Clinton's poll ratings soar as troops invade

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - President Bill Clinton's handling of Haiti has helped him in the polls, according to a survey released yesterday by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

The poll found that 47 per cent of the American people approved of the agreement for US troops to occupy Haiti and for its military leaders to step down by 15 October. It said 31 per cent disapproved and the remainder were undecided.

The poll also found that 46 per cent now have more confidence in Mr Clinton's ability to deal with foreign affairs against 32 per cent who were less confident. The poll had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. The findings of another poll, sponsored by ABC News, which was released on Monday, were similar.

After Mr Clinton's televised address on Sunday night 55 per cent of the 537 adults interviewed said they approved of how he was dealing with the situation. On 15 September 36 per cent approved, said the poll.

Despite the 19-point jump 70 per cent said the avoidance of an invasion did not mean the crisis was over.

One in five thought the Haitian issue was settled by the pact reached between US negotiators and Haiti's military leaders.

The decision to send US troops to Haiti to restore order, democracy and put Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the exiled president, back in office, was supported by 53 per cent, according to the survey, while 43 per cent were opposed to sending in troops for those purposes.