WASHINGTON (AP) _ Most Americans say George W. Bush can be an effective president and should not scale back his plans despite losing the popular vote and facing divisions in Congress, a poll released Saturday finds.

Only 13 percent of those surveyed by Newsweek magazine said the way Bush won the presidency against Democrat Al Gore will prevent him from being an effective leader. In contrast, 44 percent said he could be somewhat effective and 39 percent said he could be very effective.

Almost three-quarters of those polled said Bush should pursue his political goals despite his slim victory margin.

The poll also found:

_Americans are closely split over the Supreme Court's decision to stop hand recounts in Florida, with 51 percent saying the decision was fair while 44 percent said it was unfair.

_More than three-quarters felt Gore's legal team did about as well as could be expected before the Supreme Court, and 59 percent said the vice president should run again for president in 2004.

_On what should be Bush's top priority when he assumes offices, 29 percent chose education, followed by Social Security reform (18 percent) and prescription drugs for seniors (17 percent).

The telephone poll of 1,001 adults, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on Thursday and Friday, has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.