Utahns love George Bush.

They adore the way he's managed the Persian Gulf war. And even though Bush has stopped the war after driving Iraqi troops from Kuwait, Utahns would have supported him if he'd marched troops to Baghdad in an effort to depose Saddam Hussein.Utahns even like Bush's domestic policies, a just-completed Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

In poll jargon, Bush is off the scale - by far the most-loved president since polling began in Utah, found pollster Dan Jones & Associates. He has numbers that turn politicians green with envy. Look at 'em:

- 95 percent of Utahns approve of how Bush conducted the war.

- 71 percent approve of his domestic policies, how he handles the budget, etc.

The 95 percent rating is unheard of. Only 4 percent disapproved of the president's war policies in a poll taken March 1-4.

Utahns agree with Bush on other matters, as well.

Bush says "not one dime" to rebuild Iraq as long as Saddam remains in power. Utahns agree - 80 percent said the United States should not rebuild Iraq, 16 percent said we should help.

Bush believes economic sanctions against Iraq should remain in place, at least temporarily. Utahns agree - 85 percent say the sanctions should remain until Saddam is driven from power, 12 percent think the sanctions should be dropped.

Bush has ended the air and ground war. But even 55 percent of Utahns would have supported the president if he'd ordered U.S. troops to Baghdad to arrest Saddam. Forty-three percent opposed troops continuing the war to remove Saddam, Jones found.

Jones also quizzed Utahns about what will now follow in the Middle East.

Eighty-two percent believe there should be an international conference to discuss peace in the region, specifically addressing the question of Palestinian rights. Only 10 percent oppose such a conference.

But Utahns don't agree that Israel should give up captured Arab territory to the Palestinians - one of the main demands of Arab nations. Jones found 37 percent definitely or probably believe some of the occupied territories should go to the Palestinians, 37 percent think the Israelis shouldn't give up the territory to Palestinians and 23 percent don't know.

Not surprisingly, Utahns feel better about our war allies and their actions than they do about those who didn't fight or who wavered in their support - like the Soviet Union.

While most think our relations with the USSR haven't changed, 28 percent believe relations with the Soviets - who pushed for a cease-fire before the allied final victory - are worse now that the war has ended. Twenty percent think our relations with Japan, which refused to send troops, are worse today than before the war - but most think our relations with Japan are about the same.

On the other hand, 75 percent think our relations with England are better today, while 61 percent believe our relations with France are better. British and French troops fought alongside U.S. troops in the war.

Even though many Utahns didn't like the USSR's actions, they don't believe the Cold War between the East and West will begin again. Seventy-eight percent said the Cold War is finished.



Deseret News/KSL poll\

How do you rate the job performance of President Bush in conducting the Persian Gulf War?

Approve 95%

Disapprove 4%

Don't know 0%

How do you rate his job performance in conducting performance in conducting domestic policy, the budget, etc.?

Approve 71%

Disapprove 14%

Don't know 5%