Commentary Magazine


Who Got a Bin Laden Bump, Who Didn’t

Public opinion polls have been trickling out all day, and they’re starting to give a picture of the political ramifications of Osama bin Laden’s assassination. While some politicians got a bump, the results aren’t good for everyone.

As expected, President Obama’s approval ratings shot up in some polls, including a 9-point bounce from the Pew Research Center. But the conclusions were mixed–for example, a Daily Beast poll found that his approval rating remained virtually stagnant.

The War on Terror also got a boost, with 73 percent of Americans saying that bin Laden’s assassination gave them more confidence in the fight, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. And while a plurality told the Daily Beast’s pollsters that President Bush did a better job at prosecuting the War on Terror than Obama, a plurality also said that Obama deserves more credit for the capture of bin Laden than his predecessor.

There were also some losers in the polls. The assassination has done little to change low opinions on the economy. Once the thrill of bin Laden’s death subsides, Obama’s approval rating will likely drop back down because of economic concerns. Donald Trump has also seen a dip in the polls. It’s unclear whether the reason is that the birth certificate issue has been put to rest or a renewed seriousness in the wake of the bin Laden assassination. Whatever the reason, it has to be a good development for the GOP presidential field.

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