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Poll: Bush Didn't Do Enough in Katrina Response

Americans are highly critical of President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

And for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks, the public thinks the president should focus more on domestic policy than on the war on terrorism.

Robert Siegel discusses the poll results with the Pew Center's Andew Kohut.

The poll shows that 67 percent of Americans say Mr. Bush could have done more in handling relief efforts, while 28 percent say he did all he could.

The federal government's response to Katrina was rated only fair or poor by 58 percent of poll participants, while 51 percent said the same for the response of state and local governments.

The poll highlights racial divisions over the government's response to the hurricane. Some 66 percent of African Americans said the government's response would have been faster had most of the victims been white. But 77 percent of whites said the government's response would have been no different.

The telephone poll was conducted Sept. 6-7 among 1,000 Americans. This poll included an oversampling of African Americans to ensure there were enough interviews for reporting results in that demographic group, the center said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robert Siegel and Andrew Kohut