Majorities of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, and foreign affairs. That contrasts with the majority disapproval he gets for his handling of the economy and the federal budget deficit.
These results are based on a May 12-15 USA Today Gallup poll that shows the effect of Osama bin Laden’s death on Americans’ evaluation of how Obama is handling key issues. The president’s ratings on terrorism, foreign affairs, and the situation in Afghanistan all improved significantly from Gallup’s prior measurement. However, Americans do not view his handling of the economy or the federal budget deficit any better than they did in late March.
The race for President 2012 will be on the economy and Obama is already in trouble.
The president’s weak approval on the economy is a clear vulnerability, given the issue’s dominant status as the most important problem facing the country in Americans’ eyes. Americans are less concerned about international matters such as terrorism and the war in Afghanistan, issues on which Obama receives much more positive ratings. Indeed, the May 12-15 poll finds that U.S. registered voters are much more likely to say the economy will be extremely or very important (71%) to their decision on whether to vote for Obama in 2012 than will foreign affairs (49%).