May 26, 2004 - Kerry Inches Up As Bush Approval Drops, Nationwide Poll By Quinnipiac University Finds; Voters Want Bush As A Pal, Kerry As A Teacher
President George W. Bush gets a negative 45 - 50 percent approval rating from American voters - his lowest score ever - and Democratic challenger John Kerry is now one point behind the Republican incumbent in a 43 - 42 percent split, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Ralph Nader gets 6 percent.

This compares to a 43 - 40 percent Bush lead, with 6 percent for Nader, in a May 5 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, when Bush's approval was a split 46 - 47 percent.

In other measures of voter attitudes about Bush and Kerry:
  • Voters say 45 - 43 percent that they would rather have Kerry teach their children;
  • By a 50 - 39 percent margin, voters would rather have a backyard barbecue with Bush;
  • Voters say 46 - 41 percent they would rather have Bush run their business.
"Looking at the candidates in down-to-earth terms, American voters slightly prefer Sen. Kerry to teach their kids, but President Bush would be more fun at a backyard barbecue, and do a better job running their business," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Just three weeks ago, Bush was losing support, but the lost voters were going to the undecided column, not to Kerry. Now, we see Kerry edging up. Is it a hiccup or the start of a shift?"

A total of 41 percent of American voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the country today, while 58 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" - the lowest ever for this measure. Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

The U.S. was right to go to war in Iraq, American voters say 50 - 44 percent, compared to 48 - 45 percent in the May 5 Quinnipiac University poll. A total of 32 percent of voters say the Bush Administration did an "excellent" or "good" job planning for the situation in Iraq, while 65 percent say planning was "not so good" or "poor."

Voters still say 48 - 39 percent that Bush would do a better job than Kerry in "bringing the situation in Iraq to a successful conclusion." That compares to 48 - 37 percent for Bush May 5.

Looking at the Iraqi prisoner abuse controversy, voters say:
  • 55 - 39 percent that the abuse cases are "isolated incidents" rather than "widespread;"
  • 64 - 27 percent that U.S. soldiers involved should be charged with a crime;
  • 65 - 27 percent that higher level officers should be punished;
  • 68 - 27 percent that the abuse is a "big deal" and "unacceptable," rather than "this kind of thing happens in a war situation."
"The prisoner abuse scandal is taking its toll on President Bush. Voters disapprove 54 - 41 percent of the way he is handling the war in Iraq, but they still think he could wrap it up better than Kerry," Carroll said. "By more than 2 -1, American voters say this abuse is unacceptable, even in wartime. Go after the officers who were in charge, voters say, not just the enlisted personnel in the photos."

Voters disapprove 52 - 42 percent of Bush's handling of the economy, ranked by 30 percent of voters as the most important issue in deciding how they will vote in November.

From May 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,160 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 45 50 5 May 5, 2004 46 47 7 Mar 24, 2004 49 44 7 Feb 2, 2004 48 45 7 Jan 26, 2004 53 40 8 Dec 10, 2003 51 43 6 Oct 29, 2003 51 42 7 Sep 17,2003 53 39 7 Jul 24, 2003 53 41 6 Jun 11, 2003 57 35 8 Apr 16, 2003 73 22 5 Mar 6, 2003 53 39 8 Feb 4, 2003 54 39 7 Nov 13, 2002 62 30 8 Feb 22, 2002 76 16 8 Dec 11, 2001 83 11 6



TREND: If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, and George W. Bush the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                       JK      GWB     SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA 


May 26, 2004 45 45 2 1 8 May 5, 2004 43 44 2 1 9 Mar 24, 2004 43 46 2 1 7 Feb 2, 2004 51 43 1 1 4 Jan 26, 2004 45 49 - 1 5 Dec 10, 2003 39 51 2 2 6 Oct 29, 2003 43 49 1 1 5 Sep 17, 2003 38 53 2 2 6 Jul 24, 2003 40 51 1 1 7 Jun 11, 2003 37 53 2 1 6 Feb 6, 2003 42 50 1 1 7



TREND: If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican and Ralph Nader the Independent, for whom would you vote?

