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Monday, December 22, 2003

Gallup Poll Analyses - Rally for Bush in Wake of Saddam Hussein's Capture

The latest Gallup Poll reports the following:

PRINCETON, NJ -- In the wake of the capture of Saddam Hussein, President George W. Bush's job approval rating has increased significantly, as has his electoral strength against Democratic candidates for the 2004 election. Vermont Gov. Howard Dean remains the clear front-runner for his party's nomination, but his level of support is down slightly from when it was measured just prior to Hussein's capture.

The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey was conducted Dec. 15-16, two days after the stunning announcement on Sunday that Hussein had finally been captured by U.S. troops. Bush's approval is now at 63%, the highest since last June, and seven percentage points higher than what Gallup obtained in a Dec. 11-14 poll. Bush's job approval rating started to gain on Sunday, Dec. 14, the day of the announcement. If interviews for that day are excluded, Bush's pre-Hussein capture approval rating, obtained on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday was actually 54%, suggesting his approval rallied by nine points.

An incumbent president's job approval rating is usually a good indicator of his electoral strength, so it's not surprising that Bush now fares better against Democratic front-runner Howard Dean than he did before the capture. In the three days of polling from Dec. 11-13 Gallup found Bush barely beating Dean, by 50% to 46% among registered voters. That four-point lead mushroomed to 23 points, as Bush now leads Dean among registered voters by 60% to 37%.

Although a swing from a 4% to a 23% lead in just a few days shows how fickle the electorate can be.