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OHIO POLL Bush's approval rating stays at 60%



Published: Tue, July 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ninety-one percent of Republicans polled approve of the president's job performance, compared with 38 percent of Democrats questioned.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Six months into his term, President George W. Bush has the approval of 60 percent of Ohioans, according to a state poll.

The 60-percent figure is what Bush received in a February poll.

But the percentage of state residents in the Ohio Poll, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati, who disapprove of the president's job performance increased to 29 percent from 24 percent in the February poll.

Of those polled, the top reasons for approving Bush's job performance were: his tax cut policies (cited by 12 percent); "he is doing a good job" in general (7 percent); and his morals and values, "have not heard anything bad about him," and that he is honest, trustworthy and keeps promises (4 percent each).

Ninety-one percent of those polled who identified themselves as Republicans approved of Bush's job performance, compared to 38 percent who call themselves Democrats and 49 percent who say they are independents.

Region: In northeast Ohio, a Democratic stronghold, 56 percent of those polled approve of how Bush is handling the presidency. That was the worst area for Bush in the poll. He received his highest approval rating in the northwest portion of the state, which is dominated by Republicans, with 70 percent.

Bush also had more support from nonunion households, 63 percent, compared to union households, with 49 percent.

The wealthiest people in Ohio, earning $60,000 or more annually, supported Bush, with 68 percent, compared to 47 percent of those who earn under $20,000.

The Ohio Poll questioned 836 Ohio adults July 2-18 by telephone. The margin of error is 3.4 percent.

Those participating in the poll were also asked if they approve of Bush's handling of foreign affairs and the economy. Fifty-four percent gave their approval of Bush's handling of foreign affairs, with 22 percent disapproving. Also, 58 percent said they approve of Bush's performance when it comes to the economy and 30 percent disapprove.

Reaction: The Ohio Poll has a history of inaccurate ratings when it comes to Bush and a bias in favor of Republicans in general, said Kena Hudson, an Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman. The poll had Bush winning the state by 10 percent from Gore a day before the November general election; and the Republican won by 3.5 percent.

"I don't put any stock into anything Ohio Poll says," Hudson said. "It's a bogus poll."

skolnick@vindy.com




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