The Associated Press-Ipsos poll on the presidential race is based on telephone interviews with 1,541 adults, including 1,286 registered voters and 899 likely voters, from all states except Alaska and Hawaii. The interviews were conducted Sept. 7-9 by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

Results were weighted to represent the population by demographic factors such as age, sex, region and education.

No more than one time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than 3 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all Americans were polled. The margin of error for likely voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, and for registered voters is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions. Numbers below are percentages.

(Results in parentheses are from August, unless otherwise noted)

(ASKED OF 1,286 REGISTERED VOTERS AND HAS A MARGIN OF ERROR OF PLUS OR MINUS 2.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS)

1. Generally speaking, would you say things in this country are heading in the right direction, or are they off on the wrong track?

—Right direction, 44 percent (39)

—Wrong track, 52 percent (59)

2. Overall, do you approve, disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

—Approve, 52 percent (49)

—Disapprove, 46 percent (50)

—Don't know-refused, 2 percent (1)

3. And when it comes to handling the economy, do you approve or disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling that issue?

—Approve, 50 percent (46)

—Disapprove, 49 percent (52)

—Don't know-refused, 1 percent (2)

4. And when it comes to domestic issues like health care, education and the environment, do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling that issue?

—Approve, 46 percent (45)

—Disapprove, 51 percent (54)

—Don't know-refused, 3 percent (1)

(ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)

5a. When it comes to handling foreign policy issues and the war on terrorism, do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling that issue?

—Approve, 54 percent (51)

—Disapprove, 44 percent (49)

—Don't know-refused, 2 percent (..)

(ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)

5b. When it comes to handling the war against terrorism, do you approve or disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling that issue?

(Results from April in parentheses)

—Approve, 55 percent (51)

—Disapprove, 43 percent (48)

—Don't know-refused, 3 percent (2)

6. If the election for president and vice president were held today and the candidates were George W. Bush for president and Dick Cheney for vice president, the Republicans, and John Kerry for president and John Edwards for vice president, the Democrats, and Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, the independents, for whom would you vote? (If undecided, none or other:) Do you lean more toward ...

(Results from early August in parentheses matching Bush, Kerry and Nader)

6a. (Among registered voters)

—Bush-Cheney (with leaners), 51 percent (45)

—Kerry-Edwards (with leaners), 43 percent (48)

—Nader-Camejo (with leaners), 2 percent (3)

—Don't know-refused, 4 percent (4)

6b. (Among likely voters)

—Bush-Cheney (with leaners), 51 percent

—Kerry-Edwards (with leaners), 46 percent

—Nader-Camejo (with leaners), 1 percent

—Don't know-refused, 2 percent

(Asked of registered voters)

7. If the election for Congress were held today, would you want to see the Republicans or Democrats win control of Congress?

—Republicans, 47 percent (44)

—Democrats, 45 percent (48)

—Neither, 5 percent (6)

—Not sure, 3 percent (2)

———

(THESE QUESTIONS ASKED OF 837 REGISTERED VOTERS WITH A MARGIN OF ERROR OF PLUS OR MINUS 3.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS)

8. Which is more important to you in choosing a candidate for president ...

—Their personal qualities such as experience and leadership ability, 43 percent (no trend)

—Their positions on specific issues, 55 percent

—Not sure, 2 percent

9. I'm going to read you a list of issues and I'm going to read the list twice. Please tell me which one issue is most important to you in deciding how you will vote for president in November.

(Results from March in parentheses)

—The economy and jobs, 30 percent (35)

—National security, 30 percent (22)

—The war in Iraq, 17 percent (11)

—Health care, 13 percent (16)

—Education, 5 percent (8)

—Taxes, 3 percent (5)

—Other, 1 percent (2)

—Not sure, 1 percent (1)

10. Now I'm going to read you a list of words that could describe the personal qualities of a candidate, and I'm going to read the list twice. Please tell me which one quality is most important as you decide how you will vote for president in November. Is it that he is...

—Honest, 38 percent

—Intelligent, 23 percent

—Decisive, 21 percent

—Strong, 13 percent

—Likable, 2 percent

—Stubborn, 1 percent

—Other, 1 percent

—Not sure, 1 percent

11. Now I'm going to read you some words that might be used to describe a person. As I read each word, please tell me whether you think the word describes George W. Bush or not. Now please tell me whether you think the following words describe John Kerry or not.

(Results from August in parentheses)

LIKABLE

George W. Bush

—Yes, 70 percent (67)

—No, 30 percent (32)

—Not sure, .. (1)

John Kerry

—Yes, 60 percent (67)

—No, 39 percent (32)

—Not sure, 1 percent (1)

INTELLIGENT

Bush

—Yes, 63 percent (63)

—No, 36 percent (37)

—Not sure, 2 percent (1)

Kerry

—Yes, 84 percent (86)

—No, 15 percent (13)

—Not sure, 1 percent (1)

DECISIVE

Bush

—Yes, 75 percent (68)

—No, 24 percent (30)

—Not sure, 2 percent (2)

Kerry

—Yes, 37 percent (46)

—No, 61 percent (50)

—Not sure, 2 percent (4)

HONEST

Bush

—Yes, 56 percent (53)

—No, 43 percent (45)

—Not sure, 1 percent (2)

Kerry

—Yes, 54 percent (60)

—No, 44 percent (37)

—Not sure, 1 percent (3)

STUBBORN

Bush

—Yes, 75 percent (76)

—No, 24 percent (22)

—Not sure, 2 percent (1)

Kerry

—Yes, 39 percent (43)

—No, 57 percent (50)

—Not sure, 4 percent (7)

STRONG

Bush

—Yes, 73 percent (70)

—No, 27 percent (29)

—Not sure, .. (1)

Kerry

—Yes, 54 percent (59)

—No, 44 percent (39)

—Not sure, 2 percent (2)

12. In general, if you had to choose, which of the following issues would be more important to you in deciding how you will vote for president? (new)

—Protecting the country, 64 percent

—Creating jobs, 31 percent

—Both equally, 4 percent

—Not sure, 1 percent

11. Who do you think will be better at creating jobs?

—Bush, 44 percent (39)

—Kerry, 50 percent (55)

—Both (volunteered), 1 percent (1)

—Neither (volunteered), 3 percent (3)

—Not sure, 2 percent (2)

12. Who do you trust to do a better job of protecting the country?

—Bush, 59 percent (52)

—Kerry, 36 percent (43)

—Both (volunteered), 1 percent (1)

—Neither (volunteered), 2 percent (3)

—Not sure, 2 percent (1)

(No trend)

13a. Does George W. Bush share your values or not?

—Yes, 57 percent

—No, 41 percent

—Not sure, 2 percent

13b. Does John Kerry share your values or not?

—Yes, 47 percent

—No, 49 percent

—Not sure, 4 percent