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New Polls Find Bush, Local Officials Share Blame for Katrina Response

President George Bush and public officials at all levels of government are getting low marks from the American people for their response to Hurricane Katrina.

In a series of new polls this week, confidence in the president's leadership fell to 41 and 48 percent, while his overall approval rating sank as low as 40 percent, the lowest of his presidency.

Most respondents believe the president could have acted quicker to speed relief efforts and a poll by the Pew Research Center suggests a broader effect of the disaster will be to force Mr. Bush to focus more attention on domestic concerns.

Officials in Louisiana and Mississippi also came in for heavy criticism and Gallup poll said local and state officials were more to blame than the president for the slow response.

Another survey, by the Associated Press and the Ipsos international polling firm found that 51 percent of respondents were deeply angered by the slow response. Forty percent of respondents were ashamed that this type of disaster could happen in the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.