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Bush Poll Numbers Helped by Phony 9/11 Commission

New York Post | April 20 2004

WASHINGTON - President Bush has stretched his lead over John Kerry to 6 points, according to a poll that shows the 9/11 commission hearings haven't hurt Bush politically.

Bush leads Kerry, 50 percent to 44 percent, among likely voters, according to the CNN-Gallup poll. Independent candidate Ralph Nader garnered 4 percent.

A separate ABC-Washington Post poll of registered voters handed Bush a 48 percent to 43 percent lead over his Democratic rival, with Nader trailing at 6 percent.

ABC reported last month that Kerry led Bush on eight of 11 top issues, including Iraq, the economy, taxes and education. Today, he's ahead on just one: health care, and by a smaller margin, ABC said.

The CNN-Gallup poll found that Bush's job-approval rating has remained essentially unchanged for the past two months - 56 percent view Bush favorably and 42 percent view him unfavorably.

Kerry's approval ratings have fallen 6 points, to 54 percent, in the past two months, and his unfavorable rating has climbed 11 points, to 37 percent.

Bill Clinton's administration gets more blame than Bush for failing to take al Qaeda terrorists seriously before 9/11, the poll found.

Meanwhile, without criticizing Kerry by name, Bush yesterday faulted members of Congress who want to do away with the Patriot Act and said he hoped to strengthen it.

He said that would include giving counterterrorism investigators "administrative subpoenas" to save time by bypassing grand juries and judges.

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