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Washington Outlook: Capital Wrapup


From MTV to debates to syndicated talk shows, the 1992 campaign has been the most media-intensive in history. But all the exposure doesn't seem to have increased voters' political I.Q. very much. A survey of 600 registered voters by Michael J. Morgan of the University of Massachusetts found that 86% knew President Bush had a dog named Millie, but fewer than 15% realized both Bush and Clinton supported a death penalty. Asked whether welfare, foreign aid, or defense accounted for the biggest share of the budget, 46% chose foreign aid, 32% picked welfare, but only 23% correctly selected defense. Says Morgan: "This study paints a picture of an electorate that knows little about the candidates and even less about the issues. Most voters have absolutely no idea how their tax dollars are spent."Edited by Stephen H. Wildstrom

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