As expected, President Obama's approval rating jumped in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. According to a new poll by the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, conducted on Monday after the bin Laden news broke, Obama's approval rating, which has remained steady for almost 18 months now, suddenly jumped to 56 percent, up from 47 in a previous Washington Post poll.
But note the Post headline:
Osama bin Laden killing gives Obama quick but limited ratings boost
For the record, the 9-point approval jump represent the largest increase from one poll to the next of Obama's entire presidency, according to Post/ABC polling. But the newspaper does not include that fact in its analysis. Instead, it stresses that Obama's best-ever increase is "limited."
Here's the Post:
But the new poll, conducted Monday evening by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, also finds virtually no movement in Obama's numbers when it comes to handling the economy. That suggests that success on one front — even one as important as the death of the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — might not translate easily to other areas.
The Post downplays Obama's largest-ever poll increase because, in the wake of counterterrorism strikes, voters hadn't changed their views of how Obama is handling the economy. That seems odd.
If the script had been flipped and suddenly Obama's approval rating cratered nine points in one month (from 47 to 38 percent), would the Post headline stress that the ratings collapse was "limited" because Obama's economic numbers hadn't changed?
I certainly doubt it.