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Washington Post Poll:
The Bush Presidency, Iraq, and the Economy

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The latest Washington Post poll is based on telephone interviews with 1,003 randomly selected adults nationwide, and was conducted Aug. 7-11, 2003. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

             ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove-------    No
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat   opin.
8/11/03      59       37         22      37       23         14        4
7/10/03      59       35         24      38       25         13        3
6/22/03      68       45         23      29       18         11        4
4/30/03      71       50         22      26        9         17        3
4/16/03      74       52         22      23       14          9        3
4/9/03       77       58         19      20       14          6        4
4/3/03       71       54         16      25       19          7        4
3/23/03      68       NA         NA      27       NA         NA        4
3/20/03      67       NA         NA      28       NA         NA        5
3/2/03       62       38         23      35       22         13        4
2/23/03      60       NA         NA      34       NA         NA        6
2/9/03       64       42         21      34       20         14        3
2/1/03       62       41         21      34       22         13        4
1/28/03      62       43         19      36       23         13        2
1/27/03      59       39         21      37       22         15        4
1/20/03      59       36         23      38       22         16        2
12/15/02     66       37         28      32       20         12        2
11/4/02  LV  67       45         23      31       20         12        1
11/3/02  LV  67       45         22      32       20         12        1
11/2/02  LV  67       47         20      32       23          9        1
10/27/02 All 67       39         28      29       16         13        4
10/27/02 LV  68       47         21      30       16         14        3
9/26/02      67       42         25      30       18         12        3
9/8/02       71       42         28      27       15         12        3
7/28/02      69       39         31      28       14         14        3
7/15/02      72       42         31      25       13         12        2
6/17/02      74       42         32      22       13          9        4
6/9/02       77       41         36      20       11          9        3
5/19/02      76       48         28      22       13          8        3
4/21/02      78       47         31      20       10          9        2
3/28/02      79       49         30      18       10          8        3
3/10/02      82       52         30      16        7          9        2
1/27/02      83       56         27      14        7          7        3
12/19/01     86       64         22      12        6          6        2
11/27/01     89       69         21       9        5          4        1
11/6/01      89       65         24       9        4          5        2
10/9/01      92       76         16       6        3          3        1
9/27/01      90       70         20       6        3          3        4
9/13/01      86       63         23      12        6          5        2
9/9/01       55       26         29      41       22         20        3
8/12/01      61       28         33      31       17         14        8
7/30/01      59       28         30      38       22         17        3
6/3/01       55       27         28      40       22         18        6
4/22/01      63       33         30      32       16         16        5
3/25/01      58       NA         NA      33       NA         NA        8
2/25/01      55       NA         NA      23       NA         NA       22

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling (READ ITEM)?

8/11/03 - Summary Table

                           Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
a. The situation in Iraq     56           41               3
b. The economy               45           51               5
c. Taxes                     49           46               5
d. The federal budget        41           50               9

a. The situation in Iraq

                Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
8/11/03           56            41              3
7/10/03           58            41              2
6/22/03           67            30              2
4/30/03           75            22              2

Compare to: The situation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein

3/27/03           69            26              5 
3/23/03           71            26              3 
3/20/03           65            29              5 
3/17/03           64            29              7 
3/9/03            55            38              8 
2/23/03           55            39              6 
2/9/03            61            37              2 
2/5/03            61            32              7 
2/1/03            61            35              3 
1/28/03           58            38              4 
1/27/03           57            40              3 
1/20/03           50            46              4 
12/15/02          58            37              5
11/4/02  LV       56            40              4
11/3/02  LV       57            40              4
11/2/02  LV       56            41              3
10/27/02          57            38              5
9/26/02           58            39              3
9/14/02           65            31              4
8/29/02           52            36             12

b. The economy

                Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
8/11/03           45            51              5
7/10/03           47            49              4
4/30/03           52            45              3
2/9/03            47            49              4
2/1/03            44            52              4
1/28/03           46            49              4
1/27/03           47            47              5
1/20/03           43            53              4
1/5/03            50            43              7  
12/15/02          50            46              4                
11/4/02  LV       53            45              2                
11/3/02  LV       52            46              2                
11/2/02  LV       55            43              2                
10/27/02          51            43              6                
10/27/02 LV       53            44              3                
9/26/02           51            47              3                
9/8/02            57            40              4                
7/28/02           57            39              4                
7/15/02           58            38              3                
4/21/02           64            33              3                
1/27/02           62            34              4                
12/19/01          67            27              6                
11/6/01           72            23              5                
9/9/01            48            48              4                
7/30/01           52            45              3                
6/3/01            53            41              6                
4/22/01           55            38              7                
3/25/01           50            42              8

