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86% Approve of Obama’s Decision to Kill bin Laden

Americans overwhelmingly endorse President Obama’s decision to kill Osama bin Laden and don’t believe a greater effort should have been made to bring the terrorist mastermind to trial.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 86% of American Adults approve of the president’s decision authorizing the mission to kill bin Laden. Just five percent (5%) disapprove of the president’s action, while nine percent (9%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 14% say the special operations forces involved in the weekend mission should have tried harder to capture bin Laden so that he could have been given a fair trial. Seventy-five percent (75%) disagree and say there was no need for the Navy SEALs to try harder to capture the man behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States and several other major terrorist incidents. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of adults give the president good or excellent marks for the way he handled the hunt for bin Laden. Just 12% think Obama did a poor job in this area. For comparison’s sake, only 37% of Likely U.S. Voters now give the president good or excellent grades for his response to the situation in Libya, while nearly as many (31%) think his performance has been poor. 

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on May 2-3, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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