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Bush to Speak at Republican Fundraiser As Party Struggles to Regain Lost Ground


President Bush is expected to speak Friday at a Republican senatorial fundraiser, a day after a new opinion poll shows public approval ratings for Congress at their lowest point in 14 years.

Those numbers could reflect voter sentiment less than a month before legislative elections.

The Washington Post newspaper reports President Bush and top Republican officials plan to spend the days leading up to the election trying to re-gain voters' loyalty.

The joint poll conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal surveyed more than a thousand registered voters. It indicates only 16 percent of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing.

It says 52 percent of respondents prefer that the Democrats take control of Congress. Thirty-seven percent want Republicans to stay in power.

The results also show President Bush's approval rating at 38 percent.

The results come amid continued concerns about the war in Iraq and a scandal involving a former U.S. representative Republican Mark Foley of Florida, who sent lurid e-mails to teenage congressional aides.

Thursday, President Bush spoke at fundraising events for Pennsylvania Representative Don Sherwood and Virginia Senator George Allen, both former front-runners whose campaigns were severely damaged by character issues -- Sherwood by allegations of adultery and abuse, and Allen by allegations of ethnic and racial bias. President Bush praised both men for their loyalty to him and the Republican party.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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