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     | |________________________________________________________________| |

  ...presents...           The Media and Campaign 1992
                                                         by Justin Lewis
                                                         and Michael Morgan

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1993 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
  ____       _     ____       _       ____       _     ____       _       ____

     The Center for the Study of Communication at the University of
Massachusetts/Amherst conducted a nationwide survey of 601 likely (randomly
selected) voters in early October, 1992.  The aim of the study was to find out
what people had learned about the candidates and the issues during the

     The survey, in line with others, found Clinton leading with 41%, Bush with
32%, Perot with 10%, and 17% undecided.

     The survey also found that while many voters are familiar with some of the
more trivial aspects of the campaign, their knowledge of the candidates'
policies, records and the issues in general was extremely low.  Out of 21
questions about the candidates and the issues, the average score was 32%
correct answers - a figure that drops to 27% if the more trivial questions are

     Most respondents knew, for example, that the Bush family has a dog called
Millie (86%), while only 15% know that both Bush and Clinton support the death
penalty, and less than 5% are aware that both candidates have proposed making
cuts in capital gains taxes.

     When it comes to more general issues, the news gets worse.  When asked to
choose between welfare, foreign aid and military spending as the biggest
federal budget item, the most popular choice, selected by 46%, was foreign aid.
In fact, the U.S. spends less per capita on foreign aid than most other
industrial nations, and it consumes only 1% of the 1992 federal budget.  The
second most nominated area was welfare - selected by 32% - (welfare spending
comprises just 5% of the federal budget) with only 23% picking by far and away
the biggest ticket item, military spending (21% of the federal budget).  This
suggests that most voters have absolutely no idea how their tax dollars are
spent: worse, when given a choice, they make wildly inaccurate and politically
charged assumptions.  People who rely more on TV news were particularly likely
to assume that foreign aid is the most expensive budget item and the military
spending costs the least.

     Not only do voters over-estimate the amount spend on welfare, but most
have mistaken assumptions about welfare recipients.  Almost two out of three
over-estimate the proportion of people on welfare who are black, and 80% over-
estimate the number of children women on welfare have (less than 2%
under-estimated the number of children).

     While Clinton supporters are more likely to be drawn from less educated
groups, (Clinton leads Bush by only 4.5% by those who have been to college, but
by 25% among those who have not) they are, overall, the best informed group of
voters, followed by Perot supporters, with Bush supporters (the best educated
group overall) scoring the lowest. 

     The survey suggests that Republican claims of liberal bias in the media
are without foundation: indeed, on many issues the Republicans have been much
more likely to get their message across than the Democrats.  When asked who was
accused of using family influence to avoid duty in Vietnam, 64% named Clinton
and only 38% named Dan Quayle.  Although taxes in Clinton's Arkansas are lower
than in most states, only 1 in 5 knew this, while nearly a third said that
Arkansas's taxes are "among the highest in the nation."  On a range of policy
issues, voters assume Clinton's positions are more liberal than those he has
proposed, while the Democrat's attempt to point out that Bush's recommended
budget last year was higher than that approved by Congress has not gotten
through: voters are three times (73% to 24%) more likely to assume it was
Congress who wanted to spend more.  Heavy news viewers tend consistently to get
the answer "wrong" (ie: to give the Republican-oriented version of the facts).
 _______  __________________________________________________________________
/ _   _ \|Demon Roach Undrgrnd.806/794-4362|Kingdom of Shit.....806/794-1842|
 ((___)) |Cool Beans!..........510/THE-COOL|Polka AE {PW:KILL}..806/794-4362|
 [ x x ] |Ripco................312/528-5020|Moody Loners w/Guns.415/221-8608|
  \   /  |The Works............617/861-8976|Finitopia...........916/673-8412|
  (' ')  |Lunatic Labs.........213/655-0691|ftp - ftp.eff.org in pub/cud/cdc|
   (U)   |==================================================================|
  .ooM   |1993 cDc communications by Lewis and Morgan           03/01/93-218|
\_______/|All Rights Drooled Away.                 SIX GLORIOUS YEARS of cDc|