New Poll Shows Dissatisfaction With Bush

by TChris

For the moment at least, President Bush has lost his long-held advantage as the candidate most likely to protect the country from terrorism.

Exactly half the country now approves of the way Bush is managing the U.S. war on terrorism, down 13 percentage points since April, according to the poll. Barely two months ago, Bush comfortably led Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by 21 points when voters were asked which man they trusted to deal with the terrorist threat. Today the country is evenly divided, with 48 percent preferring Kerry and 47 percent favoring Bush.

As the public continues to watch soldiers and contractors die with no apparent increase in security for the U.S., doubts about Bush's ability to combat terrorism are likely to grow, particularly among those who aren't closely allied with either party.

Virtually all of the recent movement against the war has occurred among political independents. Among those with no firm party ties, the proportion who said the war was "not worth fighting" increased from 48 percent in May to 59 percent in the latest poll.

Interest in the upcoming election is high. Kerry is seen as more "honest and trustworthy" than Bush by a margin of 52 to 39.

Bush's overall job approval rating held steady at 47 percent, at its lowest point in Post-ABC News polls, while his disapproval rating reached a new high of 51 percent. That leaves Bush in a shaky position politically, based on the rankings of other recent presidents seeking reelection.

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