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Monday, March 12, 2007
Bush approval up slightly in latest CNN poll
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's approval rating has seen a slight increase in the past two months, according to a CNN poll out Monday, but the survey also found lingering doubts in his ability to run the country.

The president's overall approval rating went up to 37 percent in the latest survey, conducted Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp. That's a 3-percentage-point increase from a poll taken Jan. 19-21, and the highest score Bush has recorded in that poll since early December.

Fifty-six percent of those polled said they disapproved of the president's job performance, down from 63 percent in mid-January.

Pollsters talked to 1,027 adults in the survey, which had a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

With the exception of a brief surge last summer, Bush's poll ratings have been stuck in the 30 percent range for more than a year. The most recent survey found little change from previous ones, with large blocs of voters continuing to question the president's honesty and competence.

The new poll found only 27 percent of Americans believe the president has a clear plan to solve the country's problems, while 68 percent disagreed.

Thirty-nine percent said they believed he can effectively manage the government, while 57 percent said he cannot; and more of those polled said they considered him incompetent than competent, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Forty percent said they believed Bush cares about the needs of people like them, while 56 percent disagreed.

There was one bright point for the president in the latest poll: The scandal over conditions at the Army's Walter Reed hospital does not appear to have had much impact on his ratings.

A majority of those surveyed -- 54 percent -- said Bush cares about veterans and U.S. troops in Iraq, while 42 percent disagreed. And 47 percent said they considered Bush to be a strong leader, while 50 percent disagreed.

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