Public opinion watch


Geraldine Sealey
April 8, 2004 1:20AM (UTC)

The Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll shows John Kerry leading George W. Bush 48 percent to 42 percent, with a +/- 3 popint margin of error. The pollsters say: "This is Kerry's biggest lead of the year and the lowest level of support for Bush since Kerry became the front-runner. Today's result marks a nine-point net gain for Kerry since last Friday morning. That change is especially dramatic because Friday's strong job creation report was expected by many to boost the President's numbers."

"The President receives some modestly good news on the economic front -- 39 percent now give him good or excellent marks for handling the economy. That's up from 36 percent a week ago. Still, 41 percent of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession. Any bounce the President might have enjoyed from the economic news was outweighed by developments in Iraq. In a survey conducted over the past two nights, 44 percent of voters say Bush is doing a poor job handling the situation in Iraq. That's up six points in a week. The President's Job Approval rating (49 percent) has dropped to its lowest level in 2004."

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A new Institute for Social Policy and Understanding study analyzes the social and political mood at Detroit mosques and found:

"Mosque participants agree on most issues regarding involvement in American society and public policy. They are virtually unanimous in supporting community and political involvement, and most mosque participants demonstrate their engagement in civic matters by being registered to vote. Because of these moderate views, mosque participants cannot be described as isolationists, rejecters of American society, or extremists. A significant number of mosque participants are unhappy with the moral climate in America, viewing certain aspects of American society as immoral. Mosque participants strongly support universal health care, affirmative action, tougher environmental laws, and cutting the income tax."

"An overwhelming number (85 percent) of mosque participants disapprove of President Bush's job performance."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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