Ipsos-Reid EXPRESS Monday Morning Report

America's Thoughts: June 25, 2001

Washington, D.C. -- On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Ipsos-Reid's new U.S. Public Affairs Division asked 1000 American adults to comment on a variety of issues, from the stock market to entertainment to the week's public policy debate. This is the first of a series of Monday morning reports on what Americans were thinking over the past weekend. To find out about future Ipsos-Reid EXPRESS reports on U.S. public opinion (which will usually focus on the topics people are talking about as each workweek ends), call Ipsos-Reid U.S. Public Affairs President Thomas Riehle at 202-463-7300, or email at thomas.riehle@ipsos-reid.com.

Looking for Capitulation Fear of stock market risk is rising, but perhaps not fast enough to call it capitulation--the temporary complete collapse in investor confidence associated with a "market bottom." That's when stock prices can crash under the weight of the crowds all trying to get out at the same time--until investors begin to find more opportunities than risk in stocks again and sentiment begins to turn. Ipsos-Reid first measured U.S. public sentiment about stock market investing a week after the initial April 2000 crash that set in motion the current bear market. Optimism still reigned at the time, but as weeks with no significant recovery have run into months, pessimism has been rising, albeit slowly. This past weekend, 33% pronounced now a bad time to invest in stocks (only 25% felt that way last fall), but the balance of opinion remains positive. More hope must be extinguished before the kind of mass capitulation that contributes to the end of a decline.

Is this week a good or bad time to invest in the stock market?
Good TimeBad TimeDon't Know
June,20014633 20
January, 20014430 26
September, 2000482528
April, 2000532918

Celebrity Deaths: A Moment to Reckon the State of Television and the Blues Friday morning Americans learned of the deaths of two entertainment stars. The blues singer John Lee Hooker, who died at age 85, inspired generations of musicians and tried to keep the blues alive. Carroll O'Connor, the star of All in the Family throughout its eight seasons (1971-1978), also passed on. Both Hooker and O'Connor would be gratified to hear that a strong majority of Americans think that All in the Family made television better (69%) and also that the blues are still alive (85%).

Did All in the Family make television better or worse?Is the music style "the blues" dead, or are the blues still alive?
All in the Family...Blues Music Style...
Made TV Better69 Is dead6
Made TV Worse13Is still alive85
Never heard of show11 Never heard of blues5
Don't Know/Ref7 Don't Know/Ref4

If It Were Up to Us, Not Bush and Congress

The legislative options on human cloning were in the news as President George W. Bush chose to throw White House support behind a complete ban on human cloning research, rather than endorse an alternative bill that allowed research confined to using cloned embryos to better understand fatal and crippling diseases. Confronted with a version of the same choice, 42% of Americans say all research on human cloning should be banned without exception; 39% support an exception for medical research using cloned embryos (but a ban on research for cloning of full-grown humans); and 17% oppose any restrictions on human cloning research.

Americans Clamor for Better, More Representative Polling!!!!

Just kidding--they're not, but there clearly is room for a new and better approach. We did ask Americans last weekend to rate the job performance of public opinion polls in measuring and accurately reporting what people think. Only 30% give the polls positive marks (4 or 5 on a 1-to-5 scale); 25% pan the polls (1 or 2); and 45% are non-committal (3). As for specific improvements people want in their opinion polls, we are reassured to find the least amount of concern expressed about the training of telephone interviewers--no doubt a reflection of the respondents' experience with rigorously trained, highly talented Ipsos-Reid EXPRESS interviewers. The best news of all--all areas Americans find wanting in the polls are those that Ipsos-Reid's new U.S. Public Affairs polling division emphasizes in its methodology. Watch for our Monday reports on what people were thinking that weekend in America.

Percentage saying public opinion polls on each quality
Public opinion polls need improvement on...Say Polls Do Need Improvement On
A focus on people's attitudes BOTH as consumers AND as voters79
A non-partisan approach that does not slant results toward either party76
Professional statisticians to analyze results scientifically66
A global poll that compares US opinion to what people around the world think65
Better academic training for pollsters58
Better training for telephone interviewers49

Methodology The results were collected by Ipsos-Reid EXPRESS, a nationally representative survey conducted every weekend among 1,000 Americans. The margin of error for the total sample of 1000 Americans is +- 3%. Results based on smaller subgroups have a larger potential for sampling error.

To subscribe to the Monday morning email report on what Americans are thinking, call Thomas Riehle at 202-463-7300 or email at thomas.riehle@ipsos-reid.com.

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