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Bush approval rating shows minor drop, hovers just above 50 percent

By Keating Holland
CNN Polling Director

WASHINGTON -- Most Americans continue to think that George W. Bush is doing a good job as president, and the public remains unconcerned by Vice President Dick Cheney's heart condition, according to the results of a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

But the Democrats score higher than the GOP on the patients' bill of rights, and Bush's energy plan has not won support, even though worries about the country's energy situation have started to wane.

The poll consisted of interviews of 1,015 adult Americans conducted from June 29 through July 1. The question on Cheney's health was posed to 571 respondents on June 30, through July 1.

Some 52 percent of respondents now approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president. That figure -- his lowest to date -- represents a three-point drop since mid-June, and is statistically identical to other polls released last week. But it is important to note that Bush has not been the victim of a sudden drop in his approval, but instead a slow, steady slide spread out over several months.

It is probably incorrect to assume that Bush's current figures are due to anything he has done recently.

As for Bush's number-two man, two-thirds say he should continue with his current duties rather than resigning from office or cutting back on his duties, and only a third are concerned about his health problems.

Some 58% think Congress should pass some version of a patients' bill of rights, and by a 44 percent to 34 percent margin, they trust the Democrats on that issue more than the GOP.

On energy, 47 percent say the country's energy situation is very serious -- down from 58 percent in March but still up significantly since the start of the Bush administration. Bush's energy plan has generated neither majority support nor opposition. Some 38 percent support his energy plan; 32 percent oppose it and 30 percent are unsure.

CNN/USA Today/Gallup POLL

Sampling error: +/-3% pts June 29-July 1

Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?

Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Bush approval rating


Based on what you have heard or read, do you favor or oppose Congress passing a patient's bill of rights?


Even if you don't know all of the details, in general, whose approach to a patient's bill of rights would you be more likely to trust -- the Republicans, or the Democrats?


How serious would you say the energy situation is in the United States -- very serious, fairly serious, or not at all serious?

Very serious47%
Fairly serious43%
Not serious8%

Comparison to the responses to the same question, when asked in March, and again in May.


Based on what you have heard or read, do you favor or oppose President Bush's plan to deal with the country's current energy problems?


Are you concerned or not concerned that Vice President Dick Cheney's health problems will prevent him from serving effectively as vice president? (Asked June 30-July1).


Comparison to responses to the same question, when asked in March, and in November of 2000.

Sampling error: +/-5% pts

Which comes closest to your view concerning Vice President Dick Cheney's health problems -- Cheney should resign as vice president; Cheney should remain as vice president; but cut back on his duties; or Cheney should remain as vice president and continue with his current duties with little or no change?

Cut back on duties20%
Continue with current duties65%
Sampling error: +/-5% pts

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