When it comes to managing the economy and the war on terrorism -- and to acting as peacemaker in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- President George Bush is doing as well or better than a majority of people expected him to do. At least, that's what 2,100-plus respondents had to say in response to our Reader Survey, "Can Bush Keep His Halo?" since it was published on Apr. 24.
Only problem is, a large percentage of those who partcipated in this unscientific reader poll don't think Bush has done particularly well at any of those three tasks -- nor do they think he's likely to in the future.
Bush gets his highest marks for his anti-terrorism campaign in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Nearly 47% of those who responded think he did a good or excellent job in trying to root out the terrorists in Afghanistan. However, 35% give him a poor rating for that effort. And opinions of his performance go downhill from there.
For instance, 63% of those who took the survey give him a poor rating for his handling of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while only 27% rate his performance good or excellent. And 54% say he has done a poor job of dealing with the economic slowdown, vs. 32% who give him a mark of good or excellent. Some 69% say they're concerned that under Bush, the U.S. again has federal budget deficits, while 27% don't seem to care.
Moreover, survey participants don't have much faith that the President can do appreciably better in the future. Some 44% doubt that he'll realize his goal of neutralizing Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, vs. the 33% who give him a good or excellent chance.
Some 71% doubt that the Bush Administration's strategy can do much to ameliorate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, vs. a scant 11% who give Bush a good or excellent chance of succeeding.
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Surprisingly, in light of the current recovery, 46% say there's a poor chance that the Administration's economic policies will reignite profits, capital spending, and employment growth by 2003, while 32% give the President's policies a good or excellent chance of reaching those goals.
Overall, 42.5% of those who participated say that Bush is doing a worse job then they thought he would, while about 57% say he's doing as well or better than they expected.
Incidentally, some 41% of those who participated identified themselves as Republicans, while 34% said they are independents, and 18% said they're Democrats.
Here are the detailed results:
How would you rate Bush's direction of his post-September 11 anti-terrorism campaign?
|No opinion||11||0.52 %|
How would you rate his efforts to defuse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
|No opinion||8||0.38 %|
How would you rate the President's management of the economy during the recent slowdown?
|No opinion||14||0.67 %|
Are you concerned that the federal budget surpluses of the past few years have turned again into budget deficits?
|No opinion||71||3.38 %|
What do you think the chances are that the President's anti-terrorism campaign will reach his goals of neutralizing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization?
|No opinion||12||0.57 %|
What do you think the chances are that the Bush Administration's strategy will help produce a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians?
|No opinion||48||2.29 %|
What do you think the chances are that the Administration's economic policies will reignite profits, capital spending, and employment growth by 2003?
|No opinion||27||1.29 %|
Overall, how do you rate Bush's performance as President so far?
|Better than I expected||636||30.26 %|
|About what I expected||560||26.64 %|
|Worse than I expected||894||42.53 %|
|No opinion||12||0.57 %|
Do you consider yourself a: