News / USA

Obama Gets Poll Boost, but Experts Wonder for How Long

U.S. President Barack Obama poses with officers of the First Precinct police station in lower Manhattan during a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, May 5, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama poses with officers of the First Precinct police station in lower Manhattan during a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, May 5, 2011.

New polls show President Barack Obama is getting a boost in public approval following the commando raid last Sunday that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Boost, but how long?

Political experts are already debating how long the boost will last and how much it will help Obama in his re-election campaign next year. 

It was without a doubt one of the most dramatic moments in Barack Obama’s presidency.

"Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida," announced Obama.

The announcement of Osama bin Laden’s demise set off demonstrations of national pride outside the White House, near Ground Zero in New York and elsewhere around the country.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by fellow Republican leaders, makes a statement on Capitol in Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011, about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by fellow Republican leaders, makes a statement on Capitol in Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011, about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden

Republicans joined Democrats in praising the president’s decision to go after bin Laden, including some of Obama’s harshest critics in the past.

"Well, I think the administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation and from what I can tell, it looks to me like, you know, we all owe him the same sense of satisfaction that I am sure they feel," said former Vice President Dick Cheney, who spoke to ABC News.

There is little disagreement among political analysts that the bin Laden raid will help President Obama bolster his domestic support, at least in the short term, says Washington-based expert Rhodes Cook.

"It kind of hits the reset button for President Obama," said Cook. "Kind of like after the [November midterm congressional] election when he took charge during that post-election session of Congress and got a lot of legislation through. People took a different and more positive view of him."

Polls

Obama’s approval rating has jumped nine points to 56 percent in the latest Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll , and rose six points to 52 percent in the latest survey by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

But Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown tells VOA that it remains unclear what kind of impact the bin Laden killing will have on the president’s effort to win a second term next year.

"The big question for Mr. Obama in terms of his re-election is how big the bump is and how long it lasts, and that is not clear and will not be for a while," he said.

Economy

One of the reasons for that is that most Americans have been more focused on economic concerns of late than security, says Georgetown University expert Stephen Wayne.

"At this moment, terrorism is not the major issue in the United States," said Wayne. "The major issue is the economy and the government budget. I think Obama will be helped, but not in a tremendous way by the getting of bin Laden."

A crowd of mostly young Americans have gathered in front of the White House after President Obama's announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden, at 2:00am on Monday, May 02, 2011
A crowd of mostly young Americans have gathered in front of the White House after President Obama's announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden, at 2:00am on Monday, May 02, 2011

Pollster Peter Brown says just because Americans feel better in the wake of bin Laden’s demise, it does not mean that those positive feelings will be transferred to the president’s handling of the economy.

"The most important question in terms of his political prospects is not whether this will help his national security credentials," said Brown. "Obviously it will. The question is will it make people more favorable towards his handling of the economy, the budget deficit and those domestic issues."

Bush experience

That was a lesson that former President George H. W. Bush learned the hard way back in 1992 when he was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton despite having huge public-approval ratings the year before because of his leadership in the Persian Gulf War.

"His [President George H. W. Bush] poll numbers were at 90 percent, and obviously Obama is not there," said Matt Dallek, who teaches U.S. politics at the University of California Washington Center. "But then a year and a half later the economy hurt George H. W. Bush so badly that he lost re-election."

The new polls show little change in the generally negative view Americans have of the president’s handling of the national economy. The Washington Post-Pew poll showed only 40 percent had a positive view of Obama’s economic performance, and that number was even lower at 38 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs