Bush's approval rating for handling the situation with Iraq is 65 percent; his father's comparable rating at the start of the Gulf War was 80 percent. And Bush's overall job approval, 67 percent, is up just five points from early this month. His father's overall rating, by contrast, jumped 16 points after the 1991 war began, to 79 percent.Some other basic measures of support, while high, are also lower than they were the last time around. Sixty-seven percent of Americans say the United States did enough to seek a diplomatic solution before attacking; it was 77 percent at the start of the Gulf War. And on timing, 62 percent say it was right for the United States to attack now — compared to 75 percent on Jan. 16, 1991, the night the Gulf War began. Sampling, data collection and tabulation for this poll were done by TNS Intersearch. These views likely reflect, at least in part, the current president's inability to win United Nations support, which many Americans would have preferred. And unlike Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1991, the threat this time is more ambiguous — believing it requires believing Bush, which many Democrats, in particular, are less apt to do.Public backing for the war held steady Thursday night, after spiking Monday night when Bush set a 48-hour deadline for attacking. Seventy-two percent of Americans support the war, and most, 53 percent, support it "strongly," same as Monday night. That's closer to the level of support for the Gulf War at its start in 1991 — 76 percent.Public Opinion Now Jan. 1991 Support the War 72% 76% President's Approval Overall 67% 79% President's Approval on Iraq 65% 80% U.S. Tried Enough Diplomacy 67% 77% Right for U.S. to Attack Now 62% 75%