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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Survey Data: POTUS's Modest Bump, Newt's Major Challenge

There is more evidence that the bin Laden bump is surprisingly modest. John Harwood writes at CNBC:

President Obama's standing with Americans has improved after U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden, but only slightly.

A new NBC News poll showed that the president's job approval rating ticked up to 52 percent after the successful strike against al Qaeda's leader. That's just three percentage points higher than the approval rating he received in April, before the raid.

That modest gain reflects Americans' continuing concerns over an economy in which growth has slowed and the unemployment rate remains high at 9 percent.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, expected to announce his presidential candidacy on Wednesday, is well-known among Republicans, but has a below-average -- and declining -- Positive Intensity Score. Mike Huckabee receives the highest Positive Intensity Score among Republicans nationwide who recognize him. Donald Trump, although universally recognized by Republicans, has the lowest Positive Intensity Score of any of the 13 candidates tested in Gallup's April 25-May 8 tracking.

These findings are based on interviews with more than 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide. Gallup tracks these candidates' images on a daily basis. Beginning May 10, results will be reported on's new Election 2012 site, with updates each Tuesday.

Gallup asks Republicans whether they recognize each potential candidate and, for each one they recognize, asks whether they have a strongly favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or strongly unfavorable opinion of that person. Gallup calculates a "Positive Intensity Score" for each person rated, based on the difference between strongly favorable and strongly unfavorable opinions among those who are familiar with him or her. This score provides an indication of the intensity of support among a candidate's base of followers at any given point in the campaign.

The New York Times reports:

As a former speaker of the House and contributor to Fox News, Newt Gingrich will enter the presidential race this week as one of the better-known Republicans on the list of possible contenders. But a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last month found that that may not necessarily be to his advantage.

Nearly a quarter of registered voters, 23 percent, said they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Gingrich. More, 37 percent, expressed an unfavorable view of him, while the rest (4 in 10) had no opinion about him. Compared with the other potential candidates tested in the poll, his unfavorable rating trailed only those of former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and real estate mogul Donald J. Trump.

But as Mr. Gingrich seeks the Republican nomination, his popularity among party voters is critical, and on that score he fares better. Just over 4 in 10 of Republican voters, 42 percent, said they had a favorable opinion of him, more than double the 20 percent who had a negative view of him. His favorable rating matched that of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts among Republicans, but it trailed Ms. Palin’s by 9 points, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas’s by 12 points.