c. Taxes

                Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
8/11/03           49            46              5
4/30/03           50            46              4
2/1/03            51            43              7
1/20/03           50            45              5
12/15/02          51            44              5

d. The federal budget

                Approve     Disapprove     No opinion
8/11/03           41            50              9
4/30/03           43            50              6
2/9/03            45            45             10
2/1/03            47            46              8
1/20/03           43            47             10
7/15/02           50            42              8
1/27/02           59            30             12
9/9/01            46            48              6
7/30/01           53            42              5

3. If the 2004 presidential election were being held today, would you vote for (George W. Bush, the Republican) or for (the Democratic nominee for president)?

Net Leaned Vote:

                   Democratic     Other     Neither      Would        No
          Bush      nominee       (vol.)     (vol.)     not vote     opin.
8/11/03    48          40           2          1           1           7
4/30/03    53          40           *          2           1           3

4. On another subject, do you support or oppose the current U.S. military presence in Iraq? Do you support/oppose it strongly or somewhat?

             ---------Support---------   ----------Oppose---------    No
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Strongly   Somewhat   opin.
8/11/03      70       46         24      27       17         10        3
7/10/03      74       48         26      25       15         10        1

5. All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not?

              Worth      Not worth     No
             fighting     fighting   opinion
8/11/03        61           35         4
7/10/03        57           40         3
6/22/03        64           33         3
4/30/03        70           27         4

Gulf War:
2/2/92*        66           32         2
7/28/91        67           30         3
6/2/91         70           26         3
3/4/91         86           13         1

*2/2/92 and previous: "the Persian Gulf war"; 3/4/91: "this war"

6. Again thinking about the goals versus the costs of the war, so far in your opinion has there been an acceptable or unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq?

              Acceptable     Unacceptable     No opinion
8/11/03         42              53               5
7/10/03         44              52               3
6/22/03         51              44               5
4/9/03          66              28               6
4/3/03          62              32               5
3/27/03         58              34               9

7. Do you think (the United States has to kill or capture Saddam Hussein for the war in Iraq to be a success), or do you think (the war in Iraq can be a success with Saddam Hussein removed from power, but not killed or captured)?

             US must capture/     War can succeed        No 
               kill Hussein       without Hussein     opinion 
8/11/03             63                   29              8
7/10/03             61                   35              4
4/9/03*             50                   43              7
3/20/03             49                   43              7

*4/9/03 and previous: "if Saddam Hussein is removed from power"

Compare to: Do you think (the United States has to capture or kill Osama bin Laden for the war on terrorism to be a success), or do you think (the war on terrorism can be a success without Osama bin Laden being killed or captured)?

             US must capture/      War can succeed       No 
              kill bin Laden      without bin Laden     opin. 
9/8/02              44                    54              2 
4/21/02             50                    45              5 
3/10/02             44                    53              4 
1/27/02             46                    51              3 
12/19/01            64                    34              2 
11/6/01             64                    30              6

8. Before the war began, do you think the Bush administration did or did not intentionally exaggerate its evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, such as biological or chemical weapons?

            Did     Did not     No opinion
8/11/03      50       46           4 
7/10/03      50       46           4 

9. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good or poor?

