May 5, 2011 - Obama Gets 6-Point Spike After Bin Laden Dies, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; But Score On Economy And Reelection Unchanged

Word format

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:
	                  April 26-May 1     May 2-3
Handling foreign policy   43 - 48 percent    51 - 39 percent
Handling Afghanistan      41 - 50 percent    59 - 30 percent
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. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.


16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              46%    11%    85%    41%    39%    52%
Disapprove           48     86      9     52     54     43
DK/NA                 6      3      6      7      7      6
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              52%    18%    88%    47%    51%    53%
Disapprove           40     74      9     41     42     39
DK/NA                 8      8      4     11      7      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? (*High also 59% Mar 2009)
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         APPROVE.......
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Jan 13  Jun 04  Mar 30
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2009*   2011
 
Approve              52      46      42      46      48      59      42
Disapprove           40      48      48      46      44      31      48
DK/NA                 8       6      10       8       8      10      10
 
 
19. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President... Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes/Deserves         45%     9%    87%    41%    41%    49%
No/Does not          48     88      8     50     54     43
DK/NA                 6      3      5      8      5      8
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes/Deserves         46%     9%    87%    36%    46%    46%
No/Does not          42     78      9     46     43     41
DK/NA                11     14      5     18     10     12
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President, do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH
                     Post    Pre
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Nov 22  Jul 21  Mar 25
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2010    2010    2010
 
Yes/deserves         46      45      41      45      43      40      40
No/does not          42      48      50      47      49      48      48
DK/NA                11       6       9       7       9      12      11
 
 
20. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied        3%     1%     7%     1%     3%     3%
Smwht satisfied      25      9     45     21     23     27
Smwht dissatisfied   26     26     27     25     26     27
Very dissatisfied    44     63     20     52     47     42
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied        6%     2%    12%     3%     7%     5%
Smwht satisfied      32     15     47     26     32     32
Smwht dissatisfied   29     32     25     34     25     32
Very dissatisfied    33     51     15     35     36     31
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         VERY+SMWHT SAT
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Jan 18  Dec 11  Nov 13
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2001    2008
 
Very satisfied        6       3       2       1       2      21       2
Smwht satisfied      32      25      21      26      25      47      14
Smwht dissatisfied   29      26      37      32      38      19      38
Very dissatisfied    33      44      40      40      34      10      44
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1       1       3       2
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the economy?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              37%     7%    73%    35%    34%    41%
Disapprove           57     90     21     60     61     53
DK/NA                 6      3      6      6      5      6
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              38%    11%    70%    29%    39%    37%
Disapprove           57     86     27     63     55     58
DK/NA                 5      3      3      8      6      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         APPROVE......
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Jan 18  Mar 04  Mar 30
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2009    2011
 
Approve              38      37      34      38      40      57      34
Disapprove           57      57      60      59      53      33      60
DK/NA                 5       6       5       4       7      10       5
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - foreign policy?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              43%    15%    75%    39%    41%    45%
Disapprove           48     76     15     52     53     42
DK/NA                10      9     10      9      6     13
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              51%    26%    82%    45%    53%    49%
Disapprove           39     65     10     40     40     38
DK/NA                10      8      8     15      7     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling foreign policy?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         APPROVE.......
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Jan 13  Apr 29  Mar 30
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2009    2011
 
Approve              51      43      41      43      47      57      41
Disapprove           39      48      47      45      38      32      47
DK/NA                10      10      12      12      15      11      12
 
 
24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Afghanistan?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              41%    24%    61%    42%    47%    36%
Disapprove           50     68     29     53     46     54
DK/NA                 8      9     10      5      7     10
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              59%    45%    78%    56%    60%    59%
Disapprove           30     42     16     34     31     30
DK/NA                10     13      6     10      9     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Afghanistan? (*Post Bin Laden Death)
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         APPROVE.......
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Mar 03  Jan 18  May 05  Nov 18
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011*   2009
 
Approve              59      41      42      43      46      59      38
Disapprove           30      50      45      46      40      30      49
DK/NA                10       8      13      11      14      10      12
 
 
24a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - terrorism?
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              67%    48%    91%    60%    68%    66%
Disapprove           27     46      6     29     29     25
DK/NA                 7      6      3     11      3      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling terrorism?
                     BIN LADEN
                     DEATH
                     Post
                     May 05  May 26  Apr 22  Mar 25  Feb 10  Jan 13
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              67      49      49      49      49      48
Disapprove           27      41      41      41      44      44
DK/NA                 7      10      10       9       8       8
 
