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NEW POLL FINDS BUSINESS EXECUTIVES LESS PESSIMISTIC ON CLINTON NOW THAN WHEN HE WAS ELECTED; STILL DOUBTFUL ABOUT FOREIGN AFFAIRS

 NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Findings of a poll released today by The Roper Organization and underwritten by Continental Airlines show business executives have become less pessimistic about the prospect of a Clinton presidency compared with their reaction to his election. However, two out of three executives surveyed are concerned about the President-elect's ability to handle foreign affairs as well as George Bush.
 The study indicates Mr. Clinton's inaugural address will score points with international business executives if he makes deficit reduction, an economic stimulus program and universal healthcare coverage the top three priorities for the first 100 days of his presidency.
 The survey, conducted between January 8-14 on Continental's flights from London and Paris to the United States, asked travelers in the airline's new BusinessFirst cabin to voice their expectations for the Clinton presidency, identify priorities for the new administration's first 100 days, and evaluate Mr. Clinton's Cabinet picks. In addition to the study of U.S. and European travelers, a parallel study was conducted among a national sample of random Americans in their homes during the same period.
 Thirty percent of the respondents to the Continental in-flight poll fit the profile of "influentials," which Roper terms as people who are socially and politically active. This percentage is three times higher than that found in the general public, which Roper estimates at 10 to 12 percent.
 While 41 percent of BusinessFirst respondents said they were pessimistic about the Clinton presidency in early November, the number has shrunk to 28 percent in mid-January. In contrast, the general public sample showed no significant change in the level of optimism or pessimism between November and January, with 49 percent now optimistic about the Clinton presidency and 25 percent pessimistic.
 Clinton Not Expected To Do As Well As Bush In Foreign Affairs:
 Business travelers are pessimistic about Mr. Clinton's ability to handle foreign affairs, with 67 percent saying Mr. Clinton will not do as well as George Bush in this area. The President-elect fared better on foreign affairs among members of the general public, of which 53 percent say he will do as well or better than Mr. Bush.
 Sixty-one percent of the international travelers say Mr. Clinton should tackle a Federal budget deficit plan in the first 100 days, with 57 percent calling for a short term economic stimulus package, and 53 percent for a program to bring health care coverage to all Americans.
 Nearly half of the business traveler respondents in the first Continental/Roper poll rank a trade deficit reduction plan, reform of the public education system and restoration of the investment tax credit as priorities for the first 100 days of the new administration.
 Survey respondents have strong expectations that Mr. Clinton will generally do a better job than the last Democratic occupant of the Oval Office. Seventy-four percent of the business travelers and 64 percent of the general public expect Bill Clinton will be a better president than Jimmy Carter. Nearly half of the business and general public respondents feel Mr. Clinton will do a better job than former President Lyndon Johnson. A majority of both groups expect Mr. Clinton to do about the same or better than President John Kennedy.
 In addition, both business travelers and the general public overwhelmingly feel Mr. Clinton will have an easier time getting Congress to support his positions than Mr. Bush did his. Respondents expect the President-elect to do at least as well as or better than Mr. Bush in dealing with environmental protection, ethical standards for high officials, special interest groups, business and industry, and labor.
 Bentsen, Christopher, Cisneros Cabinet Appointments Receive Highest Marks:
 When asked to rank Mr. Clinton's Cabinet appointments, business travelers give incoming Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen the strongest marks, with 54 percent ranking him as a good to excellent choice. Warren Christopher, incoming Secretary of State, and Henry Cisneros, incoming Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, were rated as good to excellent by 40 percent of respondents.
 Mr. Clinton received his toughest marks for Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, with one-third of respondents rating him only fair to poor, versus 25 percent who called him a good to excellent choice, and U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, rated good to excellent by 15 percent of respondents, but fair to poor by 25 percent.
 In other Cabinet picks, business traveler respondents' favorable or unfavorable opinions were outweighed by "don't know," reflecting the fact most of President-elect Clinton's selections are not nationally well known.
 Business Respondents Evenly Split on Military Ban on Homosexuals -- Strongly Favor Ending Trade Embargo With Vietnam:
 One of President-elect Clinton's first announcements was his intention to press for ending the ban on homosexuals in the U.S. armed forces. The Continental/Roper poll found business travelers split on the question, with 50 percent in favor of continuing the ban and 47 percent in favor of ending it.
 When asked if they would favor President Clinton lifting the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam, an overwhelming majority of business respondents, 68 percent, said yes.
 Results for the general public come from a representative sample of 506 adults nationwide. The survey was conducted by telephone from January 8-10. Results for international business travelers came from a sample of 183 Continental BusinessFirst travelers from Paris and London to the United States. The in-flight survey was conducted from January 8-14.
 Continental Airlines plans to conduct polls or surveys periodically among its BusinessFirst class passengers in order to determine their views on important issues of our times. This is the first poll in the series. Each poll will be publicly released on its completion for the enlightenment of business, government, labor and other leadership groups. To insure objectivity, balance and conformity to high professional standards, each poll will be designed, tabulated and analyzed by The Roper Organization, the oldest opinion research firm in the world.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Harry O'Neill, vice chairman of The Roper Organization, 212-599-0700, or George McGrath of Osgood Global Group, 212-808-0099, or home 718-793-2892, for the Roper Organization/


CO: The Roper Organization ST: New York IN: PUB SU:

TM-LD -- NY006 -- 6084 01/19/93 06:01 EST
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