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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

ANWR has role in Bush approval slump

The Christian Science Monitor reports on a new Pew public opinion survey that shows President Bush's approval rating slipping, and his support for oil drilling the Arctic refuge is one factor.

Nevertheless, ANWR drilling is not a leading factor in the decline. The poll shows the public almost evenly split on the issue, with 46 percent opposed to ANWR drilling, and 42 percent supportive.

The main factor in the decline, pundits say, is an overly ambitious second-term agenda -- including Social Security reform, the ongoing campaign for democracy in the Middle East, and his brief intervention in the Terry Schiavo death-watch case.

Writes the Monitor's Linda Feldman: "Ultimately, though, it may just be that successful second terms for American presidents are historically difficult to pull off. Bush is not running for reelection, but most of his Republican brethren on Capitol Hill are - and they know that the president's party often suffers its greatest defeats in the second-term midterm elections."