Gallup: History Suggests 'Very Temporary' Boost To Obama's Approval Numbers

Discussion in 'Politics' started by rc8222, May 2, 2011.

  1. rc8222


    History Suggests a Rally in Obama's Job Approval Rating as a Result of Bin Laden's Death

    President Obama’s surprise announcement Sunday night of the death of Osama bin Laden raises the possibility of a rally effect in his job approval ratings.

    A rally effect is a sharp uptick in a president’s ratings as a result of a high visibility news event involving the U.S., usually internationally. History indicates that Americans in such instances rally around their leader in a sign of solidarity, at least in the short-term. That rallying produces an increase in the president's job approval ratings.

    Obama’s approval ratings had been on a slight upward tick before the bin Laden announcement Sunday night. Gallup’s latest three-day average, based on interviewing conducted Friday-Sunday, does not reflect any impact of the late Sunday night announcement. Nevertheless, for that three-day period, Obama’s average was 46%, tied as the highest since April 9-11.

    I would anticipate, based on history, that Obama’s job approval rating will increase further in the wake of Sunday night’s announcement. Of course, the reason we continue to conduct surveys is that our expectations are not always borne out by the actual data. So we will monitor job approval ratings carefully in the days ahead to see exactly what transpires.

    One relatively recent example of a rally effect came about with the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, announced on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2003. Gallup was finishing a poll just as that announcement was made. President George W. Bush’s job approval rating in that Dec. 11-14 poll was 56%. We were back in the field Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Dec. 15-16, after the news of Saddam Hussein's capture. Bush’s approval rating jumped seven percentage points, to 63%.

    Prior to the December 2003 Saddam Hussein event, we had seen Bush’s rating jump 13 points with the announcement in March of that year that the U.S. was going to war against Hussein.

    And, in the largest rally effect in Gallup history, Bush’s rating went from 51% in a Sept. 7-10, 2001, poll to 86% in a Sept. 14-15 poll -- following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Within a week thereafter, in Gallup’s Sept. 21-22, 2001 poll, Bush’s ratings reached 90%, the highest job approval rating in Gallup’s history.

    Thus, a reasonable baseline estimate could be the expectation that Obama’s approval rating could rise at least seven points in the next several days, which would put him over the 50% mark.

    Rally effect bumps in job approval ratings often dissipate fairly quickly. Bush’s December 2003 seven-point increase, for example, was short-lived, dropping to 49% by late January/early February 2004.

    Thus, even if Obama gets a bump in his ratings over the next several days, it is not at all certain that this increase will be sustained. And, looking further ahead, the effect of the death of Osama bin Laden on Barack Obama’s re-election chances a year and a half from now, if any, will be very difficult to determine.

    One additional observation. Prior to this weekend's events, Americans had more confidence in the military than any other institution we measure. The success of the U.S. Navy Seals' operation in Pakistan Sunday will certainly underscore and perhaps increase that confidence.
  2. Ricter


    Three threads by you, all on the same topic. It appears you are trying to comfort yourself.
  3. rc8222


    Actually, just stating the facts. :D
  4. Ricter


    You're a handwringer.