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Poll: Americans favor Democrats on the issues

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans said issues such as the Iraq war, the economy and terrorism would head in the right direction if the Democrats won control of Congress on Tuesday, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

A majority, 58 percent, said that a Democratic Congress would move the economy in the right direction, compared to 43 percent who said a Republican Congress would help the economy, according to the telephone poll of 1,008 adult Americans, which was carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said a Democratic Congress would move the Iraq war in the right direction, compared to 34 percent who said a Republican Congress would do the same. (Poll results -- PDF)

Fifty-five percent said a Democratic Congress would move the country in the right direction on the issue of terrorism, compared to 47 percent who said that a GOP Congress would do the right thing on terrorism.

On the question of taxes, Democrats bested Republicans 49 percent to 37 percent when those surveyed were asked who would do a better job.

But those polled felt less strongly about the general state of the country if Democrats took control of Congress. Thirty-nine percent of those polled said the country would be better off if the Democrats took control. Thirty-seven percent said that the country would remain the same regardless of which party won control, 20 percent said the country would be better off with a Republican Congress, and 3 percent had no opinion.

The margin of error for those questions was plus or minus 3 percent.

Discontent over the handling of Iraq appears widespread: Sixty-one percent disapprove of the war, whereas 33 percent favor the war. Fifty-six percent said the war has not made the country safer from terrorism.

Sixty percent also said the Iraq war would head in the wrong direction if the Republicans retain control of Congress.

The poll respondents are nearly evenly divided in their opinion of the nation's economic conditions, with 8 percent describing them as "very good," 41 percent as "good," 32 percent as "poor" and 18 percent as "very poor."

The ability to handle the threat of terrorism -- long considered a key Republican strength -- may not prove so helpful this election. Sixty percent of poll respondents said they aren't worried that they or members of their family will become victims of terrorism.

Four years ago, in a similar poll, 28 percent said the country would be better off under a GOP-controlled Congress, 22 percent thought that way about the Democrats and 47 percent said it would make no difference.

If the Democrats were to win power, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California would become speaker of the house. Asked their opinion of her, 35 percent said it was favorable, 24 percent said it was unfavorable and 42 percent said they were unsure.

Pelosi had higher approval than Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, who has served as speaker since 1999. Twenty-two percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, 32 percent had unfavorable views and 46 percent said they were unsure.


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