Strong public support for U.S. President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is sagging as more typical political lines take shape in Connecticut, according to a poll released yesterday.

Support also has declined slightly for U.S. Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, both Connecticut Democrats, according to the Connecticut Poll by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

Bush was rated as excellent or good by 72 percent of those polled, down by four percentage points since January. Twenty-six percent rated the president as fair or poor.

Dodd received a positive performance rating from 56 percent of Connecticut residents polled, down by three points since October 2001. Lieberman was rated positively by 62 percent, down two points since October.

“Across the board, performance ratings among elected officials peaked after Sept. 11,” said Ken Dautrich, director of the Connecticut Poll. “The movement we are seeing now is akin to a correction in the stock market after a rally.”

Independents are leaning toward Democratic candidates in congressional elections this year. Democrats are backed by 41 percent of those polled and Republicans are supported by 31 percent.

Twenty-two percent of those polled are undecided.

Following reapportionment earlier this year, the state’s six congressional districts will be pared to five, with Republican Nancy Johnson and Democrat James Maloney competing for one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republicans Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons and Democrat Rosa DeLauro also are seeking reelection.

The poll surveyed 500 state residents, including 428 registered voters, between April 3 and April 15. The margin of error is four percentage points.

–Associated Press