Washington, Apr.18 : The U.S. economy and the Iraq war are the top two issues on American voters' minds, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll.
According to the poll, worsening opinions on both issues may dampen the Republic Party's hopes of winning the November presidential elections.
Nine in 10 Americans have given the economy a thumb down rating, with a majority saying it is in "poor" shape.
The percentage who hold a negative view of the economy is up 33 points over the past year, and the percentage who rate the economy "poor" has increased 13 points in the past two months.
That is the quickest 60-day decline since The Post and ABC started asking the question in 1985.
As far as the war in Iraq is concerned, more than six in 10 say that the conflict is not integral to the success of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.
That is the most people to reject what is one of the Bush administration's central contentions and a core part of presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain's stand on the issue.
And, for the first time since President Bush ordered additional troops to Iraq early last year, the number of Americans saying the United States is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order there has risen.
While Bush remains committed to keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the rest of his presidency, 56 percent of Americans say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties. This has been the majority view since January 2007.
On several measures, the poll finds Republicans inching away from support for the war.
Three-quarters of Democrats and nearly six in 10 independents do not see significant progress in Iraq.
The survey was conducted April 10 through 13 after a testimony about the war in Congress by the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker.
Partisan views colour public opinion about the nation's economy, as well as those about Iraq.
Two-thirds of Democrats call the economy downright "poor," as do a majority of independents. But while a wide majority of Republicans rate the economy negatively, only about three in 10 describe conditions as that dire, and most have a positive take on the future.
Most Democrats and independents, however, hold pessimistic views about the next 12 months.
Focusing on their own finances, Americans are generally upbeat, but here, too, opinions have declined somewhat over the past few months. Two-thirds are optimistic about their family's financial situation for the coming year, down seven points since December.
This poll was conducted among a random national sample of 1,197 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.