Bush, Henry receive favorable ratings; approval for state lottery grows

Saturday, August 21st 2004, 9:17 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Most Oklahomans surveyed in a new poll believe President Bush is doing a good or excellent job.

Sixty-one percent of the 500 Oklahomans surveyed between Aug. 15 and 18 approve of Bush's performance.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed approved of the job being done by Gov. Brad Henry.

Wilson Research Strategies, with offices in Oklahoma City and McLean, Va., conducted the quarterly opinion poll, contacting 300 people by telephone and 200 over the Internet. The Oklahoman paid for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Thirty-seven percent said they believe the state Legislature is doing a good or excellent job, while 53 percent gave the Legislature unfavorable ratings.

Still, 42 percent believe Oklahoma is headed in the right direction; 33 percent think it is going in the wrong direction. Three months ago, 48 percent said they thought the state was headed in the right direction.

Approval for a state-run lottery, which will be on the Nov. 2 ballot, has increased by about 18 percent since February. Support for the lottery has risen from 56 percent in February to 66 percent this week.

Lottery revenue would go toward early childhood, common and higher education. It would also pay for capital improvements for education, teacher pay raises and the teacher retirement system.

Oklahomans continue to believe schools and education are the most important issue facing the state, with 26 percent of those polled placing the issue at the top of their lists.

Eighteen percent believe the economy is the most important issue, and 20 percent put creating opportunities for better-paying jobs at the top of their priority lists.