NEW YORK: Support for President Barack Obama has risen Sharply following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American military orces in Pakistan, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance,according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.Approval rating of Obama’s handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism also went up, the study said.In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month. But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding: more than six in 10 Americans said that killing bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the United States in the short term.A large majority also said that the al-Qaeda leader’s death did not make them feel any safer. Just 16 percent said they personally felt more safe now. Though there has been talk in some quarters that the United States military can now leave Afghanistan, the poll showed that public sentiment on the issue seems more complicated.
Nearly half said the nation should decrease troop levels in Afghanistan. But more than six in 10 also said the United States had not completed its mission in Afghanistan, suggesting that the public would oppose a rapid withdrawal of all American forces.The Obama administration has said it plans to begin a gradual drawdown of troops from Afghanistan starting this summer, with a complete withdrawal to be completed in 2014, when the war will be in its 13th year.The Times said it is common for presidents to see their poll numbers shoot up after major military or foreign policy successes. What is less typical is for presidents to sustain those high ratings.The president’s job approval rating rose 11 points, compared with an 8-point increase for President George W. Bush after the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003.Bush’s bump evaporated within a month. The increase in Obama’s ratings came largely from Republicans and independents. Among independents, his approval rating increased 11 points from last month,to 52 percent, while among Republicans it rose 15 points, to 24 percent. Among Democrats, 86 percent supported his job performance, compared with 79 percent in April. – APP