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Bush handled Katrina better than Obama dealt with oil spill, poll says

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LOS ANGELES • Former President George W. Bush showed more leadership in dealing with the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina than President Barack Obama has shown in handling the oil calamity in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a poll of Louisianans released Friday.

Obama, who will make his 10th trip to the gulf when he travels Sunday to New Orleans, will seek to reassure residents that he remains committed to rebuilding a region still feeling the effects from Katrina. Obama will also reassert his commitment to the cleanup from the BP oil well leak.

But a poll of Louisianans by Public Policy Polling shows those reassurances may be met with skepticism. Just 32 percent give Obama good marks for his actions in the aftermath of the spill, while 61 percent disapprove.

By contrast, those polled said that Bush's leadership on Katrina was better than Obama's on the spill. A majority, 54 percent, said that Bush did the better job of helping Louisiana through the hurricane crisis compared with the 33 percent who chose Obama, PPP said on Friday.

That 21-point spread was more than when PPP asked the same question in June and found Bush ahead by 15 points.

Some of the results reflect Louisiana's conservative Republican tilt. PPP also notes that many of those hurt the worst during the Katrina period have yet to return to their homes, so their opinions aren't included in the poll. The survey of 403 likely Louisiana voters was conducted Aug. 21-22 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

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