CBS News/New York Times Poll For release: Thursday June 6, 2013 6:30 PM ET Positive Views of the Economy

Up; President Obama’s Approval Rating Steady May 31-June 4, 2013  39% of Americans think the national economy is in good shape, up eight points since April and the highest it has been since December 2007. Still, most continue to think the economy is bad. The Benghazi and IRS controversies appear to have had little impact on President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating. It stands at 47%, the same as it was in April. 53% of Americans (and more than three in four Republicans) think the Obama administration is mostly hiding something on the issue of Benghazi. Democrats think the Obama administration is mostly telling the truth. Americans express some frustration with government priorities –75% say the Republicans in Congress are spending too much time on other issues rather than the ones they care about most, and 57% say the same about President Obama. However, the public is twice as likely to say the President rather than the Republicans is focused on the issues they care about.

The Economy and the Job Market Positive evaluations of the economy are up from April and the highest they’ve been in years. While a majority still says the economy is bad, 39% now say it is good – the highest it has been since late 2007. Now 39% 60 Rating the National Economy 4/2013 3/2013 2/2013 1/2013 1/2011 2/2009 12/2007 31% 30% 32% 32% 26% 5% 42% 68 68 67 66 74 94 57

Good Bad

Optimism about the direction of the economy is up just slightly from last month. Now, 34% say the economy is improving – up slightly from 31% in April, and about where it was in March. Direction of the National Economy Now 4/2013 3/2013 Better 34% 31% 35% Worse 24 24 25 Same 42 44 39 Americans’ views of the job market in their area have become just a bit more positive as well. 46% now say it is good (up from 42% in March), although slightly more, 51%, say it is bad. Rating the Local Job Market Now 3/2013 12/2012 2/2011 46% 42% 44% 33% 51 54 52 63 7/2010 27% 71

Good Bad

33% think the job market in their area will get better over the next year, similar to views in March. Now 33% 13 51 3/2013 31% 16 48 Direction of the Local Job Market 12/2012 2/2011 7/2010 12/2009 35% 28% 28% 39% 15 12 14 18 46 56 56 41 12/2008 17% 41 41

Better Worse Same

But job insecurity persists. More than six in ten Americans say they are very or somewhat concerned that they or someone in their household might be out of work and looking for a job in the next year. Those figures have changed little. The economy and jobs remain the most important problem facing the country (34%), outdistancing other issues such as the budget deficit (6%) and health care (5%) by a large margin. The Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi Amid investigations into the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a majority of Americans - including more than three in four Republicans and six in 10 independents – think the Obama administration is mostly hiding something on the issue of Benghazi. A majority of Democrats think the Obama administration is mostly telling the truth. But most Americans also think the Republicans in Congress have been critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack mainly for political reasons – including eight in 10 Democrats and most independents. Most Republicans think that Republicans in Congress have been critical because they want to find out what really happened. The Investigation into the Benghazi Attacks Total Reps Dems Ind The Obama Administration is… Mostly telling the truth 34% 11% 59% 30% Mostly hiding something 53 77 26 59 Republicans in Congress are… Trying to find out what happened Critical mainly for political reasons 33% 57 59% 29 12% 81 33% 57

A majority of Americans say they are following news about the investigations into the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks in Benghazi at least somewhat closely, including a quarter who are following it very closely – though Republicans and independents are following the issue more closely than Democrats. How Closely Have You Followed the Benghazi Investigation? Total Reps Dems Ind Very closely 24% 28% 17% 28% Somewhat closely 35 37 35 34 Not very closely 21 19 24 20 Not at all closely 19 15 22 18

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President Obama The attack in Benghazi and the IRS controversy appear to have had little impact on President Obama’s overall job approval rating in this poll. The President’s job approval rating has hovered below 50% for the past few months, down from 52% in February. Now, 47% approve of the job he is doing, and 43% disapprove – about the same as April and March. Now 47% 43 President Obama’s Job Rating 4/2013 3/2013 2/2013 47% 45% 52% 45 46 38 1/2013 51% 41

