article

05.03.11

Obama Approval Numbers After Bin Laden Kill

While the public lauds the president’s performance killing Bin Laden, he got no overall bounce in a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll. Also: Obama vs. Bush on terror and Obama vs. Trump in 2012.

While the public lauds the president’s performance killing Bin Laden, he got no overall bounce in a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll. Also: Obama vs. Bush on terror and Obama vs. Trump in 2012. Plus, full coverage of Osama bin Laden.

How much overall boost did President Obama get from the capture of Osama Bin Laden? None, according to an exclusive Newsweek / Daily Beast poll encompassing 1,200 American adults, conducted in the two days immediately before the president’s Sunday announcement about the terrorist leader, and then the two days immediately after.

Specifically, Americans like the way he handled the situation, giving him strong results in strength and decision-making (55 percent now term him a strong leader overall, and 63 percent do so in the area of terrorism). Yet he did not get any overall bump in terms of approval rating, or electoral support. His approval rate was unchanged—48 approve, 49 disapprove, both before and after. There was also no statistical change in whether Obama deserves reelection—40/48 before, 39/49 after.

Photos: Inside bin Laden’s Compound

The clear reason: It's the economy, stupid. Even after Bin Laden’s death, only 30 percent think the country is on the right track, and only 27 percent think the economy is on the right track. Respondents disapprove of President Obama's handling of the economy  by a margin of 56 percent to 39 percent.

When compared to President George W. Bush, 48 percent of respondents say Obama deserves more credit for the death of Bin Laden, while 31 percent say Bush. Yet when asked who did better prosecuting the war on terror, even after the killing, the results are nearly reversed: 31 percent say Obama, 45 percent say Bush.

Meanwhile, in terms of the putting the birther issue to rest, while Donald Trump was close to Obama a month ago, the president now crushes the tycoon/reality star, 53 percent to 25 percent. The poll, encompassing 600 people on Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st, and a further 600 on Monday May 2nd and Tuesday May 3rd., was conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC on behalf of Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and has a margin of sampling error of +/-3 percent.

Full results below:

APPROVAL RATING
BEFORE:      48% APPROVE, 49% DISAPPROVE
AFTER:         48% APPROVE, 49% DISAPPROVE

COUNTRY HEADING IN THE RIGHT OR WRONG DIRECTION?
BEFORE:      Right, 20%, Wrong, 65%
AFTER:         Right, 30%, Wrong 55%

ECONOMY HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?
BEFORE:      Right, 31%, Wrong, 56%
AFTER:         Right, 27%, Wrong 60%

HAS OBAMA DONE HIS JOB WELL ENOUGH TO DESERVE RE-ELECTION?
BEFORE:     Yes, 40%, No, 48%
AFTER:        39%, No, 49%

WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR (LIKELY VOTERS ONLY IN MATCH-UP BETWEEN:

Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney
BEFORE:     44% Obama/44% Romney
AFTER:        42% Obama/36% Romney

Barack Obama vs. Mike Huckabee
BEFORE:     46% Obama/43% Huckabee
AFTER:        42% Obama/38% Huckabee

Barack Obama vs. Sarah Palin
BEFORE:     53% Obama/35% Palin
AFTER:        50% Obama/29% Palin

Barack Obama vs. Donald Trump
BEFORE:     55% Obama/30% Trump
AFTER:        53% Obama/25% Trump

In the wake of the capture of Osama Bin Laden…

Do you think President Obama is a strong leader overall?

STRONG              55%
WEAK                   44%

Do you think President Obama is a strong leader in the war on terrorism?

STRONG               63%
WEAK                    34%

Do you think President Obama has made the world more safe or less safe, or no impact?

More safe               38%
Less safe                16%
No impact               40%

Does news that U.S. forces have killed Osama bin Laden make you more favorable, to President Obama less favorable, or does it not impact your opinion?

More favorable          26%
Less favorable           3%
No impact                  67%

Do you think President Obama deserves all of the credit, some of the credit, not much of the credit, or none of the credit for this operation?

All of the credit           10%
Some of the credit      59%
Not much of the
credit                           13%
None of the credit       14%

Who do you think deserves more credit for Bin Laden's capture - President Obama or President George W. Bush?

President Obama           48%
President George W.
Bush                               31%

Who has done a better job at prosecuting the war on terror - President Obama or President Bush?

President Obama        31%
President George W.
Bush                            45%

Has news that Osama bin Laden has been killed made you more confident in President Obama's ability to lead America, less confident in President Obama's ability to lead America, or does it not impact your opinion?

More confident    30%
Less confident     3%
No impact            65%

Has news that Osama bin Laden has been killed made you more confident in President Obama's foreign policy, less confident, or does it not impact your opinion?

More confident        27%
Less confident          4%
Does not impact
opinion                     64%

Has news that Osama bin Laden has been killed made you feel safer, less safe, or no impact?

Safer           26%
Les safe      14%
No impact   55%

With Osama bin Laden dead, do you feel more or less support for war in Afghanistan?

More support      30%
Less support       23%
The same           38%

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, should the U.S. continue to fight the war in Afghanistan or should we now move on and focus on problems at home?

Continue to fight              33%
Move on and focus on
problems at home           57%

Do you think that Americans have had to give up too many freedoms in the war on terror?

Yes       49%
No        47%

Has news that Osama bin Laden has been killed changed the way you will vote in the 2012 presidential election from the way you felt before Sunday night.

Yes       5%
No        92%