AP poll: President Obama’s approval rating jumps to two-year high


(NOTE: This post has been bumped back to the top because of new information in an Update at the bottom.)

A new poll from the Associated Press SHOWS that President Obama’s post-bin Laden bump has continued to grow, with 60 percent of Americans now approving of his job performance.

A few excerpts from the AP report on this survey:

In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president’s standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans – a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election – caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.

Comfortable majorities of the public now call Obama a strong leader who will keep America safe. Nearly three-fourths – 73 percent – also now say they are confident that Obama can effectively handle terrorist threats. And he improved his standing on Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States’ relationships with other countries.

Despite a sluggish recovery from the Great Recession, 52 percent of Americans now approve of Obama’s stewardship of the economy, giving him his best rating on that issue since the early days of his presidency; 52 percent also now like how he’s handling the nation’s stubbornly high 9 percent unemployment.


–Sixty-nine percent say Obama will keep America safe, up from 61 percent in March; 65 percent call him a “strong leader,” up from 57 percent.

–Sixty-three percent say Obama cares about people like them; 63 percent also say that he understands the problems of ordinary Americans.

–Sixty-three percent view Obama favorably, up from 59 percent in March.

Still, his re-election is far from certain. And there are warning signs in the poll.

–Nearly two-thirds of people – 61 percent – disapprove of his handling on gas prices, even though there’s little a president can do about them.

–Less than half give him positive marks on dealing with the federal budget deficit or taxes, two big upcoming issues.

UPDATE: An examination of the raw data in the AP poll raises what seem to me to be legitimate QUESTIONS about the partisan breakdown of respondents.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have recognized this poll as a potential outlier, given that the numbers for Obama are considerably higher than in other post-bin Laden surveys.

UPDATE II: Gallup, too, has good news for Obama — but not as good as the numbers in the AP poll.

THIS REPORT, which was released today, includes the following:

The May 5-8 Gallup poll, conducted after the death of Osama bin Laden, did not pick up the same rally effect in support for Obama’s re-election as Gallup Daily tracking has found in the president’s job approval rating.

The two-percentage-point increase in support for Obama’s re-election over the past month, from 41 percent in the April 20-22 poll to 43 percent today, is not statistically significant. But the seven-point rise in Obama’s overall job approval rating across the same two polls, from 47% to 54%, is.


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