Tuesday, May 17, 2011

U.S. Politics: Majority of Americans Feel Osama bin Laden's Death Will Not Affect Their Vote

Eighty-four percent of Americans stated that Osama bin Laden's death will not make them more or less likely to vote for President Barack Obama in 2012, according to the latest bipartisan POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll. Forty-one percent of those polled felt that credit for bin Laden's death should be shared equally by President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. However, President Obama showed strong approval ratings in his handling of terrorism and foreign policy with 75 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Regarding the impact bin Laden's death would have on terrorism, 40 percent felt it would have no effect, while 33 percent feared an increase in terrorist activity.

The economy and jobs continue to top the list of issues the public feels that Congress should focus on, followed closely by government spending and the budget deficit. Fifty-seven percent of those polled disapproved of President Obama's handling of the economy, while 61 percent disapproved of his handling of the federal budget and spending. Yet, when asked who could best handle turning the economy around, 48 percent felt President Obama could do the job over the 42 percent who felt Congressional Republicans could. The president also came out slightly ahead of Congressional Republicans on job creation with 47 percent compared to the Republicans' 43 percent.

Americans favor Congressional Republicans over Democrats on the key issues of jobs and the economy. Forty-five percent of Americans believe Republicans in Congress will do a better job of turning the economy around and creating jobs compared to the 40 percent who favor Democrats in both cases. The gap widens further when it comes to the deficit where 51 percent of Americans feel Republicans will do a better job of controlling it as opposed to only 32 percent who see Democrats in Congress doing a better job.

Both Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty polled far below President Obama. The president leads Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty in match-ups by 12 and 13 points, respectively. As for Donald Trump, 71 percent feel he does not have any chance of being elected president.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans still feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, a slightly lower number than the 63 percent found in last fall's poll.

SOURCE George Washington University