Approve Disapprove

With some improvement in views of the economy, there has also been a small uptick in approval of President Obama’s handling of it. 44% now approve of his handling of the economy, up from 41% last month. The President continues to receive his highest marks on handling terrorism, but approval of his handling of immigration is at just 39%. President Obama’s Job Ratings on Issues Approve Disapprove Terrorism 56% 35 Foreign policy 45% 39 Economy 44% 50 Immigration 39% 49 Frustration with Government? The poll also suggests some frustration with government priorities – overall Congressional approval is just 13%, and just one in five Americans say they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of the time. Meanwhile, three in four Americans say that Republicans in Congress are spending too much time on other issues rather than the ones they care about most, and 57% say the same about President Obama. However, the public is twice as likely to say the President rather than Republicans in Congress are focused on the issues they care about most. Attention to Issues Spending enough time on issues care about most Spending too much time on other issues Gun Legislation One particular issue where the American public seems at odds with Republicans in Congress is gun legislation, or the lack of it. Although a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases was recently defeated in the Senate, most Americans are still in support of such legislation. Seven in 10 think that Congress should pass a bill that expands background checks for gun purchases if it comes up for another vote. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all agree. Reps in Congress 17% 75 President Obama 34% 57

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Should Congress Pass a Bill to Expand Background Checks? Total Reps Dems Ind Yes 69% 58% 86% 63% No 28 40 12 33 Most Americans who live in households with at least one firearm agree that background checks should be expanded (61%), though in smaller numbers than Americans who don’t have guns in their households (80%). But Americans are not particularly encouraged that such legislation will be enacted this year. Less than half think that new gun legislation this year is even somewhat likely, and just 14% think it is very likely. Most – 56% - think it is not very or not at all likely. Likelihood of Any Gun Legislation Being Passed this Year Total Reps Dems Ind Very likely 14% 10% 16% 16% Somewhat likely 27 31 25 27 Not very/at all likely 56 57 58 54 In general, 51% of Americans think that laws covering the sale of guns should be stricter, while 36% think they should be kept as they are, and 11% think they should be less strict. Support for stricter gun control laws shot up past the 50% mark in December after the Newtown shootings. Now 51% 36 11 Gun Laws Should be… 4/2013 12/2012 54% 57% 33 30 10 9 4/2012 39% 41 13 1/2011 46% 38 13

More strict Kept as they are Less strict

The Threat of Terrorism, the Drone Program, and Guantanamo Bay In the wake of President Obama’s speech on national security, more Americans continue to think President Obama’s policies have made them safer (36%) rather than less safe (28%) from terrorism. The percentage that says less safe is up from 2011, the last time the poll asked the question, and has returned to where it was in 2010. Terrorist Threats: President Obama’s Policies Have Made U.S… Now 11/2011 5/2010 Safer 36% 36% 28% Less safe 28 19 25 No difference 30 34 39 Specifically, Americans continue to show widespread support for the use of unmanned drones to carry out attacks against suspected terrorists in foreign countries. Seven in 10 Americans favor the practice, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Drone Attacks Against Suspected Terrorists in Foreign Countries Now 4/2013 2/2013 Favor 72% 70% 71% Oppose 22 20 20

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Still, most have concerns. 47% of Americans – including 40% of those who favor the drone program – say they are very concerned about U.S. drone attacks killing or harming innocent civilians, and another 37% of Americans overall are somewhat concerned. Americans are less concerned about two other criticisms of the drone program: just 22% are very concerned it will damage the image of the U.S. and just 21% are very concerned that there isn’t enough oversight. How Concerned Are You About U.S. Drone Attacks… Very Somewhat Not too/not at all Killing or harming innocent civilians? 47% 37 14 Damaging the image of the U.S.? 22% 28 48 Not having enough oversight? 21% 45 30 The public is more divided on another controversial measure: whether or not the U.S. should target and kill American citizens in foreign countries who are suspected of carrying out terrorist activities against the U.S. While 50% favor this practice, 43% are opposed. Favor or Oppose Killing U.S. Citizens Abroad Suspected of Terrorist Activities Now 2/2013 Favor 50% 49% Oppose 43 38 Meanwhile, the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, which President Obama had advocated closing, still finds support among the American public. 58% would prefer it stay open. However, this has often been a source of partisan divisions: Republicans are more likely to want it in operation, while more Democrats want it closed. What Should Happen to Guantanamo Prison? All Reps Dems Continue to Operate 58% 76% 43% Close it 34 17 51 Other International Threats: Cyber Attacks As a new kind of destructive warfare, cyber-attacks against computer systems, has recently made headlines, two-thirds say the danger is very serious, and nearly all say it is at least somewhat serious. Cyber Attacks: How Serious a Threat to U.S.? Very 64% Somewhat 27 Not too/not at all 6 And most say the U.S. isn’t prepared to deal with cyber-attacks. Is U.S. Prepared to Deal with A Major Cyber Attack? Yes 31% No 57 Inds 58% 33

