In the polls


Geraldine Sealey
May 18, 2004 2:06AM (UTC)

A new poll from John Zogby bears several warnings for Bush-Cheney '04: Bush's job approval rating dropped to a record low -- 42%, and Kerry is up by 5 points over Bush, 47% to 42%. Also, the percentage who disapprove of the Iraq war rose to 64%, and a majority says both that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction and "It's time for someone new."

The Iraq situation is battering Bush's standing in Michigan -- but not enough to give Kerry a lift over the president in this battleground state. "Michiganians don't hold Bush personally responsible for the abuse of prisoners [in Iraq]. But roughly one-fourth of those surveyed last week said they are less likely to vote for Bush in light of the disclosures. And the president's overall popularity slumped. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they view Bush favorably, down from 63 percent in a News poll conducted in January ... Bush is in a statistical dead heat with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, with Bush favored, 44 percent to 40 percent, over the Massachusetts senator, the survey found."

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Bush has gained on Kerry in Illinois despite all the bad news out of Iraq that is dragging the president's numbers down in other polls. Kerry leads Bush 48 percent to 43 percent among likely Illinois voters, but Kerry's margin narrowed considerably from a March 3 poll when he outscored the president by 13 points.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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