Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Poll Shows Bush Losing Ground on Antiterror Policy

By Gary Langer
ABC News

June 21, 2004

Amid rising disenchantment with the war in Iraq, President Bush has lost significant ground on the issue on which he's staked his presidency: fighting terrorism.

For the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say the Iraq war was not worth fighting. Seven in 10 call U.S. casualties there "unacceptable," a new high. And there's been a steady slide in belief that the war has enhanced long-term U.S. security; 51 percent now say so, down 11 points this year.

Bush, moreover, has weakened in his once-strongest area. Approval of his handling of the U.S. campaign against terrorism has fallen to 50 percent, its lowest yet -- down eight points in the last month and 29 points below its immediate postwar peak. In a hazardous turn of fortune for Bush, Democrat John Kerry now runs evenly with him in trust to handle terrorism; Bush had led by 13 points on this issue a month ago, and by 21 points the month before.

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