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Bush popularity grows but doesn't equal dad's

WASHINGTON Public approval of President Bush has surged after the start of the war with Iraq, but not to the levels of support his father enjoyed during the Persian Gulf War a dozen years ago, polls suggest.

An ABC-Washington Post poll found the president's job approval rating at 67 percent, up from prewar polls that showed his approval level ranging from the middle 50s to about 60 percent.

A CBS-New York Times poll found that 62 percent say they think the United States did the right thing about Iraq. Slightly more in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll, 70 percent, said they agreed this country acted at the right time.

Prewar polls showed the public was split on whether the military should have gone into action without the backing of the United Nations.

In 1991, about 80 percent approved the first President Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, and about the same percentage approved of his overall job performance after an international coalition moved to evict Iraqi troops from neighboring Kuwait.

The ABC-Post poll of 506 adults has an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. The CBS-Times poll of 463 adults has an error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points. The CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll of 602 adults has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Those three polls were taken Thursday.


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