Tales from the Trail

Reuters/Ipsos poll: Obama gets credit for bin Laden death, but not by much

President Barack Obama gave the order for a daring raid on a compound inside Pakistan in which the most wanted man on earth was killed, but only 32 percent of Americans say he deserves the most credit for Osama bin Laden’s death.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 13 percent of Americans gave former President George W. Bush credit, while 25 percent said neither.

Most Americans, 52 percent, said the killing of bin Laden in the Sunday secret operation did not change their view about Obama’s leadership, while 39 percent said it improved their view and 10 percent said it worsened theirs.

Their views on Obama’s handling of the war on terrorism had a similar breakdown — 50 percent unchanged, 42 percent improved and 7 percent worsened.

The successful raid most changed the public’s view of the performance of  U.S. intelligence agencies — 66 percent improved — and the military — 64 percent improved.

Obama approval ratings on the rise

Forget November’s election “shellacking,” at least for now. Things are looking up for President Barack Obama.

OBAMA/A flurry of new opinion polls show Obama’s approval ratings climbing above 50 percent for the first time in months, fueled by growing public confidence in the economy and a positive reaction to his response to the Arizona shootings and the spurt of bipartisan accomplishment in Congress in December.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll published earlier this week put Obama’s approval at 54 percent, up five percentage points since December, and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll had him at 53 percent, up eight percentage points in a month.

Polls turning on Obama

The sky is not falling, but President Barack Obama is running into a bit of a poll problem.

Six months since he entered the White House on a tide of giddy support and even jokes that he walked on water, opinion polls are starting to turn on him. OBAMA/

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, Obama’s overall approval rating dipped below 50 percent – to 49 percent — for the first time among likely voters, compared with a 51 percent disapproval rating.

The First Draft: Obama’s bad news Thursday

FINANCIAL REGULATION/President Barack Obama woke up Thursday to find two new polls — the NBC News/Wall Street Journal and CBS News/New York Times — showing growing public concerns over the high rate of government spending and ballooning federal deficits.

Meanwhile, his big-ticket initiative to revamp the U.S. healthcare system hit a road bump in Congress, where a key Senate committee slowed its schedule for consideration of the measure in order to find a bipartisan approach to rein in its huge projected costs — more than $1 trillion and counting.

For Obama, the news was a sign, perhaps, that the public is beginning to hold him accountable for the many thorny issues he inherited from former President George W. Bush and becoming concerned about the mounting price tag — the Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal deficit could top $1.8 trillion this fiscal year.

Germans would give Obama landslide win – poll

BERLIN – If Germans could vote in the U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama would win a staggering 72 percent of their vote, according to an opinion poll by the respected Emnid institute published on Sunday in Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Republican John McCain would get 11 percent.berlin.jpg
Germans have no say, of course, in the U.S. presidential election. But they have long wished they did. 
And because the American influence on their country has been so pervasive and their fate so intertwined with Washington’s in the six decades since the end of World War Two (see everything from Care packages to the Airlift, the Cold War, their central bank and Pershing missiles), Germans may well follow U.S. politics and especially presidential elections closer than in any other country in the world.
With a feared “World War Three” looming in the middle of their divided country for more than 40 years before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it should come as little surprise that they care a lot about who’s in the White House and have an amazingly thorough understanding of the candidates’ positions.
The ties between the two countries sometimes became even a little too intense. One former chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, kept warning U.S. President Jimmy Carter to stop treating West Germany like a “51st state.”
So the Emnid poll is worth taking a closer look at — even if Germans won’t be able to cast their ballots in November.
Obama, who is rumored to be mulling a trip to Berlin later in the summer, would win an even more lopsided 86 percent of Germans with high school diplomas and an even higher 77 percent of those living in the formerly communist east.
The results are all the more astonishing against the backdrop that Germany has a conservative chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose popularity far surpasses that of the leader of the Social Democrats, Kurt Beck, the more natural ally to Obama’s Democrats.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz.  Fireworks illuminate the sky next to a U.S. national flag at the new U.S. embassy during its opening ceremony in Berlin July 4, 2008.