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Poll: Bush approval rating still low

Survey indicates growing dissatisfaction with war in Iraq

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President Bush's slumping approval ratings seemed directly tied to the war in Iraq.

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(CNN) -- President Bush's approval rating remains among the lowest of his presidency, with some Americans growing increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

Forty-five percent of those polled said they approve of Bush's handling of his job, compared with 51 percent who said they are dissatisfied.

The rating is up just slightly -- 1 percentage point -- from a poll late last month when Bush had a 44 percent approval rating, the lowest of his presidency.

He twice before hit the 45 percent mark in the poll, in June and March of this year.

Bush has seen his approval rating plummet since he was sworn in for a second term in January, when 57 percent approved of his handling of the job and 40 percent disapproved.

The poll involved interviews with 1,004 adult Americans conducted by telephone Friday through Sunday. The total included 443 who identified themselves as Republicans and 466 who said they were Democrats.

While Bush's slide in approval rating continues, a former resident of the White House, Sen. Hillary Clinton, saw her poll numbers rise.

According to the poll, 68 percent of respondents said they feel Clinton is a strong and decisive leader, and 60 percent said they view the Democratic senator from New York as likable.

On the other hand, 51 percent said Clinton -- a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2008 -- did not share their values, and 53 percent said she would not unite the country.

Bush's slumping approval ratings seemed directly tied to the war in Iraq, where near-daily bombings have taken an increasing toll on U.S. troops, Iraqi police and civilians.

Fifty-six percent of those polled said they thought things were going badly for the United States in Iraq, and 43 percent said things were going well.

Two questions about the Iraq war were asked of about half the respondents, giving them a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

On one, 57 percent said the war has made the United States less safe from terrorism -- a number that has risen dramatically in just two months when 39 percent said the U.S. homeland was less safe.

On the other, 54 percent said they believe it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Iraq; 44 percent said it was not a mistake.

Those numbers have nearly reversed since last month, when 46 percent said it was a mistake to send troops and 53 percent said it was not.

All the other questions cited from the current poll were asked of all respondents and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

On other topics, 56 percent said the federal government should fund research for newly created embryonic stem cells, a move Bush opposes. Forty percent said the federal government should not provide the funding.

The majority of those polled -- 51 percent -- said the Senate should confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Twenty-eight percent said he should not be confirmed and 21 percent said they were unsure.

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