               ----Excellent/Good-----    -----Not so good/Poor-----   No  
               NET   Excellent    Good    NET    Not so good   Poor    op.
8/11/03        32        2         30     68         43         25      *
4/30/03        35        1         34     64         46         19      *
2/9/03         28        1         27     72         49         23      *
1/20/03        25        1         25     74         48         26      1
12/15/02       35        1         33     65         44         21      1
11/4/02 LV     28        1         27     72         55         17      1
11/3/02 LV     27        1         26     72         56         17      1
11/2/02 LV     29        1         28     71         54         17      *
9/26/02        31        2         28     69         50         19      *
7/15/02        39        3         36     61         44         17      1
2/21/02        30        1         29     69         51         18      *
1/27/02        31        1         29     69         50         19      *
9/20/01        38        3         35     60         47         14      2
9/9/01         33        1         32     66         47         19      *
7/30/01        50        3         46     50         39         12      *
4/22/01        50        3         47     50         40          9      *
1/15/01        70       10         59     29         24          6      1 
10/27/00 LV    86       24         61     14         11          3      * 
10/26/00 LV    86       24         61     14         11          3      * 
6/11/00        74       17         57     26         19          6      *  
2/27/00        80       25         55     20         14          5      *  
10/31/99       74       18         56     26         18          7      1  
9/2/99         76       19         57     23         16          6      1  
3/14/99        80       22         58     19         15          4      1  
11/1/98        73       12         61     26         21          5      1  
11/1/98  LV    78       13         65     22         19          3      *  
10/13/97       61       12         49     39         27         11      * 

10. Do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse or staying the same?

             Better     Worse     Same     No opin.
8/11/03        32         29       38         1
1/20/03        18         38       43         1
7/28/02        17         44       39         1
7/15/02        20         36       43         2
7/7/02         22         37       41         0
6/9/02         27         29       43         1
5/12/02        35         27       38         0
4/14/02        34         26       40         0
3/17/02        47         20       32         1
2/17/02        29         27       42         2
1/20/02        25         36       39         1
12/9/01        24         37       38         1
11/11/01       16         48       36         1
10/14/01       15         46       39         0
9/16/01         9         44       46         1
8/12/01        16         46       38         0
7/15/01        13         40       46         0
6/17/01        17         45       38         1   
5/20/01        13         47       39         0

*7/7/02 and previous, ABC/Money. Call for full trend.

11. Would you say you, yourself are better off financially than you were when Bush became president, not as well off, or in about the same shape as then financially?

                 Better off  Not as well off   About the same  No opin.   
 BUSH                                                                    
 8/11/03             17             25             58             1

                 Better off  Not as well off   About the same  No opin.   
 CLINTON                                                                    
 6/11/00             34             14             50             2
 7/19/98             30             15             52             3         
 3/1/98              32              9             57             1         
 6/23/96             29             22             49             0         
 2/27/94             12             17             71             *         

 BUSH*                                                                      
 8/9/92              22             32             45             1         
 6/7/92              19             32             49             *         
 3/11/92             20             33             46             1         
 2/2/92              19             31             49             *         
 10/21/91            20             27             53             1         
 3/4/91              19             18             63             1         

 REAGAN**                                                                   
 1/16/89             42             18             39             1         
 1/18/87             37             23             40             1
 9/8/86              41             20             39             1 

*"...in 1989 when Bush became..."
** "...in 1981 when Reagan became..."

12. Overall, which party, the (Democrats) or the (Republicans), do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?

                                        Both   Neither                         
             Democrats   Republicans   (vol.)   (vol.)   No opinion            
8/11/03         39           40          3       10           7
12/15/02        41           44          2       11           2
10/27/02 LV     39           51          2        5           2
9/26/02         39           46          3        8           4
9/26/02 LV      42           49          1        7           2
7/15/02         42           45          2        7           4
1/27/02         40           44          3       10           4
4/22/01         47           40          4        7           3
7/23/00         42           42          2        9           6
9/2/99          45           39          4        9           4
6/6/99          45           35          3       13           5
3/14/99         47           37          5        9           3
2/14/99         48           37          4        7           4
10/18/98        44           36          3       12           6
10/18/98 LV     43           42          3       10           2
9/28/98         49           38          2        8           3
9/28/98 LV      45           44          1        8           2
8/21/98         48           36          4        9           3
7/12/98         45           38          3        8           6
1/31/98         47           37          4        6           7
1/19/98         45           42          2        7           4
7/8/97          44           37          2       14           3
9/15/96 RV      45           38          3       11           3
8/5/96          43           38          3       11           3
6/30/96         46           37          3       12           3
5/22/96         47           38          3       10           3
11/6/94 RV      41           39          2       12           6
10/31/94        43           43          2        8           4
10/23/94        39           40          3       15           3
9/11/94         43           40          4       11           3
6/26/94         41           36          3       14           5
2/27/94         46           32          4       16           3
11/14/93        42           39          3       11           4
1/17/93         49           28          5       13           5
7/8/92          48           38          1        8           4
6/7/92          43           37          3       11           6
3/11/92         45           37          1       11           5
3/8/92          51           36          1        7           5
2/2/92          49           39          2        7           3
12/15/91        39           37          3       15           6
10/21/91        39           40          3       13           5