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Americans would also prefer the U.S. not engage in this kind of warfare against other nations. Should U.S. Conduct Cyber-Attacks of Its Own? Yes 36% No 55 Other International Threats: North Korea and Iran Americans continue to see both North Korea and Iran as a threat, but ones that can be contained without military intervention. Six in 10 say so, while one in five don’t see either as a threat at all. Less than one in five thinks either country is a threat that requires military action now. How Great a Threat are…? North Korea Requires military action now 16% Can be contained for now 60 Not a threat at this time 20 Iran 15% 59 21

But most Americans would support military action against Iran in order to prevent it from producing a nuclear weapon. Military Action to Prevent Iran Getting Nuclear Weapon? Favor 58% Oppose 37 The Conflict in Syria As the violence continues in Syria, six in ten Americans continue to say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to get involved there. Reluctance to get involved has not changed substantially as the conflict has dragged on. Most Republicans, Democrats and Independents agree. Does the U.S. Have a Responsibility in Syria? Now 4/2013 3/2013 Yes 28% 24% 20% No 61 62 69 12/2012 27% 62

In general, Americans don’t see a lead role for the U.S. in solving international conflicts. This is different from ten years ago, in the early says of the Iraq War, when Americans were more divided on this principle. Should U.S. Take Lead Solving International Conflicts? Now 4/2003 Yes, take lead 35% 48% No, not take lead 58 43 There is more partisan agreement than disagreement on this. Though Republicans are a little more likely than Democrats to support an involved international role for the U.S., most of them don’t think the U.S. should take the lead in international conflicts.

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Direction of the Country About one in three Americans think the country is headed in the right direction, but nearly six in ten think it is on the wrong track. Those figures have changed little in the past few months. Now 35% 59 Direction of the Country 4/2013 3/2013 34% 32% 59 61 2/2013 40% 54 1/2013 38% 57

Right direction Wrong track

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This poll was conducted by telephone from May 31-June 4, 2013 among1,022 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News/The New York Times by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLL Positive Views of the Economy Up; President Obama’s Rating Approval Rating Steady May 31 – June 4, 2013 q1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 47 11 83 43 43 80 9 45 10 9 8 12 Apr13b % 47 45 8

Approve Disapprove DK/NA

q2. Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track? Right direction Wrong track DK/NA 35 87 4 9 33 6 61 60 8 32 59 7 34

59 6

q3. What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? Economy/ jobs 34 Budget/nat’l debt 6 11 Health care 5 6 Immigration 3 2 Religious Values 3 5 Partisan politics 3 Big government 3 Values/moral values 3 Miscellaneous Government Issues 2 Politicians 2 2 Barack Obama 2 Education 1 * War/Peace 1 1 Miscellaneous Economic Issues 1 Guns 1 1 Business ethics 1 Community/Lack of Unity 1 1 Terrorism 1 1 Republicans 1 Income gap 1 Misc. Government programs 1 Welfare 1 Taxes 1 1 Crime 1 Miscellaneous Social Issues 1 Foreign Policy 1 Poverty 1 q3. What do you think is the most important (continued) 31 41 29 3 6 2 7 4 4 1 4 * 5 3 7 1 2 4 1 2 2 2 3 2 2 4 * 2 1 2 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 * 2 1 2 2 * 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 * 2 1 problem facing this country today?

