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Poll: Majority of voters would not re-elect Bush

Yet president still has edge over main Democratic candidates

The survey indicates voters have mixed feelings on Bush's economic policies.
The survey indicates voters have mixed feelings on Bush's economic policies.

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• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry
George W. Bush
Howard Dean

(CNN) -- A poll released Saturday finds that more registered voters want to see President Bush voted out than kept in office in the next election, but his job approval rating has remained constant.

In the Newsweek poll, 50 percent of registered voters who were queried said they do not want to see Bush re-elected, while 44 percent said they do.

The survey of 1,002 adults interviewed Thursday and Friday has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

The president's overall approval rating in the survey was 52 percent -- the same it has been in previous polls by the magazine during the past two months.

But in the wake of more deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and the rising price tag for occupation and reconstruction, 51 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq -- the highest Newsweek's polls have ever shown -- while 42 percent said they approve.

The survey suggests mixed feelings on the president's economic policies, following positive news this week. Forty-four percent said they approve of the way Bush is handling the economy -- up six points from the magazine's previous poll a month ago. Forty-eight percent said they disapprove.

Among contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean edges out Gen. Wesley Clark in the poll. Sixteen percent of Democratic voters and those who lean Democratic said Dean would be their first choice, while 15 percent said Clark would be.

Rep. Dick Gephardt was third with 9 percent; followed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman at 8 percent; Sen. John Kerry and former Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun at 7 percent; Sen. John Edwards at 6 percent; the Rev. Al Sharpton at 4 percent; and Rep. Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent.

Asked about possible matchups between Bush and Clark, Dean, Kerry, Lieberman, and Gephardt, respondents gave Bush a 4 or 5 percent lead in each case.

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