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Bush Approval Rating Down in NPR Poll

Months of bad news from Iraq have hurt President Bush's standing, with a new NPR poll of likely voters giving him a 50-percent approval rating, down from 53 percent in March. The poll also shows President Bush and his Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry in a statistical dead heat. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

The poll, conducted for NPR by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Bill McInturff, showed that 40 percent of participants said the country was heading in the right direction, while 54 percent said it was on the wrong track -- matching the results of the previous poll conducted in late February and early March. Since the previous poll, the White House has been battered by negative developments in Iraq, including the prison abuse scandal and escalating violence in that country.

There are other warning signs for President Bush. According to the new poll, Kerry leads the president among independents and voters in battleground states -- the states that were the closest in the 2000 election.

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