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Voters Give Obama Good Marks for Arizona Response, See No Lasting Political Change

Most voters have a favorable opinion of President Obama’s response to the recent shootings in Arizona but feel the incident will have no lasting impact on the political debate in the country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% give the president good or excellent marks for how he responded to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six others. Only 10% rate the president’s response, which included a major speech to the nation, as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  Roughly one-out-of-ten Americans watched the speech.

Only 19% of voters think the shooting incident will have a lasting positive impact on the nation’s political dialogue, while nearly as many (17%) predict it will have a lasting negative impact. But most voters (54%) say the incident will be forgotten and nothing will change.

Republicans and voters not affiliated with either of the major parties feel more strongly than Democrats that the shootings will be forgotten and nothing will change. Members of the president’s party are much more optimistic than GOP voters and unaffiliateds that the incident will have a lasting positive impact on the nation’s political dialogue.

Only 28% of Americans view the shootings in Arizona as the result of political anger in the country.  Fifty-eight percent (58%) say instead that it was a random act of violence by an unstable person.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on January 13-14, 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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