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Poll: Approval Dips for Bush Policy

June 4, 2001

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Disapproval of President Bush’s handling of the nation’s energy problems has increased by 15 percentage points in the weeks since he announced his energy plan in mid-April, according to a poll released Monday.

The number who disapprove of his handling of the energy situation has increased from 43 percent to 58 percent in the poll by ABC News and The Washington Post, while the fewer respondents reported they had no opinion about his energy policy. Support for the president on energy was relatively unchanged at almost four in 10, according to poll results aired on ABC’s evening news.

Officials in the Bush administration have emphasized both energy production and conservation, but some critics say the plans focus too heavily on production and not enough on conservation.

Bush spokeswoman Claire Buchan responded: ``The president doesn’t govern based on polls. He governs based on what he believes is the right thing to do for the country.

``America is facing a very serious energy problem, and the administration has proposed a very comprehensive energy policy that includes conservation measures, initiatives to increase renewable sources of energy and to increase America’s energy security and decrease reliance on foreign sources of energy,″ Buchan said. Democrats had almost a 20-point lead on handling of the environment _ 54 percent to 35 percent.

Bush’s overall job approval was down slightly _ from 63 percent to 55 percent. Those in the poll said by a 2-1 margin _ 41 percent to 20 percent _ that recent changes that gave Democrats control of the Senate are good for the country.

The poll of 1,004 adults was taken May 31 through Sunday and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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