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Poor Marks for Bush on Iraq, Economy

August 03, 2006|From a Times Staff Writer

A Times/Bloomberg poll found discontent with President Bush's leadership on a variety of key fronts, including the war in Iraq, with 60% disapproval, and the economy, with 59% disapproval.

A poll question about immigration reflected the political complexity of the issue and the extent to which Bush's involvement in it seems to color the public's view.

Bush has challenged his party's conservative base by backing a guest worker plan that would put most of the illegal immigrants already in the United States on a path to citizenship.

On Capitol Hill, many Republicans oppose that approach, while most Democrats back it. But asked to rate Bush's handling of immigration issues, 67% of the poll's Democratic respondents said they disapproved, while 24% expressed approval; among Republicans, 55% backed the president, while 36% disapproved. Half of those identifying themselves as conservatives, however, said they disapproved of Bush's handling of immigration, while about four in 10 supported him.

Bush's recent veto of legislation that would have allowed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was opposed by 58% of those surveyed, including nearly one in three Republicans.

The poll, conducted between Friday and Tuesday, gave Democrats an 11 percentage-point advantage when registered voters were asked which party they would prefer to win in their congressional district. But the survey also offered evidence of political troubles for Democrats.

Democrats trailed Republicans, 34% to 30%, when respondents were asked which party they trusted to better protect the country against terrorists.

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