The polls published on Tuesday showed most Americans think the war was a mistake and disapprove of the way their president is handling things in Iraq.

 

Shortly before Bush's inauguration for his second term in office, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 55% of Americans felt the Iraq war was not worth fighting, against 44% who thought it was.

 

Respondents also disapproved of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq by a 58 to 40% margin, and 57% of the 1007 adults surveyed by telephone from 12 to 16 January were not confident that the upcoming elections in Iraq would lead to a stable government.

 

Mistake

 

Similarly, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll published in the nationally distributed newspaper showed that Americans believed it was a mistake sending troops to Iraq by a 52% to 47% margin.

 

Also based on a telephone survey of 1007 adults, taken between 14 and 16 January, the USA Today poll found that respondents were now more or less equally divided as to whether the United States should keep, increase or reduce current troop levels in Iraq.

 

Until September 2004, the prevailing opinion in polls was that troop levels should be maintained.

 

Disapproval

 

Bush also got majority disapproval ratings on a number of other issues in The Washington Post/ABC News poll: 52% disapproved of the way he is handling the US economy, social security (55%), the budget deficit (58%), immigration (54%) and health care (51%).

 

Bush got high approval ratings for coping with terrorism (61%) and education (56%). In foreign affairs, environmental issues and taxes, respondents were divided.

 

However Bush's overall approval rating stood slightly higher than last month at 52%, and 55% of those surveyed said they expected him to do a better job as president during the next four years than he did in his first term.

 

The margin of error for both polls was plus or minus three percentage points.