US President George W Bush's popularity got a five per cent shot in the arm after the arrest in Britain of the suspects in the terror plot to blow up US-bound passenger planes, a USA Today/Gallup Poll said on Tuesday.
Bush's approval rating jumped to 42 per cent from 37 per cent earlier this month, according to the survey of 1,001 adults taken Friday through Sunday that was published by the national daily.
Bush's lowest rating was 31 per cent in early May.
And while Bush's handling of key issues such as Iraq, the Middle East, foreign affairs and the economy were all below 40 per cent, how he deals with terrorism stood at 55 per cent, the poll showed.
University of California political scientist Gary Jacobsen attributed the surge in Bush support to the August 10 arrest in Britain of 24 suspects in connection with the foiled bombing plot on passenger planes.
"The arrests reminded people that terrorists were out there, and this is (Bush's) strong suit," said Jacobsen.
Bushs' improved standing also nudged higher his Republican Party's showing over the opposition Democrats with regards to the November legislative elections: respondents said they would vote 47-45 per cent for Democrats, against 50-41 per cent two weeks ago.
On the war on terrorism in general, more Americans in the poll believed neither side was winning (44 per cent) to those who said it was US and its allies (35 per cent), or the terrorists (18 per cent).