                       JK      GWB     RN      SmnEls  Wld'tVt DK/NA 


May 26, 2004 42 43 6 1 1 7 May 5, 2004 40 43 6 1 1 9 Mar 24, 2004 40 46 6 1 1 6



TREND: Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                               Hvn't
                       Fav     UnFav   Mixed   heard   REFUSED 


May 26, 2004 40 39 18 2 1 May 5, 2004 40 39 19 2 1 Mar 24, 2004 45 34 18 2 1



TREND: Is your opinion of John Kerry favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                               Hvn't
                       Fav     UnFav   Mixed   heard   REFUSED 


May 26, 2004 26 29 29 16 1 May 5, 2004 27 29 27 15 1 Mar 24, 2004 30 27 23 19 1



TREND: Is your opinion of Ralph Nader favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                               Hvn't
                       Fav     UnFav   Mixed   heard   REFUSED 


May 26, 2004 10 28 19 42 1 May 5, 2004 14 27 18 39 2 Mar 24, 2004 14 28 18 37 3



TREND: In general how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                       Very    Smwht   Smwht   Very
                       sat     sat     dis     dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 8 33 24 34 1 May 5, 2004 10 34 29 26 1 Mar 24, 2004 12 36 27 24 1 Feb 2, 2004 14 35 26 24 1 Jan 26, 2004 15 36 25 23 1 Dec 10, 2003 12 33 27 26 1 Oct 29, 2003 10 38 25 26 1 Sep 17, 2003 12 38 22 28 1 Jul 24, 2003 13 34 27 24 2 Jun 11, 2003 17 38 22 22 1 Apr 17, 2003 19 46 20 14 1 Mar 6, 2003 9 35 28 26 1 Feb 4, 2003 11 36 27 25 1 Nov 13, 2002 12 43 27 17 1 Feb 22, 2002 15 52 21 11 1 Dec 11, 2001 21 47 19 10 3



TREND: Which one of the following issues is most important to you when you think about your vote in the general election for president in November -- the economy, health care, the situation in Iraq, terrorism, taxes, gay marriage, social security or Medicare and prescription drugs?

                       2004..................
                       May 26  May 5   Mar 24
                               
Economy                30      27      33 
Health care             9      10      10 
Iraq                   22      20      11 
Terrorism              15      17      16 
Taxes                   6       5       5 
Gay marriage           na      na       4 
Social security         6       5       8 
Medicare/Pres drugs     6       6       8 
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)     3       4       2 
DK/NA                   3       6       4




TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy?
                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 42 52 6 May 5, 2004 41 52 7 Dec 10, 2003 46 50 4 Oct 29, 2003 39 55 6 Sep 17,2003 44 50 6 Jul 24, 2003 42 53 5 Jun 11, 2003 45 50 5 Apr 17, 2003 53 41 7 Feb 4, 2003 43 52 5 Feb 22, 2002 62 30 8



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling terrorism?
                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 51 43 6 May 5, 2004 54 37 8 Dec 10, 2003 59 36 5



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?
                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 41 54 5 May 5, 2004 42 51 6 Dec 10, 2003 46 48 6 Oct 29, 2003 45 50 5 Sep 17,2003 51 43 6 Jul 24, 2003 52 43 5



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dick Cheney is handling his job as vice-president?
                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 40 43 17 May 5, 2004 39 41 20 Oct 29,2003 48 35 17 Sep 17,2003 54 30 17 Jul 24, 2003 52 34 14 Jun 11, 2003 50 32 17 Apr 16, 2003 54 23 23 Feb 22, 2002 58 20 22



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Rumsfeld is handling his job as secretary of defense?

                       App     Dis     DK/NA


May 26, 2004 47 43 10 May 5, 2004 50 36 14 Oct 29,2003 54 35 11 Sep 17,2003 60 29 11 Jul 24, 2003 58 32 10 Jun 11, 2003 64 27 9 Apr 16, 2003 75 17 8 Feb 22, 2002 76 11 13



TREND: Which issue will matter more in deciding how you vote for President (next year) -- Iraq or the economy?

                       Iraq    Econ    DK/NA


May 26, 2004 36 58 6 May 5, 2004 36 54 10 Feb 2, 2004 21 67 12 Jan 26, 2004 22 67 11 Dec 10, 2003 26 62 12 Oct 29, 2003 20 69 11 Sep 17, 2003 22 67 10



TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                       
                       Right   Wrong   DK/NA


May 26, 2004 50 44 6 May 5, 2004 48 45 7 Mar 24, 2004 54 39 7 Feb 2, 2004 52 42 6 Jan 26, 2004 52 40 7 Feb 2, 2004 52 42 6 Jan 26, 2004 52 40 7 Dec 10, 2003 54 40 6 Oct 29, 2003 53 42 6 Sep 17, 2003 58 37 5



TREND: How good a job do you think the Bush Administration did in planning for the situation in Iraq after the major fighting was over: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                       Exlnt   Good    NtGood  Poor    DK/NA


May 26, 2004 4 28 29 36 2 May 5, 2004 4 27 30 37 3 Jul 24, 2003 8 34 28 27 2



TREND: Five years from now, do you think it is more likely that Iraq will have a democratically elected government or is it more likely that Iraq will be governed by some form of a dictatorship?