13. Which political party, the (Democrats) or the (Republicans), do you trust to do a better job handling:

8/11/03 - Summary Table

                                                    Both    Neither    No
                           Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.
a. The economy                 47          37         3        7        4
b. The U.S. campaign 
   against terrorism           25          54         8        6        7
c. Social Security             46          33         5       10        6
d. Taxes                       43          40         3        8        6
e. The federal budget          40          41         4        8        6
f. The issue of financial
   fraud and accounting
   irregularities by large
   business corporations       44          33         5       12        7

Trend:

a. The economy

                                         Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             47          37         3        7        4
12/15/02            44          45         4        6        1

Compare to: The economy and jobs

                                          Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
10/27/02 LV         43          48         3        3        2 
9/26/02  LV         50          41         3        5        1
9/26/02             47          39         3        6        5      

a. The U.S. campaign against terrorism

                                          Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             25          54         8        6        7
12/15/02            25          61         5        6        2

Compare to: The war on terrorism

                                         Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
10/27/02 LV         26          61         4        5        4 
9/26/02  LV         34          52         4        7        3
9/26/02             30          51         6        6        8           

c. Social Security

                                         Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             46          33         5       10        6
12/15/02            54          34         3        6        3
10/27/02 LV         51          39         3        4        3 
9/26/02  LV         50          34         4       10        3
9/26/02             50          33         3        8        6

d. Taxes

                                         Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             43          40         3        8        6
12/15/02            46          44         2        6        2
9/26/02             44          44         3        6        4

e. The federal budget

                                          Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             40          41         4        8        6
9/26/02             43          43         3        7        4 

f. The issue of financial fraud and accounting irregularities by large business corporations

                                          Both    Neither    No      
                Democrats  Republicans  (vol.)    (vol.)    op.     
8/11/03             44          33         5       12        7
9/26/02             40          40         4        7        9     

14. Who is mostly responsible for the current state of the economy: (President Bush), (the Democrats in Congress), (the Republicans in Congress), (the September 11 attacks), (the normal business cycle), or something else?

                                     Bus.   Greed  Clinton                No
        Bush   Dems   Reps   9/11   cycle   (vol)   (vol)   Comb.  Other  op. 
8/11/03  14      7     10     29      16      1       2      NA     16     6
9/26/02* 13      6      9     29      21      2       3       7     12     5

* Was only asked of those who rated the economy "not so good" or "poor".

15. As you may know, officials now say the federal budget is in deficit. How much responsibility do you think Bush bears for the budget deficit - a great deal, a good amount, just some or hardly any?

            -Great/Good Amount-    --Some/Hardly Any--
                 Great   Good           Just   Hardly    None    No
           NET   deal   amount    NET   some    any     (vol.)   op.
8/11/03    52     28      24      45     30      15        1      1
1/27/02    41     18      23      55     32      23        2      2
9/9/01*    48     28      20      48     25      23       NA      3

*"For each item I name, please tell me how much responsibility [George W. Bush] bears for the lower surplus - a great deal, a good amount, just some or hardly any."

16. Do you think the current national budget deficit is a problem or not?

             Problem     Not a problem     No opinion
8/11/03         73            23                3

17. (IF PROBLEM, Q22) Would you say it's a problem that (demands immediate government action) or is it a problem that (will work itself out over time)?

              Immediate       Work         No
              action      itself out    opinion
8/11/03         61            34           5

16/17. Do you think the current national budget deficit is a problem or not? (IF PROBLEM) Would you say it's a problem that (demands immediate government action) or is it a problem that (will work itself out over time)?

             ---------------Problem---------------- 
                   Immediate      Work        No       Not a      No
             NET    action     itself out   opinion   problem   opinion
8/11/03       73      44           25          4        23         3 

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