Foreign Aid Defense Personal finances Natural Disasters Environment Nothing Other Don’t know/No Answer

TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 1 * 2 * 1 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 5 3 12 3 4 2 4

q4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling foreign policy? Apr13b % Approve 45 17 75 42 45 Disapprove 39 69 12 39 38 DK/NA 16 14 13 20 17 q5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy? Approve Disapprove DK/NA 44 50 6 9 84 7 79 17 3 41 52 8 41 52 7

q6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the threat of terrorism? Approve Disapprove DK/NA 56 35 9 32 60 8 84 10 6 51 37 12 56 35 9

q7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the issue of immigration? Approve Disapprove DK/NA 39 49 12 15 71 14 66 26 9 35 53 12 44 45 11

q8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? Approve Disapprove DK/NA 13 80 7 14 78 9 13 82 5 13 79 7 Apr13a 17 75 8

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q10. How would you rate the condition of the national economy these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 3 1 3 3 36 21 52 33 37 46 30 37 23 31 15 24 1 * * 2 Apr13b % 2 29 42 26 2

Very good Fairly good Fairly bad Very bad DK/NA

q11. Do you think the economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same? Better Worse Same DK/NA 34 24 42 1 18 30 51 1 53 13 34 * 29 28 42 1 31 24 44 1

q12. How would you rate the job market in your area these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad? Very good Fairly good Fairly bad Very bad DK/NA 5 41 29 22 4 4 35 36 21 3 5 45 27 19 3 6 41 26 23 5 Mar13b 5 37 34 20 4

q13. Over the next year, do you think the job market in your area will get better, get worse, or stay about the same? Better Worse Same DK/NA 33 13 51 3 17 20 60 3 47 6 44 2 33 15 50 3 31 16 48 5

q14. How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right – just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? Just about always Most of the time Some of the time Never DK/NA 3 17 70 8 1 1 7 81 10 1 4 26 66 4 * 4 17 67 11 2 3 17 70 8 1

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q18. Do you think Republicans in Congress are spending enough time on the issues you care about most, or are they spending too much time on other issues? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 17 32 4 17 75 58 91 74 8 10 4 10 Jun11a % 17 75 8

Spending enough time Too much on other issues Don't know/ No answer

q19. Do you think Barack Obama is spending enough time on the issues you care about most, or is he spending too much time on other issues? Spending enough time Too much on other issues Don't know/ No answer 57 34 80 9 10 33 10 60 61 7 30 61 9 8 31

q21. Do you think the policies of the Obama administration have made the United States safer from terrorism, less safe from terrorism, or have the policies of the Obama administration not affected the US's safety from terrorism? Safer Less safe No effect DK/NA 36 28 30 6 13 50 30 7 59 10 28 3 34 28 31 7 Nov11a 36 19 34 11

q24. Do you think the United States should or should not take the leading role among all other countries in the world in trying to solve international conflicts? U.S. should take lead U.S. should not take lead DK/NA 35 51 5 44 59 4 36 63 9 28 Apr03b 48 43 9

58 6

q30. How closely have you been following news about the investigation into the Obama Administration’s handling of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last year – very closely, somewhat closely, not very closely, or not at all closely? Very closely Somewhat closely Not very closely Not at all closely DK/NA 24 35 19 1 28 37 21 15 1 17 35 19 22 1 28 34 24 18 *

20

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q31. On the issue of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, do you think the Obama Administration is mostly (telling the truth about what happened), or do you think it is mostly (hiding something)? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 34 11 59 30 53 77 26 59 13 12 15 11

Mostly telling the truth Mostly hiding something DK/NA

q32. Generally, do you think Republicans in Congress have been critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack mainly (because they want to find out what really happened), or mainly (for political reasons)? Mainly find out what happened Mainly for political reasons DK/NA 10 33 57 12 59 29 7 12 81 10 33 57

q33. As you may know, cyber-attacks are attacks on computer systems using software and the internet. How serious a threat do you think cyber-attacks are to computer systems in the United States? Would you say cyber-attacks are a very serious threat, somewhat serious, not too serious or not at all a serious threat? Very Somewhat Not too serious Not at all serious DK/NA 64 27 1 2 71 24 5 2 1 60 32 2 1 3 63 27 4 1 3

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q34a. In general, do you think the United States is adequately prepared to deal with a major cyber-attack on computer systems in this country, or not? Prepared Not prepared DK/NA 31 11 19 57 16 42 66 7 32 51 11 57

q34. Cyber-attacks are increasingly being used as a new tactic of warfare by some countries. Do you think the United States should ever conduct cyber-attacks against other countries, or not? Yes No DK/NA 36 55 9 37 55 9 30 61 9 39 52 9

q35. Do you think the United States has a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and anti-government groups, or doesn't the United States have this responsibility? US has responsibility Not US business DK/NA 28 61 12 31 57 8 26 66 11 29 60 Apr13b 24 62 14

