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DC Congress-100Days 04-09

3. Washington, D.C.

Congress’ approval rate rises

Public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power and step up their confrontation with President Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, the issue that overshadows all others.

Yet for all their eagerness to challenge Bush, congressional Democrats so far have failed to attract significant support among independents, a group that helped propel them to power in last fall’s elections and now appears more strongly opposed to the war than the general public.

The findings from an AP-Ipsos nationwide poll provide a snapshot of public sentiment in the days after the House and Senate triggered a series of veto threats from the president by passing separate bills that provide funds for the war, yet also call for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.

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Overall approval for Congress is 40 percent. The survey shows Bush’s approval ratings remain in the mid-30 percent range, that a striking 39 percent strongly disapproves his handling of foreign policy and the war on terror, and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems.

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