Skip to comments.Hill Poll: Voters split, independents say bin Laden death politicized
Posted on 05/07/2012 2:50:11 AM PDT by Libloather
Hill Poll: Voters split, independents say bin Laden death politicized
By Julian Pecquet - 05/07/12 05:00 AM ET
Just about as many likely voters think President Obama over-politicized the anniversary of Osama bin Ladens death as believe he handled it just right, according to a new poll for The Hill.
Forty-five percent of likely voters think Obama over-politicized the anniversary, including 65 percent of Republicans. But 46 percent of likely voters asserted that Obamas approach was about right, including 74 percent of Democrats.
Independents however, said by a 52 percent to 36 percent margin that the anniversary was politicized.
Republicans have accused the president of spiking the football over the bin Laden issue. Many GOP supporters resented a recent ad released by Obamas campaign that questioned whether Mitt Romney would have made the same decision to send Navy SEALS into the radical Islamicists compound in Pakistan.
Obama, for his part, has defended his approach to the anniversary.
I hardly think youve seen any excessive celebration taking place here, Obama said last week. I think the American people remember rightly what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice someone who killed 3,000 of our citizens.
The poll gave the president low marks for his handling of the war in Afghanistan, with 40 percent rating it as excellent or good versus 29 percent who said it was fair and a full 30 percent rating it as poor.
There was a stark partisan divide, however, with only 19 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents rating Obamas approach positively, versus 73 percent of Democrats.
The Pulse Opinion Research poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken Thursday, two days after President Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement in Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai.
While respondents in The Hill Poll were split along party lines, in Congress its Democrats who have been the agreements strongest critics.
For years, our nations leaders have spoken about their intention to end the American presence in Afghanistan, said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa). All that time, the end date has been pushed further and further down the road.
And Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said the agreement marked a continuation of the war, not its end.
The plain fact is we are not exiting Afghanistan, despite the appearances which the White House is trying to create, Kucinich said. We are staying.
Republicans, meanwhile, have varied in the tone and emphases of their responses.
While defense hawks like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised the agreement, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) called the presidents focus on the war long overdue.
It shouldnt require congressional pressure, editorials from leading newspapers and a presidential election to get the president to fulfill his role as commander in chief and speak to the American people about the war in Afghanistan, McKeon said.
Voters were just as split on the broader question of Obamas success on the world stage.
Asked whether they preferred the president or his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to handle foreign policy issues, 46 percent of likely voters chose Obama versus 44 percent for Romney a difference within the polls 3-point margin of error. Self-described liberals and conservatives largely stuck to their respective candidates, while moderates picked Obama over Romney 50 percent to 38 percent.
The results from independents, in particular, suggest that Democrats have effectively neutralized the decades-old Republican mantra that theyre soft on defense. Romney may therefore believe that his best bet is to continue to keep his focus on the presidents economic record.
Obama has suffered some foreign policy setbacks, however. His much-touted desire to reset relations with the rest of the world particularly the Middle East in the wake of President George W. Bushs unilateralism has largely fallen flat domestically.
Only 37 percent of likely voters believe Obama has made the United States more respected internationally, versus 42 percent who think the opposite. Seventeen percent dont think hes made any difference.
The poll also revealed that a great majority of likely voters 63 percent rank the strength of the candidates on foreign policy as very important to their vote. Another 29 percent answered that foreign policy would be somewhat important and only 6 percent said it would be not very important.
Those figures suggest that the president would be wrong to assume that an unforeseen international crisis cant come around and tank his poll ratings between now and November.
Just last week, for example, the administrations handling of Chinese activist Chen Guangchengs escape to the U.S. embassy in Beijing threatened to become a major liability for Obama until diplomats on the ground turned things around and worked out a deal for the blind dissident to come to the United States on a student visa.
The Pulse Opinion Research poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
I don’t understand. If most Republicans and Independents dissaproved, how are the actual numbers 45-46 percent (dissaprove-approve)?
Have they oversampled democrats?
People have not really revealed their true feelings about Obama because of fear of being called the “r” word.
Lindsey Graham and John McCain are as bad as Nancy & Harry.