It will be fascinating to watch President Obama's job approval rating in the next few days, as Americans continue to react to the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces. Our Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport discusses the historical context for a potential bounce in his blog Polling Matters.
Here's a quick rundown of what to monitor and when:
- We update Obama's job approval rating daily on our homepage and here. This number is a three-day rolling average, based on the previous three days of interviewing. As of Sunday, 46% of Americans approved of Obama and 46% disapproved. Monday's number, which we'll post at 1 p.m. ET, will include Sunday night interviewing, but that polling preceded the news about bin Laden, so it won't show any potential effect.
- Monday night interviewing will begin to pick up Americans' reactions to bin Laden's death. But Tuesday's number will still include interviewing both pre- and post-the bin Laden news, as will Wednesday's update. Thursday's number is a key one to watch, as it will include three nights of interviewing -- Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday -- conducted after the bin Laden news.
- Obama's weekly job approval average, posted in our Presidential Job Approval Center, may be the most valuable to watch. Since we calculate weekly job approval averages every Monday, based on interviews conducted Monday to Sunday of the previous week, the number we post today will consist of polling conducted entirely pre-bin Laden's death. The number we post next Monday at 1 p.m. ET, will be entirely post-bin Laden's death. As such, the comparison of those two numbers may be one of the best measures of how much the news impacts Obama's approval rating -- at least in the short term.
We'll also be measuring and reporting on Americans' reactions to the news from other angles as well.
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