The GOP has cut into the Democrats' advantage with the voters on education in the past year but still trails badly on that issue as well as overhauling health care and protecting the environment, according to a survey conducted for the Republican National Committee.

Roughly six months before the fall election, the survey also found that Republicans fared better on issues such as working to strengthen values; revamping the tax and welfare system and cutting government spending.The GOP poll also found that voters attached little importance to campaign finance reform, an issue that has triggered sustained fighting this year in the House and Senate.

The survey was conducted within the past two weeks by a combination of three polling organizations, and party chairman Jim Nicholson distributed a summary of the results to lawmakers. None of the pollsters involved would comment, nor would RNC officials.

The summary, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, contains mixed news for Republicans, some of whom have expressed concerns recently about holding onto their House majority in November.

"The overall political mood has lost some of its earlier euphoria, but it is still good," Nicholson's polling memo reported. Congressional job approval is at 53 percent, and 51 percent of those surveyed believe the nation is moving on the right track, it said.

At the same time, "Republican voters - especially GOP women - do not perceive the nation to be on the right track."