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Public Split on Whether Bush has ‘Clear Plan’ on Issues

A majority of Americans say President Bush has a clear plan for addressing terrorism, education and the economy but are less convinced he has a clear plan for dealing with other issues, like Iraq and Social Security, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Seventy percent of those surveyed said they believe the president has a clear plan for preventing another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Sixty-one percent perceived a clear direction in education and 54 percent on the economy.

Americans are divided, however, on whether Bush has clear plans on Iraq, Social Security, healthcare and the budget deficit. Fifty percent said “no” regarding Iraq, compared to 49 percent who said “yes.” A small plurality (49 percent to 48 percent) said Bush lacks a clear plan on Social Security, while majorities said he does not have clear plans on healthcare (55 percent to 43 percent) and handling the federal budget deficit (59 percent to 38 percent.)

Republicans and Democrats differed substantially in their views of Bush’s policy plans. A majority of Republicans said the president has a clear plan for all seven issues, while at least half of all Democrats believe he does not have a clear plan for these issues.

Slightly more than half of Americans (56 percent) said they are confident Bush can use military force wisely during the next four years, a decline of 22 points from the 78 percent of those who answered the same question affirmatively in 2001.