Accessibility links

New Poll Backs Bush On Terrorism, but Overall Approval Drops to 50 percent - 2004-01-18

A new opinion poll indicates Americans strongly support President Bush's handling of the war against terrorism but finds many Americans have doubts about his economic and domestic policies.

The New York Times-CBS News survey of more than 1,000 randomly selected American households found that 57 percent believe the Bush administration's economic policies favor the rich. And fewer than one in five said their tax burden has been eased by recent tax cuts, the centerpiece of his economic program.

On the domestic front, two-thirds of those surveyed do not believe immigrants who enter the country should be allowed to stay and work as Mr. Bush's new immigration policy proposes. A majority of those polled was also critical of Mr. Bush's recently announced space initiative, with 58-percent saying building a permanent base on the moon is not worth the risks and costs.

The poll finds that the support Mr. Bush gained after the capture of Saddam Hussein last month has largely dissipated. It says his approval rating now stands at 50-percent, about the same as before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But, the survey found that Mr. Bush still maintains a "powerful advantage" in national security, with 68 percent giving him high marks for fighting terrorism and making the country safer.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said they approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while 46-percent do not approve.

The Times says the survey has a three-percent margin of error. The survey report is published in the newspaper's Sunday edition, just two days ahead of the president's annual State of the Union address before Congress.