Obama gets post-bin Laden poll bump

President Obama's approval rating jumped into positive territory, according to polls conducted Monday after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Fifty-six percent of Americans said they approved of how Obama was handling his job, up nine points since last month, according to a Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults said they still disapproved of Obama's job performance, while six percent said they didn't know. 

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A CNN/Opinion Research poll showed a more modest bump for Obama, but still had his approval rating in positive territory. Fifty-two percent of Americans said they approved of the way Obama is handling his job in that poll, up one point from over the weekend, but up four points from early April.

Obama enjoyed dramatic bumps in how Americans see his handling of the situation in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism in the Pew poll. Sixty percent favorably rated the president's handling of the situation in Afghanistan, up 17 points from Pew's early April poll. Obama's numbers on the threat of terrorism also jumped; 69 percent of Americans said they approve of the president's work to combat terrorism, up from 55 percent last month.

Like the Pew poll, Obama's numbers on the situation in Afghanistan and terrorism jumped in the CNN poll. The president got a 7-point bounce on both Afghanistan and terrorism.



The president is still plagued by stronger disapproval numbers on his handling of the economy and U.S. debt, which drag down his overall approval rating. Fifty-six percent of Americans said in the CNN poll that they disapproved of the way Obama is handling the economy, and 61 percent said they disapproved of his handling of the federal budget deficit.

It's not clear how long Obama's bounce, which many strategists in both parties expected, will last. While both parties spar over whether Obama and his predecessor, former President George W. Bush, deserve credit for bin Laden's weekend assassination in Pakistan, the Pew poll made clear that the military and the CIA enjoy the credit in most Americans' minds.

Eighty-six percent of Americans said the military deserves a "great deal of credit" for bin Laden's killing, and 66 percent said the same of the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

Obama and Bush received less credit. Thirty-five percent of respondents said Obama deserved a great deal of credit, 41 percent said he deserved some, 13 percent said he deserved not much, and 8 percent said Obama deserved none at all. By contrast, 15 percent said Bush deserved a great deal of credit, 36 percent said he deserved some, 15 percent said he deserved not much, and 31 percent said he deserved none at all.

The Pew poll, conducted May 2, has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. The CNN poll, also conducted Monday, has a 3.5-point error margin.

Last updated at 12:33 p.m.