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POLLS

Ratings drop for president after storm

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's image suffered in public opinion polls taken after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, with some finding growing doubts about his leadership and the country's direction.

A Pew Research Center poll found 67 percent of Americans believed Bush could have done more to speed up relief efforts, and just 28 percent believed he did all he could. His approval rating slipped to 40 percent, down 4 points since July to the lowest point Pew has recorded.

The Pew poll also found a majority saying for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that it was more important for Bush to focus on domestic policy than the war on terrorism.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll taken Sept. 2 offered more mixed results, with 46 percent approving of Bush's performance and 47 percent disapproving.

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