Gallup: Bin Laden Death's 'Halo Effect' Boosts Congress

Thursday, 12 May 2011 08:48 AM

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Even Congress is enjoying a bump in its approval rating because of Osama bin Laden’s death, in what Gallup pollsters describe as a “halo effect” in the euphoria over the demise of the world’s top terrorist. What’s more, Republicans are showing the most satisfaction with their country in general, according to the poll results released today.

Congress, Gallup, approval, bin LadenAmericans' approval of Congress leaped from 17 percent in April to 24 percent in the May 5-8 poll, taken just a few days after the al-Qaida leader’s death at the hands of U.S. SEALs. The rating squeaked by 1 percentage point to give Congress the best high five it has received since January 2010.

However, it’s still 10 points below Gallup’s historical average of 34 percent approval for Congress. And it’s far short of the 42 points Congress gleaned after the 9/11 attacks. Noting that congressional approval also hasn’t hit 50 percent since June 2003, Gallup observed that it’s unclear how long the bin Laden bounce will last.

Overall, Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States jumped from 22 percent in April to 26 percent in the new poll. Although that’s a smaller bounce than President Barack Obama (6 points, to 52 percent) and Congress received in the wake of bin Laden’s death, the approval mark is the highest in a year, Gallup reported.

Republicans' approval of Congress is up 8 percentage points since bin Laden was killed in his lair in Pakistan, similar to the 7-point increase among independents, Gallup observed. Democrats' approval is up 5 points. There is now a three-point gap between Democrats' 26 percent approval and Republicans' 23 percent.

Republicans' satisfaction with the country’s direction rose the most after bin Laden's death, jumping 7 points, while that of independents went up 4 points, and Democrats were unchanged. Even so, Republican satisfaction was only 12 percent, compared with Democrats’ 40 percent and independents’ 24 percent.

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