                       Dem     Dict    DK/NA


May 26, 2004 36 50 14 May 5, 2004 39 46 14 Jul 24, 2003 48 37 14 Apr 16, 2003 66 21 13

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 45% 87% 10% 40% 52% 39% 49% 50% Disapprove 50 10 84 54 46 53 45 44 DK/NA 5 2 7 6 2 8 6 6



2. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for President -- a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


A lot 44% 46% 45% 46% 47% 42% 49% 41% Some 34 35 32 31 31 35 32 39 Only a little 17 17 17 17 17 18 16 17 None at all 4 2 5 6 4 4 3 3 DK/NA - - - 1 - - - -



3. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Kerry 45% 8% 82% 45% 40% 49% 38% 43% Bush 45 89 8 38 50 40 52 48 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 1 2 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - - 2 1 - 1 - DK/NA 8 2 9 12 8 9 7 7



4. If the election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, and Ralph Nader the Independent for whom would you vote?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Kerry 42% 6% 79% 43% 37% 47% 36% 41% Bush 43 89 8 36 49 38 50 48 Nader 6 3 5 9 5 6 5 3 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - 1 1 1 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - - 1 1 - 1 - DK/NA 7 2 8 10 7 8 6 7



5. Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Favorable 40% 81% 9% 33% 45% 36% 46% 44% Unfavorable 39 5 70 39 35 42 35 33 Mixed 18 13 16 26 17 19 17 20 Hvn't hrd enough 2 - 3 2 3 1 1 1 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1 - 1



6. Is your opinion of John Kerry favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Favorable 26% 6% 51% 23% 25% 27% 24% 24% Unfavorable 29 59 5 23 30 27 35 30 Mixed 29 21 28 37 28 30 25 30 Hvn't hrd enough 16 13 15 17 16 15 15 15 REFUSED 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1



7. Is your opinion of Ralph Nader favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Favorable 10% 7% 9% 15% 11% 9% 10% 9% Unfavorable 28 36 25 25 34 23 32 30 Mixed 19 19 18 25 19 20 17 24 Hvn't hrd enough 42 37 47 34 36 47 40 36 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1



8. Who would you rather have a backyard barbecue with - John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Kerry 39% 6% 74% 37% 37% 41% 36% 34% Bush 50 89 16 49 54 47 55 54 DK/NA 11 5 10 14 8 13 9 12



9. Who would you rather have teach your children - John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Kerry 45% 9% 82% 45% 43% 48% 40% 40% Bush 43 84 9 37 46 39 48 48 DK/NA 12 7 9 17 11 13 12 13



10. Who would you rather have run your business - John Kerry or George W. Bush?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Kerry 41% 8% 73% 44% 39% 44% 37% 34% Bush 46 85 16 41 52 41 52 52 DK/NA 13 7 11 16 9 15 11 13



11. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Very satisfied 8% 18% 3% 5% 10% 7% 9% 8% Smwht satisfied 33 57 15 28 39 27 37 38 Smwht dissatisfied 24 14 29 32 23 25 19 29 Very dissatisfied 34 9 53 33 27 40 33 23 DK/NA 1 1 - 2 1 1 2 1



12. Which one of the following issues is most important to you when you think about your vote in the general election for president in November; the economy, health care, the situation in Iraq, terrorism, taxes, social security or Medicare and prescription drugs?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Economy 30% 27% 29% 35% 34% 26% 25% 34% Health care 9 5 12 10 6 12 9 8 Iraq 22 19 26 22 19 26 23 21 Terrorism 15 26 6 14 18 12 16 16 Taxes 6 8 3 6 7 5 7 3 Social security 6 5 9 3 5 6 6 4 Medicare/Prescriptions 6 5 7 7 5 7 8 6 SOMETHING ELSE(VOL) 3 1 4 2 2 3 2 3 DK/NA 3 3 4 2 3 4 3 4



