Dead-Cat Bounce Continues

Associated Press/Getty
Associated Press/Getty

Qpiac poll finds Obama’s numbers get only limited OBL boost.

“Score on economy and reelection unchanged.”

American voters approve 52 – 40 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his highest score in almost two years and up from a 46 – 48 percent approval among voters surveyed before the president announced the death of Osama bin Laden, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is President Obama’s highest job approval since a 57 – 33 percent score in a July 2, 2009, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.  Men shift from a negative 39 – 54 percent before the bin Laden announcement to a positive 51 – 42 percent today.  Women approve 53 – 39 percent today, compared to 52 – 43 percent as of Sunday.

Voter approval of Obama’s handling of foreign issues also is up this week.  But Obama’s 20-point negative score for handling the economy is unchanged and voter attitudes on whether he deserves reelection are only slightly improved.  Pre- and post-bin Laden approval ratings for the president’s handling of issues are:

Handling Libya                41 – 48 percent                     45 – 40 percent

Handling the economy      37 – 57 percent                     38 – 57 percent

Voters surveyed after the bin Laden announcement say 46 – 42 percent that the president deserves to be reelected, compared to a negative 45 – 48 percent before bin Laden.

“The killing of Osama bin Laden has helped President Barack Obama’s popularity but not massively,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “Voters have upped their opinion of the president’s handling of national security matters.”

“But they have not changed their minds about his stewardship of the economy.  The number of people opposed to his reelection has dropped, although they seem to have moved to ‘undecided,’ rather than to the pro-Obama column,” Brown added.  “The good news for the president is that his largest improvement is among two key groups, men and independent voters.”

Independent voters go from a negative 41 – 52 percent overall approval as of Sunday to a positive 47 – 41 percent today.  But only 36 percent of independent voters say today he deserves reelection, compared to 41 percent Sunday.

Voters today approve 67 – 27 percent of the way Obama is handling terrorism, a question not asked before Monday.  This is Obama’s highest mark on handling terrorism.

While American voter opinion of Obama’s handling of the economy remains unchanged, there is a small spike in another question on the economy:

  • Before bin Laden, 43 percent of voters trusted Obama to do a better job on the economy while 44 percent trusted Republicans in Congress to do a better job.
  • After bin Laden, voters trust Obama more than Republicans 46 – 37 percent.

There is almost no change on who voters trust more to handle the federal budget deficit, tipping to Republicans 46 – 42 percent before bin Laden and 44 – 42 percent after bin Laden.

As of Sunday, voters said 60 – 34 percent that the U.S. should not be involved in Afghanistan.  Today, voters split 46 – 47 percent.  Attitudes about U.S. involvement in Libya shifted slightly also, from 53 – 37 percent opposed Sunday to 48 – 39 percent opposed today.

A terrorist attack on the U.S. in the near future causing significant loss of life is very likely, 22 percent of American voters say, while 41 percent say an attack is somewhat likely.  Another 27 percent say not very likely and 7 percent say not likely at all.

“The big question, now that we know how large the initial bump is for the president, is how long it will last,” Brown said.

From April 26 – May 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,409 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.  An additional 834 registered voters were surveyed May 2 – 3 with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

Related Topics: Obama, Osama bin Laden, 2012 Elections, Democratic Party, Economy, Foreign Policy, Issues, News, Polls

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