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Obama’s Meager Post-Bin Laden Bounce Spells Political Trouble For Him

Written By : John Hawkins
May 4, 2011

Bush 41 went all the way up to an 88% approval rating after the Gulf War. His son W. soared from 51% to 90% in the space of 10 days after 9/11.

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That brings us to the death of Osama Bin Laden.

This was a HUGE event. There were spontaneous celebrations in New York and people chanting “USA, USA, USA” outside the White House at 4 AM. Americans were THRILLED OUT OF THEIR MINDS that Osama Bin Laden was dead and that we’d killed him. Seeing as how Barack Obama was the man who gave the order to kill Bin Laden, you’d think he’d get a decent bounce out of it.

The first indication, to me at least, that might not be the case was the scene outside the White House. Even though the raucous crowd was full of chanting students, a few diehard Obama supporters couldn’t get them to do any pro-Obama chants.

Not a good sign.

Still, I figured 40% of the country are diehard Democrat partisans and they’d certainly be thrilled. Then, you’d have to figure the independents would be thrilled, and even a few conservatives might be willing to say they approved of Obama for 5 minutes, in the wake of his one positive accomplishment in office. To me, 60% of adults seemed like a pretty good bet and given the past performance of Bush 41 and Bush 43, 65% might not be quite optimistic enough.

Well today, the numbers started coming in and the bounce Obama got turned out to be surprisingly tepid.

From Rasmussen.

Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.

Daily updates are based upon nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, two-thirds of the interviews for today’s update were conducted before news was released about the death of Osama bin Laden. Thursday will be the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after that event. Results from the single night of data collected on Monday shows a modest improvement in the president’s Approval Index rating. However, there was no improvement in the president’s overall approval rating. Caution should always be used when interpreting a single night sample from a tracking poll.

A Pew/Washington Post poll conducted Monday in the wake of the death of the world’s most sought-after terrorist found that 56% of those asked say they approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 38% disapprove. In April only 47% approved while 45% disapproved.

Obama isn’t the only president to benefit in the polls due to the fall of a vilified leader. In 2003 when the U.S. captured Iraqi President Saddam Hussein hiding at the bottom of an 8-foot hole, President George W. Bush’s approval ratings rose from 50% to 57%.

Among other questions, the poll asked 654 adults who deserved the credit for the killing of Bin Laden. Only a third of the total group said Obama deserved “a great deal of credit”.

A new poll from Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage shows that President Barack Obama’s approval rating received a mild boost from the killing of Osama bin Laden. It also shows that Americans across the political spectrum believe President George W. Bush also deserves credit for the al-Qaida leader’s capture

…As for Obama’s approval rating, the poll shows it at 47.7 percent, equal to his disapproval rating. That’s an improvement from the days before the attack, when Obama’s disapproval rating exceeded his approval rating by 2 to 6 percentage points, Towery says.

When saying “Okey-dokey” when the military comes to you and wants to kill Osama Bin Laden barely moves the needle, that’s a bad sign. After all, how is this bumbling idiot going to top that accomplishment? This is Obama’s blind squirrel grabbing a nut moment for his presidency and if this many people are STILL saying, “Uh, no thanks to more of this guy,” it’s a sign that Americans may be even more sick of this guy than most people have realized.

PS: Here’s a theory about why Obama isn’t getting more of a bounce from this: It cuts against type. Take W. and No Child Left Behind, for example. Sadly — and I think incorrectly, Republicans aren’t perceived as a party that cares a lot about education. So, along comes Bush with No Child Left Behind. It instituted tough standards, which conservatives love and a MASSIVE increase in education spending, which liberals love. So, is Bush considered the “education” President? Nope. Conservatives didn’t like the centralization of power and excess spending, liberals just pretended the new spending never happened, and the public was unmoved. In Obama’s case, everybody “knows” that he doesn’t care about national security. So, Republicans assume he got lucky by continuing Bush’s programs, liberals don’t feel comfortable with the whole thing, and independents aren’t all that impressed because they don’t really believe Obama was all that crucial to the process.

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