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Obama support gets a spike with Osama killing: Poll

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: Support for US President Barack Obama has risen sharply following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American military forces in Pakistan, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.A majority now approve of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, the poll released Wednesday revealed.

“The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents,” the Times said.

In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.

But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding, the daily noted with more than six in 10 Americans saying that killing bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the US in the short term.

A large majority also said that the Al Qaeda leader’s death did not make them feel any safer. Just 16 percent said they personally felt more safe now.

The increase in Obama’s ratings came largely from Republicans and independents. Among independents, his approval rating increased 11 points from last month, to 52 percent, while among Republicans it rose 15 points, to 24 percent.

Among Democrats, 86 percent supported his job performance, compared with 79 percent in April.

Obama received higher marks in several major areas of foreign policy. Just over half said they liked the way he was handling foreign policy generally, up from 39 percent in April.

About six in 10 approved of his handling of Afghanistan, up from 44 percent in January. And more than seven in 10 supported his handling of the terrorism threat, up from about half in August 2010.

Perhaps least surprising, more than eight in 10 said they supported his handling of the pursuit of bin Laden, who half of Americans think was still in charge of Al Qaeda when he died, the Times said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])