The last US leader to be as unpopular as Bush was Jimmy Carter who also scored 28 per cent in 1979 in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis.
 
Bush burden
 
Bush's unpopularity may hurt Republican hopes of keeping the White House in 2008.
 
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The poll also suggested that Democratic frontrunners have a promising lead over potential Republican contenders across the board, with Barack Obama, the Illinois senator, recording the best performance so far.
 
Obama bested Rudolph Giuliani, the Republican frontrunner and former New York mayor, by 50 per cent to 43 per cent among registered voters who responded to the Newsweek poll.
 
He also topped John McCain, the Arizona senator, by 52 per cent to 39 per cent and defeated Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by 58 per cent to 29 per cent, the poll indicated.
 
The other popular Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, who is New York senator, topped Giuliani by 49 per cent to 46 per cent, and beat McCain by 50 per cent to 44 per cent.
 
She led Romney by 57 per cent to 35 per cent, the poll found.
 
The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on Wednesday and Thursday, interviewed 1,001 adults 18 and older.
 
It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.