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WaPo/ABC Poll shows Bush is 5 points ahead of Kerry.

[S]ix in 10 Americans say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terrorism, and 53 percent say it’s improved long-term U.S. security.

Bush’s favorability rating was unchanged, at 53 percent. But in another measure, the number of “very enthusiastic” Bush supporters lost eight points, to 57 percent, while high-level enthusiasm for Kerry gained eight points, to 50 percent.

Still, Bush continues to lead, not only in favorability and enthusiasm but in the horse race overall: Fifty-one percent of likely voters in this poll support Bush, 46 percent Kerry and 1 percent Ralph Nader — essentially the same as before the debate. Among the broader group of all registered voters, it’s 50 percent to 45 percent to 2 percent. . . .

While Bush leads by 52 percent to 41 percent in trust to handle the situation in Iraq — essentially unchanged from before the debate — the issue has gained ground in importance, and it does carry hazards for him. Twenty-six percent now cite Iraq as the most important issue in their vote, up six points from last week.

Likely voters divide about evenly on whether the war was worth fighting. On Bush’s side of the argument, six in 10 Americans say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terrorism, and 53 percent say it’s improved long-term U.S. security. On Kerry’s side, 58 percent say the United States has gotten bogged down there.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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