13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the economy?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 42% 80% 12% 35% 48% 37% 46% 49% Disapprove 52 16 84 55 49 56 48 48 DK/NA 6 4 4 10 4 7 6 4



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- terrorism?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 51% 88% 20% 50% 59% 45% 55% 59% Disapprove 43 10 72 44 39 47 39 34 DK/NA 6 2 8 6 3 8 6 7



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the situation with Iraq?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 41% 79% 10% 38% 48% 35% 45% 48% Disapprove 54 19 86 54 49 59 50 47 DK/NA 5 3 4 8 3 6 5 6



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dick Cheney is handling his job as vice-president?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 40% 73% 15% 33% 46% 34% 44% 43% Disapprove 43 14 71 46 40 46 39 40 DK/NA 17 13 15 22 13 20 17 17



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Rumsfeld is handling his job as secretary of defense?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Approve 47% 78% 24% 39% 53% 42% 50% 54% Disapprove 43 16 65 50 41 45 39 35 DK/NA 10 6 11 10 6 14 11 11



18. Which issue will matter more in deciding how you vote for President, Iraq or the economy?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Iraq 36% 41% 34% 34% 34% 38% 40% 30% Economy 58 54 60 61 62 55 54 65 DK/NA 6 6 5 5 4 8 7 5



19. Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Right thing 50% 82% 22% 48% 56% 44% 52% 56% Wrong thing 44 14 70 47 41 48 42 38 DK/NA 6 4 8 5 3 8 5 5



20. How good a job do you think the Bush Administration did in planning for the situation in Iraq after the major fighting was over: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Excellent 4% 8% 1% 3% 5% 3% 4% 5% Good 28 54 7 24 29 27 29 34 Not so good 29 25 32 33 29 29 30 34 Poor 36 9 59 38 34 38 33 27 DK/NA 2 3 1 2 3 2 4 1



21. Who do you think will do a better job of bringing the situation in Iraq to a successful conclusion George W. Bush or John Kerry?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Bush 48% 88% 16% 43% 55% 41% 51% 52% Kerry 39 8 69 42 35 43 35 35 DK/NA 13 4 15 15 10 16 13 13



22. Five years from now, do you think it is more likely that Iraq will have a democratically elected government or is it more likely that Iraq will be governed by some form of a dictatorship?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Democratic govmnt 36% 53% 20% 37% 42% 31% 37% 43% Dictatorship 50 36 62 51 46 52 49 44 DK/NA 14 11 18 12 12 17 14 13



23. How closely have you been following news reports about the abuse of some Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers in Iraq: very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not closely at all?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Very closely 41% 38% 46% 40% 42% 41% 43% 37% Smwht closely 45 52 40 44 46 44 45 48 Not too closely 11 9 13 12 11 12 11 12 Not closely at all 2 1 1 4 2 3 1 2 DK/NA - - - - - - - -



24. Do you think the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers represents a few isolated incidents, or do you think it's more widespread than that?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Few incidents 55% 74% 41% 55% 60% 51% 59% 66% Widespread 39 22 53 42 36 41 35 30 DK/NA 6 4 6 3 4 7 6 4



25. Do you think the soldiers involved should or should not be charged with a crime?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Should 64% 70% 63% 63% 62% 65% 61% 66% Should not 27 24 29 28 32 24 30 25 DK/NA 9 7 7 9 6 11 9 8



26. Do you think higher-level military officers should be punished for allowing a breakdown in training and discipline that let this happen, or do you think these incidents are only the responsibility of the individual soldiers involved?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


High level officers 65% 57% 71% 68% 58% 70% 65% 61% Individual soldiers 27 35 23 23 32 22 25 32 DK/NA 8 9 6 9 9 7 10 7



27. Do you feel that these incidents are not a big deal, because this kind of thing happens in a war situation or are a big deal, because this kind of abuse is unacceptable?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Not big deal/War 27% 33% 19% 30% 36% 19% 30% 25% Big deal/Unacceptable 68 62 77 65 60 75 65 69 DK/NA 5 4 4 5 4 6 5 6



28. Do you think the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, should resign because of the prisoner abuse issue, or not?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Prot   Cath


Yes/Should resign 24% 10% 40% 22% 21% 27% 23% 20% No/Should not resign 68 86 50 71 75 61 67 75 DK/NA 8 4 10 7 5 12 9 5