Fifty-two percent of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing, according to a new Gallup Poll that was conducted after the death of Osama bin Laden on Sunday.
That’s the good news–but the survey numbers also suggest that the president still faces a tough sell to many voters during the long upcoming campaign season.
The Gallup poll represents a jump of six points in approval for the president since last week and equals Obama’s highest approval number in the Gallup tracking poll in the last year. In May 2010, Obama’s approval number briefly hit 52 percent–which was still almost 10 points lower than when he first entered office in 2009.
The poll, which did not measure feelings on specific issues like the economy or the foreign policy, found that Obama’s numbers increased 12 points among Republicans–though his standing with the GOP is still fairly dismal. Just 21 percent of Republicans approve of the job Obama is doing. Meanwhile, Obama’s support among independents jumped 9 points, from 40 percent to 49 percent–a high point among the influential voting bloc.
Gallup’s numbers add to a mix of different polls this week that suggest Obama is enjoying a slight bounce in public approval in the aftermath of bin Laden’s death—though all the polls offered different measures of how big that bump actually is.
On Tuesday, a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll found Obama’s job approval at 56 percent, while a CNN poll measured it at 52 percent. Yesterday, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 57 percent of respondents approved of Obama–his highest number in nearly two years. Yet the same poll found that just 34 percent of those surveyed approve of Obama’s handling of the economy–the lowest number of his presidency. That’s an ominous sign for his re-election bid, which, as The Ticket previously noted, is more likely to be determined by issues other than foreign policy.
A new Quinnipiac poll out today echoes Gallup’s findings: Obama’s job approval is at 52 percent, 6 points higher than polling conducted last week. But not unlike the NYT/CBS poll, the Quinnipiac survey found voters dissatisfied with Obama on the economy. Fifty-seven percent of those polled think Obama is doing a bad job on that front–unchanged from last week.
Meanwhile, the Quinnipiac poll also found that voters remain virtually divided over whether Obama deserves to be re-elected. Forty-six percent say yes, 42 percent say no, while 11 percent are undecided.
There are two unknowns about Obama’s polling in wake of the bin Laden death. First, it’s unclear if this is the full measure of Obama’s “bounce” in the aftermath of the historic news. Perhaps the bigger question, however, is whether Obama can sustain his higher numbers. Even if it’s only a slight bump in certain surveys, the numbers are far less dismal than they were earlier this year. Ahead of what looks to be a tough re-election campaign, Obama surely would take any break he can get.
(Photo of Obama: Henny Ray Abrams/AP)