Obama's Approval on Terrorism Sinking, But Still Nine Points Higher Than Before Bin Laden's Death

May 26, 2011, 5:00 PM GMT+0

In the immediate aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden three weeks ago, opinions of the President’s handling of terrorism soared. It is still high, but there continue to be small declines as measured in the Economist/YouGov polls. This week 52% approve of Barack Obama’s handling of terrorism. 38% disapprove. 

Current approval on handling terrorism remains nine points above what it was before bin Laden’s death.

There has been slippage as well, when it comes to the President’s handling of foreign policy in general. Last week, 45% approved of that, significantly up from last fall. This week, approval is down to 40%. That may be in part due to the falloff since bin Laden’s death, but it may also be due in part to Thursday’s speech and some of the criticism that followed it. 

Americans see no improvement in U.S. relations with the Muslim world: last week, just one in ten said those relations were getting better, and more than a third said they were getting worse. This week, Americans say much the same about this. And there continues to be division in Americans’ assessment of how President Obama has handled the uprisings and protests in the Middle East. This week, only 36% approve and 40% disapprove.

Opinion about the overall performance of the President is relatively stable, with approval at 45% this week. Disapproval is 49%. 

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