WASHINGTON (AP) - More than half of Americans say the country is now in a recession and feel the economy will be more important to their vote in the 2004 presidential election than the nation's security, says a new poll.
The CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll released Thursday indicated that 53 percent chose the economy as the top issue, while 36 percent said the nation's security.
The rest said the two issues were equally important.
That could be because people are feeling safer from terrorism since the war with Iraq.
Nearly two-thirds in this poll, 65 percent, said the United States and its allies are winning the war against terrorism, up from a third in early March and the most in more than a year who have said they feel that way.
President George W. Bush's job approval rating was at 70 percent, about where it has been since the start of the war with Iraq.
But people are evenly split on the question of whether the president is in touch with the problems ordinary Americans face in their daily lives.
More than half in the poll said the president is not paying enough attention to the economy.
The poll indicated that 56 percent think the country is now in a recession and 41 percent do not feel that way.
That has reversed the rally effect on the public during the war when 54 percent said the nation was not in a recession.
People were evenly split in the Gallup poll and a Marist Institute poll released Thursday on whether they support proposed tax cuts.
Only a third in the Gallup poll said tax cuts would help the nation's economy.
The poll of 1,001 adults was taken Tuesday and Wednesday and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. - AP
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