WASHINGTON -- President Bush has pulled back into a tie with Democrat John F. Kerry in a CBS News-New York Times poll released yesterday, apparently boosted by increasing optimism about the economy.
The race remains very close even though Bush's job approval rating was at 42 percent -- the lowest level in this poll amid rising concerns about Iraq and terrorism.
Kerry had 45 percent support and Bush 44 percent in the poll. In a three-way matchup, Kerry and Bush were still running even, while independent Ralph Nader was at 5 percent.
In May, Kerry led Bush by eight percentage points in a two-way matchup, and by six percentage points in a three-way matchup. According to The New York Times, the poll released yesterday also indicated that nearly 40 percent of Americans say they do not have an opinion about Kerry and that among those who do, he is disliked more than he is liked.
The poll indicated a slight increase in the number of people who said the economy is getting better -- from 25 percent to 30 percent. Three-fourths of those who say the economy is improving support Bush, and three-fourths of those who say it is getting worse support Kerry.
While Bush's support on Iraq has been dropping in several polls, the public's view of the economy has been gradually improving -- reflecting several months of indications that the economy is rebounding.
The poll of 1,053 adults, including 875 registered voters, was taken Wednesday to Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.