WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat challenger John Kerry (news - web sites) has pulled ahead of President Bush (news - web sites) in a poll published by Newsweek magazine showing Thursday's television debate erased the lead Bush had enjoyed for the last month.
In a two-way contest, the Kerry/Edwards ticket in the Nov. 2 presidential election led by 49 percent against 46 percent for Bush/Cheney, according to 1,013 registered voters polled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
According to the poll, 61 percent of Americans who watched the first presidential debate on Sept. 30 said Kerry won, 19 percent said Bush won and 16 percent said they tied. The number of debate viewers surveyed was 770.
Bush's job approval rating dropped two points from the Sept. 9-10 Newsweek poll to 46 percent -- a 6-point drop since the Republican national convention a month ago. Fifty-seven percent of all poll respondents -- a total of 1,144 adults -- said they were dissatisfied with the way things were going in the United States now.
Sixty percent of registered voters said Bush administration policies and diplomatic efforts had led to more anti-Americanism around the world and 51 percent said the administration had not done enough to involve major allies and international organizations in trying to achieve its foreign policy goals, the poll showed.
However, 46 percent of registered voters said they would still like to see Bush re-elected, against 48 percent who said they would not like to see him re-elected.
When registered voters were asked who would handle issues better overall, Bush led Kerry 52 to 40 percent on terrorism and homeland security.
Kerry scored better on the economy -- 52 percent against 39 percent -- and health care, including Medicare -- 56 percent to 34 percent. He was also seen to be better at handling American jobs and foreign competition -- 54 percent against 36 percent.
For questions put to registered voters, the margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points; to debate viewers, it was 4.1 points; and for total adults, 3 points.