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Poll mixed on Miers' withdrawal

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Bush nominated Miers on October 3, and the nominee ran into opposition almost from the start.

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(CNN) -- Americans surveyed in a national poll Thursday expressed mixed feelings about White House counsel Harriet Miers' withdrawal as a nominee for the Supreme Court.

According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted after the White House announced Miers' withdrawal, 42 percent of respondents said they were "pleased" with her decision and 35 percent said they were "disappointed." The remaining 23 percent said they were unsure.

The poll of 512 adult Americans interviewed by telephone had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Miers submitted her withdrawal letter to President Bush on Thursday morning after informing him by phone the night before. Bush released a statement Thursday saying he "reluctantly accepted" it. (Full story)

Much of the criticism of Miers' nomination came from conservatives, but the poll showed that more liberals than conservatives were pleased with her withdrawal -- 57 percent to 34 percent.

The split between those who expressed disappointment was closer -- with 29 percent of those who identified themselves as liberal saying they were disappointed and 42 percent of conservatives saying that.

The margin of error on the breakdown results to that question was plus or minus 7 percentage points.

Only 16 percent of respondents said they thought Miers' withdrawal was a "major setback" for the Bush administration, and 42 percent said they thought it was a "minor" one. Thirty-four percent said it wasn't a setback at all.

On the question of the philosophy of Bush's next nominee, 34 percent of respondents said they preferred a nominee with "moderate" views and 24 percent said they preferred a "liberal" nominee. Fourteen percent thought the nominee should be "very conservative" and 23 percent chose "somewhat conservative."

A majority of respondents -- 59 percent -- said it was important to them that Bush nominate another woman.

During the public discourse on Miers' nomination, her religious background became an issue when the White House sought the support of Christian fundamentalists of the religious right.

But more than half of respondents -- 51 percent -- disagreed that "the religious right has too much influence over the Bush administration," and 42 percent said they thought it did.

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