After Bin Laden Raid, Economy Still Hinders Obama

After Bin Laden Raid, Economy Still Hinders Obama

By Alex Katz - May 10, 2011

President Obama's approval rating on issues relating to foreign policy, national security and leadership saw a significant jump in the wake of the successful mission to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. However, voter dissatisfaction with the country's economic woes continues to dog Obama's poll numbers, according to a new NBC News poll.

According to the survey, which was conducted May 5-7, 53 percent of Americans gave Obama high ratings for his ability to handle a crisis, another 53 percent gave him high ratings for being firm and decisive, and 51 percent gave him high ratings for being a good commander in chief.

The numbers represent an all-time high for the president in those categories, according to NBC News polling. But Obama only made modest gains in other categories while his economic approval ratings continue to slump.

The poll shows that just 37 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the economy, compared with 58 percent who disapprove.

What's more, just 31 percent believe the economy will improve in the next year, while 43 percent said it will remain the same, and another 25 percent said it will worsen.

These numbers come amid news that the U.S. economy added 268,000 private-sector jobs in April but gasoline prices continue to soar, reaching nearly $4 per gallon.

Perhaps most telling is that, despite the momentous event of bin Laden's death, only about a third of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction.

According to the poll, 52 percent of voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president, a three-point increase from an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released in April. Another 41 percent disapprove, which represents a four-point drop from April.

With the presidential election fast approaching, 45 percent of voters (a two-point rise from April) said they would probably vote for Obama, while 30 percent (an eight-point decrease from April) would support a generic Republican candidate.

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