Where did bin Laden Bounce Go? It Never Was.

June 08, 2011, 4:32 PM GMT+0

Other than his scores for handling terrorism, President Barack Obama saw no bounce last month for slaying Osama bin Laden. Today, Obama’s overall job approval rating stands at -3 (45% approve – 48% disapprove) in the latest Economist/YouGov poll conducted June 4-7, 2011.

  • A month ago, at the height of the excitement over the successful Navy SEALS raid on bin Laden, Obama’s overall job approval rating was +1 (48%-47%).
  • That was up slightly from Obama’s standing a year ago, at -5 (44%-49%).
  • Two years ago, near the start of his Presidency in June 2009, Obama’s overall job performance rating stood at +19 (56%-37%).

Whatever minor bounce can be found in Obama’s overall job scores is entirely attributable to his handling of terrorism, as his scores on other issues continued to decline right through last month’s “bounce.” At the extremes, Obama’s current overall job approval ratings are worse than ever, at 2-to-1 negative (32% strong disapprove; 16% strong approve).

On his scores for handling terrorism, of course, Obama enjoyed a huge bounce a month ago. He’s managed to hold on to most of that bounce. In a Economist/YouGov poll conducted May 2-4, 2011, Obama’s standing on handling the issue of terrorism was +24 (58%-34%), up from -3 (42%-45%) a year ago, and even higher than his standing on handling terrorism during his honeymoon period two years ago, when he stood at +5 (45%-40%) on terrorism in June 2009. Today, Obama’s approval score on terrorism stands at +16 (52%-36%).

On a range of six other issues Americans consider important, however—the economy, health care, social security, education, the budget deficit and taxes—Obama’s rating a year ago averaged -14 (37%-51%), stood at -17 (37%-54%) at the height of the bin Laden raid “boost” in May, and now has fallen to -19 (35%-54%).

Click for table tracking Obama's "boost"

Full datasets for Economist/YouGov polls can be found here.

Photo source: Press Association