 
25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the situation in Libya?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              41%    21%    67%    37%    43%    39%
Disapprove           48     70     21     53     49     47
DK/NA                11      9     11     10      8     14
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              45%    33%    67%    39%    44%    46%
Disapprove           40     52     22     44     44     36
DK/NA                15     15     11     17     12     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Libya?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH
                     Post    Pre
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              45      41      41
Disapprove           40      48      45
DK/NA                15      11      14
 
 
33. Who do you trust to do a better job handling the economy - President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Obama                43%     5%    85%    38%    38%    48%
Reps in Congress     44     86      6     43     50     37
DK/NA                13      9      9     20     11     15
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Obama                46%     6%    90%    36%    44%    48%
Reps in Congress     37     80      5     39     41     33
DK/NA                17     14      5     25     15     18
 
TREND: Who do you trust to do a better job handling the economy -President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         OBAMA..........
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 03  Jan 18  Nov 17  Aug 06  Jul 22
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2010    2009    2010
 
Obama                46      43      45      46      42      47      41
Reps in Congress     37      44      45      39      45      36      42
DK/NA                17      13      10      14      14      17      17
 
 
36. Who do you trust to do a better job handling the federal budget deficit - President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Obama                42%     7%    81%    38%    37%    48%
Reps in Congress     46     87      9     46     53     40
DK/NA                11      7     10     16     10     12
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Obama                42%     6%    85%    29%    38%    46%
Reps in Congress     44     82      9     48     50     38
DK/NA                14     11      6     23     12     16
 
TREND: Who do you trust to do a better job handling the budget deficit, President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH
                     Post    Pre
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 3
                     201     2011    2011
 
Obama                42      42      43
Reps in Congress     44      46      46
DK/NA                14      11      11
 
 
59. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Right thing          34%    46%    27%    31%    44%    25%
Shld not be involved 60     46     65     66     52     67
DK/NA                 6      8      7      3      4      8
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Right thing          46%    59%    41%    41%    47%    45%
Shld not be involved 47     37     51     51     48     47
DK/NA                 7      5      7      7      6      7
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now? (*Pre Bin Laden Death)
                     BIN LADEN DEATH                         RIGHT THING...
                     Post    Pre                             High    Low
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30  Jan 18  Nov 18  Jan 14  May 05
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2010    2010    2011*
 
Right thing          46      34      41      41      44      59      34
Shld not be involved 47      60      50      51      50      35      60
DK/NA                 7       6       9       8       6       6       6
 
 
60. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by using military force in Libya now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Libya now?
                     PRE BIN LADEN KILLING.................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Right thing          37%    36%    44%    31%    46%    28%
Shld not be involved 53     55     45     60     49     57
DK/NA                10      9     11      8      5     15
 
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Right thing          39%    36%    45%    40%    39%    39%
Shld not be involved 48     53     45     47     50     47
DK/NA                12     10      9     13     11     14
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by using military force in Libya now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Libya now?
                     BIN LADEN DEATH
                     Post    Pre
                     May 05  May 05  Mar 30
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Right thing          39      37      41
Shld not be involved 48      53      47
DK/NA                12      10      12
 
 
61. How likely do you think it is that in the near future there will be a terrorist attack in the United States causing large numbers of lives to be lost? Very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not likely at all?
                     POST BIN LADEN KILLING................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very likely          22%    28%    18%    20%    16%    27%
Smwht likely         41     43     36     48     40     41
Not very likely      27     20     36     22     31     23
Not likely at all     7      6     10      4     11      4
DK/NA                 4      3      1      6      3      5
 
TREND: How likely do you think it is that in the near future there will be a terrorist attack in the United States causing large numbers of lives to be lost? Very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not likely at all?
                     BIN LADEN
                     DEATH
                     Post
                     May 05  Jan 14  Jul 28  May 5   Feb 21  Dec 10
                     2011    2010    2005    2004    2002    2001
 
Very likely          22      35      40      26      31      31
Somewhat likely      41      43      45      50      49      43
Not very likely      27      16      10      16      14      17
Not likely at all     7       4       4       5       3       7
DK/NA                 4       2       1       3       4       3