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

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More