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Bush approval rating rebounds in new poll

Reuters | September 19 2006

President George W. Bush's approval rating has rebounded to 44 percent, the highest level in a year, in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Bush's approval rating jumped five points from 39 percent in the previous poll conducted earlier this month.

The bounce comes with seven weeks before elections to deicide control of Congress amid falling gas prices and a renewed campaign by Bush to boost support for the Iraq war and to portray Republicans as more competent than Democrats on security, the newspaper said.

Bush's approval rating edged up largely on the strength of Republicans coming back to the fold with 86 percent saying they support him now, compared to 70 percent in May, USA Today said.

For the first time since December 2005, a majority of people polled did not say the war in Iraq was a mistake. The respondents were evenly split at 49 percent to 49 percent, the report said.

However, the poll finds that the Iraq war continues to be a problem for Bush. Sixty percent said he does not have a clear plan for handling Iraq and 75 percent said Iraq is in a civil war, USA Today said.

The telephone poll of 1,003 people was conducted September 15-17, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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