10

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q36. Which of these comes closest to your opinion? 1. North Korea is a threat to the United States that requires military action now. 2. North Korea is a threat that can be contained for now. 3. North Korea is not a threat to the United States at this time. TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 16 15 15 17 60 71 58 54 20 12 21 24 4 2 6 5 Apr13b % 15 56 21 8

Threat requiring action now Threat that can be contained Not a threat at this time DK/NA

q37. Which of these comes closest to your opinion? 1. Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now. 2. Iran is a threat that can be contained for now. 3. Iran is not a threat to the United States at this time. Threat requiring action now Threat that can be contained Not a threat at this time DK/NA 15 59 21 6 20 63 11 3 8 63 26 7 16 54 23 May03b 9 66 18 7

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q38. Would you favor or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran in order to prevent them from producing a nuclear weapon? Favor Oppose DK/NA 58 5 71 37 5 48 24 6 57 47 5 38

q39. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. using unmanned aircraft or 'drones' to carry out missile attacks against suspected terrorists in foreign countries? Favor Oppose DK/NA 72 6 80 22 6 68 14 5 70 26 6 Apr13b* 70 20 10

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*Apr13b wording: Do you favor or oppose the U.S. using unmanned aircraft or 'drones' to carry out bombing attacks against suspected terrorists in foreign countries?

q40. How concerned are you about U.S. drone attacks killing or harming innocent civilians -- very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned? Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned DK/NA 47 9 2 39 37 11 5 1 55 44 6 6 1 46 34 11 3 3 35 5

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q41. How concerned are you that there is not enough oversight on drone attacks conducted by the United States -- very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 21 13 21 25 45 48 46 42 20 21 19 20 10 12 11 8 4 6 3 5

Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned DK/NA

q42. How concerned are you about U.S. drone attacks damaging the image of the United States -- very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned? Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned DK/NA 22 24 2 12 28 24 24 2 25 33 21 29 2 26 31 27 21 2 24 22

q43. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. targeting and killing American citizens in foreign countries who are suspected of carrying out terrorist activities against the U.S.? Feb13a % 49 38 13

Favor Oppose DK/NA

50 43 7

50 41 9

51 44 5

49 44 7

q44. As you may know, for the past several years the United States has been holding a number of suspected terrorists at a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Based on what you have heard or read, do you think the U.S. should continue to operate the prison at Guantanamo Bay, or do you think the U.S. should close the prison and transfer the prisoners somewhere else? Continue to operate Close it DK/NA 58 34 6 76 17 6 43 51 9 58 33 Nov11a 52 33 15

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q58a. In general, do you think laws covering the sale of guns should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 51 30 78 46 11 22 2 12 36 47 18 41 2 2 1 2 Apr13b % 54 10 33 3

More strict Less strict Kept as they are DK/NA

q58b. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, how likely do you think it is that the President and Congress will pass any laws that will bring about significant changes to gun policy by the end of this year --very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not at all likely? Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not at all likely DK/NA 14 27 2 10 31 30 26 2 16 25 29 28 1 16 27 33 25 3

29 25

q58c. In April, a bill that would have expanded background checks on gun purchases did not receive enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass. If it comes up for another vote, do you think Congress should pass a bill that expands background checks for gun purchases, or not? Congress should pass Congress should not pass DK/NA 28 3 69 40 2 58 12 1 86 33 4 63

q59. As you may know, automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs are in effect because President Obama and Republicans in Congress could not agree on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. These automatic spending cuts are commonly referred to as the Sequester. Have you personally been affected by the spending cuts in the Sequester, or not? Yes, great deal Yes, somewhat No DK/NA 9 13 78 5 7 11 76 5 9 11 70 4 9 17 Apr13b 18 19 69 4

74 4

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q60 (a&b). How concerned are you that in the next 12 months you or someone else in your household might be out of work and looking for a job— very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not concerned at all? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 32 22 39 33 29 34 23 29 38 41 37 36 1 2 2 * * 1 1 1 Mar13b % 32 31 36 n/a

Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not at all concerned Respondent or someone in HH already out of work and looking for a job (vol.) DK/NA 1

Total Respondents Total Republicans Total Democrats Total Independents

Unweighted 1,022 284 315 423 270 315 437

Weighted (26%) (31%) (43%)

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