May 11, 2011

Barack Obama
I've always wondered who are these people being polled?  No one I know has ever been polled.

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years — 60 percent — and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

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.

The economy remains Americans' top issue.

Impressions of the nation's fiscal outlook have improved following last Friday's positive jobs report, which showed American companies are on a hiring spree. More people now say that the economy got better in the past month and that it's likely to continue doing so in the coming year.

Also, more Americans — 45 percent, up from 35 percent in March — say the country is headed in the right direction. Still, about half — 52 percent — say it's on the wrong track, meaning Obama still has work to do to convince a restive public to stay with the status quo.

Some have seen enough to know they'll stick with him.

"I was happy about bin Laden," says Brenda Veckov, 42, of Hollidaysburg, Pa. "I put my fists in the air. To me, it was just a little bit of closure for the United States."

"The president made the right decisions on this one. And I will vote for him again."

Not everyone has such an optimistic view of Obama.

"I'm very concerned" about the country, says Susan Demarest in Snellville, Ga., 56, who didn't support the Democrat last time and won't this time. "I'm in my 50s and I worry that I'm not going to be able to retire at a reasonable age and enjoy the end of my life because of Medicare and Social Security and the debt of the country." Still, she says Obama doesn't carry all of the blame.

Obama's overall political boost comes at an important time. He is embarking on his re-election campaign and is in the early days of a debate with Republicans who control the House over raising the country's debt limit. But it's unclear how long Obama's strengthened standing will last in the aftermath of bin Laden's death.

Americans say they overwhelmingly approve of the military's handling of the risky nighttime mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But it hasn't changed public opinion on the war in Afghanistan; most still are opposed to it, and a big majority favors Obama's plan to withdraw all combat troops by 2014.

Overall, Obama's approval rating is up slightly from 53 percent in March and a 47 percent low point following last fall's midterm congressional elections, in which Republicans won control of the House and gained seats in the Senate. It was 64 percent in May 2009, just months after he was sworn into office.

Also, 53 percent now say he deserves to be re-elected; 43 percent say he should be fired, making it the first time in an AP-GfK poll that more people say he should get a second term than not.

"I have the impression that Barack Obama works really hard for Americans and that I see his leadership as something that should be continued," says independent voter Allison Kaplan, 25, in Austin, Texas, who voted for him in 2008. She praises the administration for handling bin Laden's raid well — "the way that it happened was the correct way" — and it reinforced her support of the president.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans who call themselves political independents now approve of him; only about half did in March. They were critical to his 2008 victory but many had fled as his administration increased government spending and passed a sweeping health care overhaul. They could just as easily turn away again between now and next fall.


Among the poll's other findings:

• 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.

The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted May 5-9 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,001 adults nationwide and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.




  1. I've never been polled and I don't know of anyone who has (shrugs shoulders).

    But IF most polls are to be believed (and I tend to dismiss most polls even when they results are i line with my thinking) the President is certainly enjoying a good run of it right now.

    Amazing what (1) releasing a long-form of a birth certificate AND (2) smacking Trump all upside the head AND (3) directing the take-down of the world's #1 terrorist means in terms of how the first African-American President in this nation's history is now viewed by most Americans (especially White-Americans, including most Repubs who now believe he was born in the U.S). Not to mention how he's viewed by the world!

  2. And in other somewhat related (and amusing) news:

    IBOPE Zogby Poll: Herman Cain Second to Christie As Top Choice Of GOP Primary Voters; Only 9% choose Romney, but 31% believe he will be nominee

    One-half of GOP voters say they would never vote for Donald Trump, and more than 30% say they would never vote for Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul.

    These results are from an IBOPE Zogby interactive poll of 1,377 Republican primary voters conducted from May 6-9.

    Cain, a businessman and talk show host, seems to have impressed some Republican voters with his performance at last week's South Carolina Republican presidential debate. He receives 14% when GOP voters are asked whom they would vote for if the primary were held today. That places him second to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has said he will not run, but has been the frontrunner in three previous IBOPE Zogby interactive polls (November 2010 and January and March 2011.)

    If the Republican primary for President were held today, for whom would you vote?

    Candidate........GOP Voters

    Chris Christie.....17%
    Herman Cain........14%
    Ron Paul...........10%
    Mitt Romney.........9%
    Newt Gingrich.......7% (Poor fella_smh. isn't he announcing his candidacy today?)
    Sarah Palin.........4%
    Tim Pawlenty........4%
    Mike Huckabee.......4%
    Donald Trump........4%
    Mitch Daniels.......4%
    Michele Bachman.....2%
    Rick Santorum.......2%
    Gary Johnson........1%

    None of these.......9%
    Not sure............9%

    Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

    When asked who they thought would get the nomination, 31% of GOP voters say Romney. Tim Pawlenty is next at 8%, and 37% are not sure.

    Which of the following candidates would you NEVER vote for?

    Candidate.....GOP Voters

    Donald Trump.......50%
    Newt Gingrich......36%
    Sarah Palin........36%
    Mike Huckabee......34%
    Ron Paul...........32%
    Mitt Romney........27%
    Michele Bachman....27%
    Gary Johnson.......26%
    Rick Santorum......25%
    Herman Cain........17%
    Tim Pawlenty.......16%
    Mitch Daniels......14%
    Chris Christie.....13%

    None of these......12%
    Not sure...........10%