers on missile defense at

Administration Continues to Push for Requiring the Public to Cut its Energy Use by 30%

Amy Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research discussed the November 2-13 Buenos Aires global warming summit, the Administration's insistence on ignoring scientific evidence that contrasts with the "humans are causing global warming" theory to which Vice President Gore is attached, and the cost to the American economy and American jobs if the Administration succeeds in imposing upon the American people the Kyoto global warming treaty, which will require that Americans cut their energy usage by approximately 30%. The Administration's attempts to impose the Kyoto global warming treaty -- which has never been ratified by the Senate -- upon the public by executive action was also discussed. Contact Amy Ridenour at (202) 507-6398 or, or visit for a selection of papers on this topic by The National Center, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, the National Center for Policy Analysis, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and others.

German Election Review

Dr. Michael Taylor of the German Hans Seidel Foundation provided a review of the German elections, which saw longtime German Chancellor Helmut Kohl replaced by the Clinton-like Gerhard Schroeder. The themes of the election were change, seemingly for its own sake, and unemployment, said Taylor, who noted that the election will give the German Green Party its first national level cabinet ministries, including the foreign ministry, the health ministry, and the environmental ministry. He also noted that six parties crossed the 5% threshold for the first time (In Germany, because of a policy enacted to reduce the influence of radical fringe parties, a political party must receive a minimum of 5% of the national vote to be eligible to have its members serve in the Bundestag.). Contact Dr. Taylor at 202/546-4744.

Gingrich Opposed to Puerto Rico As Commonwealth; Seeks Statehood

Jim Boulet of English First distributed copies of an interview with Newt Gingrich in which Gingrich said he is "very opposed" to Puerto Rico remaining a U.S. commonwealth. His reason: "You cannot have a territory in the 21st century. We are not an empire; we are a republic." Contact Jim Boulet at 703/321-8818 or (

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