The capture of Saddam Hussein has lifted Americans' view of the state of the nation and their opinion of President Bush, while at least momentarily halting what had been a spiral of concern about the nation's economic and foreign policy, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

But even in the glow of Saddam's capture, Americans worry that U.S. forces will be mired in Iraq for years, are concerned the attacks on U.S. troops will continue and say that Bush has no plan to extricate the United States from Iraq, the poll found. And 60 percent of Americans said the United States was as vulnerable to a terrorist attack as it was before Saddam was pulled from a hole in Adwar.

Times/CBS News polls spanned the days before and after Saddam's capture. Overnight — from Saturday night to Sunday night — Americans' view of the success of the war soared, as did their opinion about whether the nation was on the right track and their views of Bush.

In the most apparent demonstration of the shift, 47 percent said the war was going well for the United States in the poll that ended Saturday night. That number jumped to 64 percent in the second poll. Before the weekend, 47 percent of Americans disapproved of the way Bush was handling foreign policy — the worst rating of his presidency. After the weekend, that number had slid to 38 percent.

More broadly, before Sunday the first poll's findings included a series of red flags for Bush as he heads into next year's re-election fight — particularly in the measure of the number of people who thought the country was heading in the right direction, a historically reliable early indicator of the political strength of an office holder.

In the first poll, 56 percent of respondents said the nation was heading in the wrong direction, compared with just 39 percent who said it was on the right track. But by Monday, that measure nearly flipped, with the number of Americans who said the nation was heading in the right direction rising to 49 percent, with 43 percent saying things were going awry, the second poll found.

Even the perception that the economy is getting better — which has been something of a weak suit for Bush — improved from 34 percent last week to 39 percent this week.

Bush's approval rating jumped to 58 percent after Saddam was captured, from 52 percent, and the number of Americans who disapproved of his performance fell to 33 percent from 40 percent.