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Poll: Minnesotans cool toward Bush, but satisfied with state

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Poll: Minnesotans cool toward Bush, but satisfied with state
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesotans are continuing to cool toward President Bush but are generally satisfied with the direction of the state, according to new poll results from St. Cloud State University.


The Social Science Research Institute at St. Cloud State University called 615 Minnesotans 18 and older and asked to rank their feelings toward several politicians, with 100 being the most warmest and most favorable. Bush scored a 36.

Will Floersheim, a student who supervised the poll's call center, said that showed people's opinions were "freezing" toward the president. "Frankly, what we found is the country is ready for a change," he said.

In 2001 Bush's rating was 70 -- his highest -- but have fallen steadily since then.

The poll was taken from Nov. 8 through Nov. 20. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. The poll results were released Monday.

Pollsters told people that when ranking politicians, scores of 50 to 100 indicated favorable and warm feelings toward the subject while scores of 0 to 50 indicated unfavorable feelings toward the subject.

On the Republican side, voters looked most kindly on Sen. John McCain, who scored a 50. Among some other Republican candidates, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a 48 and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson had 45. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee were not included in the survey.

Among Democratic candidates, Minnesotans' felt best about Sen. Barack Obama, who scored a 53. Following behind where Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at 47 and former Sen. John Edwards at 47. They were only the Democrats included in the survey.

The survey also found that Minnesotans were generally satisfied with the direction of the state. The poll showed that 46 percent of Minnesotans think the state is headed in the right direction and 37 percent say it is pointed in the wrong direction.

The same survey one year ago reported that 41 percent said right direction and 44 percent said wrong direction.

"A lot of it is economic," said Steve Frank, a professor who has overseen the poll since 1980. "If I was Gov. Pawlenty, I'd be a little pleased with this."

Education remained the top issues among those polled, as it has been since 2000. For the third year in a row, taxes was the second most important issue.

Pioneer staff reports