updated 4/26/2004 5:10:24 PM ET 2004-04-26T21:10:24

President Bush’s approval ratings have climbed during April despite growing instability in Iraq and the deadliest month for U.S. forces there since the invasion last year.

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Bush’s overall job approval rose to 48 percent, 5 percentage points higher than the rating he received in early April, according to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press. Forty-three percent disapprove of Bush’s job performance.

While the president’s overall job score is up, 48 percent of Americans disapprove of the way he is dealing with Iraq, and just 36 percent think Bush has a clear plan for bringing the situation in Iraq to a successful conclusion. Those numbers are not markedly different from a similar survey conducted April 1-4.

Public support for the decision to use military force in Iraq has not changed significantly. The poll found that 54 percent think the United States made the right decision to use military force — about the same as in early February. And 53 percent of those polled support maintaining U.S. forces in Iraq until a stable government is established.

Most Americans are rejecting comparisons between the conflict in Iraq and the war in Vietnam. Just a quarter of those polled say Iraq will turn out to be another Vietnam. More than twice that number — 54 percent — believe the United States will accomplish its goals in Iraq.

The poll of 1,000 adults was taken Wednesday through Sunday and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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