Although the majority of Americans approve of the way President Obama handles international issues, most disapprove of his handling of the economy and federal budget deficit, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.
The poll, conducted from May 12-15, showed an increase in approval of the president’s handling of terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, and foreign affairs since the previous poll was conducted in late March.
Obama’s overall job approval rating has risen since Osama bin Laden’s death on May 2. His approval averaged 44 percent the week prior to his dramatic Sunday night announcement of the successful operation to kill the al-Qaida leader. It rose to 51 percent the week following and has averaged close to that level since, according to Gallup polling, though other polls suggest the "bin Laden bump" is gone.
The president’s ratings on the economy and federal budget deficit did not contribute to the increase in overall job approval. Instead, his approval in those areas remained flat—and weak—at just 37 and 32 percent, respectively.
This could spell trouble in the 2012 elections. According to the USA Today/Gallup poll, 71 percent of U.S. registered voters say the economy will be “extremely or very important” in their decision to support Obama in the 2012 election, compared with just 49 percent who gave that rating to foreign affairs. With the recent string of disappointing economic news, Obama is facing an uphill climb.
Want the news first every morning? Sign up for National Journal's Need-to-Know Memo. Short items to prepare you for the day.