Hill Poll: Obama's bin Laden Bounce Will Fade Fast

Monday, 09 May 2011 12:10 PM

By Dan Weil

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Many Republican pundits have said during the past week that the jump in President Barack Obama’s approval ratings after the killing of Osama bin Laden is unlikely to last. American voters apparently feel the same way, according to a new poll from The Hill.

Obama, bin Laden, polls, the hillAs for the bin Laden bounce, A New York Times/CBS poll last week showed Obama’s approval rating surged 11 percentage points from two weeks earlier. And Gallup’s daily tracking poll showed Obama’s approval rating rose 6 percentage points right after the bin Laden takeout.

But now, almost 60 percent of American voters think the boost Obama received will disappear within three months, according to The Hill poll. Only 25 percent of respondents think Obama will still benefit from bin Laden’s death six months from now.

Those poll results indicate that the effect of the bin Laden killing on Obama’s re-election prospects might be small. Once the attention fades from bin Laden, the key issues for the 2012 campaign will be economic, according to The Hill.

Voters are obviously concerned about the weak job market, with unemployment at 9 percent. The rise in gasoline prices to more than $4 a gallon in some cities also worries them. And the $1 trillion-plus annual budget deficits as far as the eye can see remain an issue as well.

The unemployment rate is unlikely to drop drastically before Obama faces his fate in the polling booth. Moody’s Economy.com predicts an 8 percent unemployment rate at the end of 2012.

There is some irony here. The financial crisis helped solidify Obama’s victory in 2008, but the lack of a solid recovery could seal his fate next year.

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