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Poll: Slight Majority Approves of Dole's Performance

Responses showed that 51 percent liked how Sen. Elizabeth Dole is handling her job. Low marks for President Bush may hurt her re-election bid, however.

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Elizabeth Dole
ELON, N.C. — A slight majority of North Carolina residents approve of how Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole is handling her job and are satisfied with her representation of the state, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

Residents gave low performance marks to President George W. Bush and to Congress as a whole.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they approve or strongly approve of Dole’s performance.

The poll, conducted Feb. 18-21 by the Elon University Institute for Politics and Public Affairs, surveyed 764 North Carolina residents.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points and was weighted by gender. The sample represents the population in general and does not restrict respondents by their voter eligibility or their likelihood of voting in an election.

As for Dole’s re-election bid this fall:

  • Plan to vote for Dole: 37 percent
  • Plan to vote against Dole: 25 percent
  • Too early to tell or don’t know: 37 percent
Of those citizens planning to vote against her, 81 percent have not decided on the candidate they will support to oppose Dole in the fall general election.

“While Senator Dole receives decent reviews from North Carolinians overall, the Bush presidency is tempering her support a bit in the state, and this could prove a liability as she runs for reelection this fall,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll.

Turning to the president and Congress, respondents approve or strongly approve of the way Bush:

  • Handles his overall job as president: 36 percent
  • Handles the economy: 35 percent
  • Handles the war in Iraq: 35 percent
Fifty-seven percent disapprove or strongly disapprove of his overall job.

Respondents rated Congress likewise. Fifty-one percent said they have no confidence or not much confidence in Congress, while 46 percent indicated that their confidence in Congress has decreased.

With regard to the main issues facing the country, 44 percent of citizens trust "the Democrats in Congress" to do a better job than Bush. Thirty-three percent trust Bush to do a better job.

Citizens of North Carolina are more mixed in what they expect to be accomplished in Washington this year. Fifty-two percent of respondents expect Congress will accomplish nothing at all or not too much, and 45 percent feel that Congress will accomplish some, a good amount, or a great deal this year.

“While both Congress and the president are not rated very highly, prospects appear more bleak than usual for this administration, as it isn’t very often that you see people rating Congress higher than the president,” Bacot said.