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Bin Laden's death and polls: Some fearful findings

While a Monday poll showed the slaying of Osama bin Laden had boosted President Obama's approval rating by a modest 9%, a new Gallup survey this morning produces some more disturbing findings.Osama bin Laden

The violent demise early Monday of Al Qaeda's founder, who masterminded the mass murders of 9/11, among other deadly incidents, prompted spontaneous late-night street celebrations in Washington and in New York, where the president will visit Ground Zero tomorrow.

A quick Pew/Washington Post poll that first day found 56% approved of the Democrat's job now, up from 47% in April. The same poll found 38% now disapprove of Obama's job, down from 45% last month.

An historic comparison by Public Opinion Strategies of presidential poll bumps after national security events predicts Obama's increased approval will be around 13% and last maybe 22 weeks, compared with George W. Bush's seven-week 15% jump after capturing Saddam Hussein.

However, a new Gallup/USA Today poll out this morning also finds that the death of that tall, haunting Saudi man has prompted more than 6 in 10 Americans to believe that a significant act of terrorism within the United States is very or somewhat likely in the next several weeks.

Seventeen percent believe such an attack is "very likely."

That 62% is the highest number fearing such an imminent attack in eight years, since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

Additionally, fewer than 4 in 10 (39%) say Bin Laden's death makes them feel a lot more confident that the country can succeed in the ongoing war against Islamic terrorism. A third feels a little more confident about that.

Related:

Yes, SEALs were in on the Osama raid, but aides hail Obama's office bravery

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Al Jazeera

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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Terrorism won't end together with Osama Bin Laden's death. It will continue and it will never end. It's in our history since from the very beginning there are always who opposed and contradict with someone.

Why wasn't bin Laden captured and put on trial? Oh, I forgot, it was too inconvenient. Instead, we shot the unarmed man twice point blank in the face and dumped him in the ocean because a land burial would have been.. inconvenient. Jesus did not believe in "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". I wonder what bin Laden would have said while on trial about our friends the Saudi sheiks paying off the Saudi extremists so they would attack anyone except them. It was the Saudi extremists who committed 9/11. Execution of unarmed prisoners of war without trial is not appropriate, sorry. We are destroying the American principles of justice because of our rage - and it just creates more terrorists!

This isn't journalism - this is just FEAR 101. I have read the articles from Andrew over the past couple days and it is obvious he is just desperate to spin something to attack Obama. Obama could single-handedly find the cure for cancer and this hack would probably go on about how he destroyed the Pharma industry.

LA Time, raise your bar please - dump this hack.

I don't believe in polls, simply because I've never know anyone who was polled. They knew nothing about the last presidential election. They got it all wrong. The social media and unlisted cell phones have made the phenomenon of "polling" extinct.

Would have been nice to bury Bin Laden's remains at ground zero and erect the monument on top of his grave, so he can carry the burden of what he did into the afterlife. What a way to honor our fallen by having their memory squashing his memory.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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