The Mother Jones Poll

There were 610 respondents to last week’s poll. Here’s what they had to say. Be sure to check out the <a href="/news/feature/1996/10/poll_archive.html">results</a> of our previous polls.


The MoJo Wire invites you to jump on the Soapbox one last time and express your opinions during this campaign season. This week, imagine that you’ve just been elected president after a long and arduous campaign. What will your first moves be?

1. Pick your cabinet:

a. Defense Secretary:

41.31% Colin Powell

16.07% Jerry Brown

12.13% Ted Kaczynski

8.36% Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

7.71% None

6.23% Barry White

3.77% Bob Dornan (R-Calif.)

3.44% Arthur Kent (NBC’s Scud Stud)

.98% Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)
b. Education Secretary:

30.82% Mr. Wizard

15.57% Toni Morrison

11.64% None

10.98% Candace Gingrich

10.49% Lani Guinier

9.67% Dan Quayle

6.56% Allan Bloom

2.79% Bob Dole

1.48% Pat Robertson
c. Press Secretary:

32.46% Noam Chomsky

15.90% John McLaughlin

14.92% Rush Limbaugh

13.44% Mark Shields

12.46% Don King

10.82% None
d. Drug Czar:

29.18% Joycelyn Elders

15.90% C. Everett Koop

13.93% David Crosby

10.66% Kelsey Grammer

10.66% Joe Camel

8.85% None

6.39% Nancy Reagan

4.43% Pete Coors (CEO, Coors)
e. FBI Director:

24.43% George Mitchell (D-Maine)

22.46% Ru Paul

17.54% G. Gordon Liddy

13.12% None

11.80% Marcia Clark

7.05% Mark Fuhrman

3.61% Craig Livingstone

2. You’ve got this BIG budget deficit, and (silly) you promised a middle-class tax cut during your campaign. What program will you cut first (or “decrease growth”) in order to get the budget balanced?

59.67% Defense

11.15% Medicare/Medicaid

10.33% Social Security

8.36% Education

7.70% Environment

2.79% None

3. You get a lot of squeaking from lobbyists from Investment firms that Social Security should be “privatized.” What do you do?

50.16% Work for the privatization of SS

46.89% Work against the privatization of SS

2.95% None

4. Okay, so you served one term and were, uh, unelected. Now you’re faced with planning for your retirement. Social Security has been privatized, so you get the cash in hand every month. How will you spend it?

50% Invest for retirement (401(k) plans, IRAs)

12.62% Buy groceries

11.97% Pay off old debts

11.97% Buy stock in an investment firm

4.1% Put it in your piggy bank

3.61% Give it to your favorite charity

3.61% None

2.12% Buy a car

5. Bob Dole’s chances for election are starting to dwindle down to nothing. Give Bob some quick advice about how he should spend the next four years:

Our favorite responses:

1. Collecting verbs

2. Becoming a disgruntled postal worker (and secretly disposing of copies of Mother Jones)

3. Return to WWII via time machine, don’t save comrade, keep arm, become doctor as originally planned, lobby against managed health care

4. Start a Bob-Headroom TV show for Network 23 that lets him repeat himself all he wants — “L-L-L-Liberal, L-Liberal Bill Cl-Clinton”

5. Start campaigning for Liddy in 2000

6. If the elections were held today, and all these candidates had an equal chance of winning, who would you vote for?

35.25% Harry Browne (Libertarian)

28.03% Ralph Nader (Green Party)

20.82% Bill Clinton (Democrat)

6.39% Bob Dole (Republican)

4.1% Ross Perot (Reform Party)

2.79% John Hagelin (Natural Law Party)

1.3% None

.66% Howard Phillips (U.S. Taxpayers Party)

.66% Lyndon LaRouche (Democrat)

7. If the elections were held today, and you were restricted to just these two candidates, which one would you vote for?

57.21% Bill Clinton

23.77% None

19.02% Bob Dole

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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