WASHINGTON – President Bush holds a consistent double-digit lead over his Democratic rivals despite growing public concerns about his handling of the economy, new polls suggest.
Bush's job approval was at 58 percent in a new Quinnipiac University (search) national poll, while it remains in the low to mid 60s in other recent polls, including a bipartisan poll taken for National Public Radio (search) and released Tuesday.
When Bush is matched against an unnamed Democratic nominee or against several of the leading Democrats in the race, he holds a lead ranging from 13 points against Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (search) to 15 points against an unnamed Democrat to slightly more against Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (search) or Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (search).
The public approves of Bush's handling of terrorism by a 2-1 margin, while people are evenly divided on his handling of the economy, with 45 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving.
In a matchup of the Democratic candidates, Lieberman had 22 percent, Gephardt had 17 percent and Kerry had 15 percent. Bob Graham, a Florida senator, was at 5 percent, while John Edwards, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton were at 5 percent. Carol Moseley Braun was at 4 percent and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich was at 1 percent.
Half in the NPR poll said they would vote to re-elect Bush, while about a third, 35 percent, said they would vote for the Democratic nominee.
The Quinnipiac poll of 865 registered voters was taken from June 4-9 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points, larger for subgroups like Democrats.