President George W. Bush’s approval rating slipped to a career low of 45 percent on concerns over the Iraq war and spiraling U.S. fuel prices, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published on Tuesday.
The poll of more than 1,000 people found that 57 percent disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war and 68 percent regard the level of American casualties as unacceptable.
But a majority of respondents, 54 percent, said the United States should keep its forces in Iraq until civil order is restored. Fifty-nine percent said they do not think a deadline should be set for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Bush has rejected anti-war protesters’ calls for a troop withdrawal and appealed to Americans not to waver because of the rising death toll, now nearly 1,900.
Bush’s overall rating was two percentage points down from the previous low of 47 percent, according to the poll.
On the domestic front, those polled were most concerned about record high gasoline prices which experts fear could spike ever higher as major refineries remained shut after Hurricane Katrina.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said they disapprove of Bush’s handling of the problem, compared to 22 percent approval.
Two-thirds said gas prices were causing them financial hardship and 60 percent said they think the Bush administration could take measures to ease gas prices, according to the poll.
The poll of 1,006 adults was conducted August 25 through August 28 and has a three-point error margin.