There has been quite a bit of talk about whether the killing of Osama bin Laden will increase President Obama’s chances of winning the 2012 election. A New York Times/CBS News poll this week revealed that “57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.” However, The New York Times also rightfully noted, “It is common for presidents to see their poll numbers shoot up after major military or foreign policy successes. But they usually do not sustain the ratings . . . Mr. Bush’s bump [after the capture of Saddam Hussein] evaporated within a month.”
So, the short answer is no — the killing of bin Laden will not have a significant impact on the 2012 election outcome. But let’s take a look at a couple things that will:
(1) According to the New York Times/CBS News poll cited above, “More than half said they disapproved of his [President Obama’s] handling of the economy, similar to the result last month.” When it comes to 2012, this is the figure that will undoubtedly hold the most weight.
(2) Reuters reported this week that “U.S. private employers added 179,000 jobs in April, coming in shy of economists’ expectations . . . Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP Employer Services report would show a gain of 198,000 jobs.” Considering the hundreds of billions of dollars this administration “invested” in so-called “stimulus,” many of us aren’t kicking up our heels in celebration,
Whether or not 2012 conservative contenders adeptly hold President Obama accountable for his disastrous policies remains to be seen. But if they do, he’s going to need a lot more than fancy campaign slogans this time around.