The latest figures reveal his popularity has dropped to 53% this month from 58 percent in July.

 

According to the poll released on Friday, Bush’s rating is now almost on par with figures that he had before the September 11 attacks.

 

The figures leapt to 86% immediately after the September 11 attacks. During the invasion of Iraq, his rating was 74%.

 

Slender margin

 

The poll also showed a sharp increase - 57% from 27 in July - reflecting the fact that Americans want their president to pay more attention to the economy and less to the war on “terrorism”.

  

Last January, 43% thought he should concentrate more on “terrorism”, less on the economy.

 

Americans want Bush to pay more attention to economy.

US Poll

The poll, taken between 14 July and 5 August of 2528 adults, also indicated Bush would beat a hypothetical Democratic candidate in next year's presidential election by five percentage points, 43% to 38%. The margin of error was plus or minus two percentage points.

  

In April, just after the fall of Baghdad, the Pew poll showed he would win by 14 points, 48% to 34%, is the sharp drop since then.