May 4, 2011
5/4: Post Bin Laden: President Obama Applauded in NYC … Perceptions of City Life Little Changed
Many New York City residents flocked to the site of the World Trade Center in celebration on Sunday night after learning of Osama bin Laden’s death. In the aftermath of the Al Qaeda leader’s death, President Barack Obama has received a bump in his approval rating in the Big Apple. However, city dwellers do not necessarily feel safer within the five boroughs.
According to this NY1-Marist Poll, nearly seven in ten registered voters citywide — 69% — think President Barack Obama is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 32% who say the commander in chief is doing an excellent job and 37% who report he is doing a good one. 16% rate his performance as fair while 12% think he is doing poorly. Only 2% are unsure.
President Obama’s job approval rating in New York City has increased by 10 percentage points from just last week. In a NY1-Marist Poll conducted in the days leading up to Osama bin Laden’s death, 59% of voters gave President Obama high marks, slightly more than one in four voters — 26% — said he was doing a fair job, and 14% thought Mr. Obama was doing a poor one. Only 1%, at the time, was unsure.
“For New York City residents, the war on terror is not over, but they feel we just won a big battle,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “They are thankful for the president’s leadership.”
And, a majority of adults in New York City think President Obama deserves the amount of credit he is receiving for the death of Osama bin Laden. More than six in ten New York City residents — 63% — believe the president is taking the right amount of credit while fewer than one in five — 18% — say he is taking too much credit for it. 11% say he is not taking enough credit, and 8% are unsure.
Sense of Safety Not Heightened for Majority Following Bin Laden’s Death
Despite the kudos many New York City residents are bestowing upon the president, there has been little change in their attitudes toward daily life.
A majority of New York City residents don’t personally feel safer in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden. 28% feel less safe, and 27% say his death makes no difference to their feeling of security. However, a plurality — 38% — is experiencing an enhanced sense of security. Seven percent are unsure.
When looking at the level of safety in the city itself, 37% feel the Big Apple is less safe following Sunday’s announcement, and an additional 17% report bin Laden’s death does not impact the city’s safety. 38% think the city is now safer, and 8% are unsure.
A majority of residents within the five boroughs — 51% — still think New York City is vulnerable to another terrorist attack. Included here are 12% who are very worried about the possibility of another assault and 39% who are worried. 29%, though, are not very worried while 19% are not worried at all.
Little has changed on this question since last week, prior to Osama bin Laden’s death. At that time, 53% of New York City adults expressed some worry about another attack in the Big Apple while 29% were not very worried, and 17% were not worried at all.
When thinking beyond the borders of New York City, 46% of New Yorkers have a feeling of a more secure nation. 32% disagree and say the nation is less safe. 14% report Osama bin Laden’s death makes no difference, and 8% are unsure.
Residents offer similar opinions toward the security of the world. More than four in ten — 43% — say the world is safer because Osama bin Laden is dead. 35% think global security is less while 14% believe it makes no difference. Nine percent are unsure.
How did New York City residents feel upon hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed? Nearly four in ten residents — 39% — say they were happy. 24% were surprised, 10% felt excited, and 7% were relieved. Three percent report they were indifferent while the same proportion — 3% — says the news conjured a sense of patriotism. The feelings of sadness and worry each receive 2%. One percent of city dwellers felt angry, and an additional 1% report they were confused. Seven percent mention another emotion.
How did residents discover that bin Laden was dead? A majority — 57% — found out via television. 10% heard the news over the radio while 9% were told by someone they were with. An additional 7% received a phone call. Six percent got the news on the Internet, and the same proportion — 6% — was notified via social media like Facebook or Twitter. Three percent received a text message, and 2% read it in a newspaper.
Table: Personal Safety Following Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Table: Safety of NYC Following Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Table: Concern About Another Terrorist Attack (May)
Table: Concern About Another Terrorist Attack (April)
Table: Concern About Another Terrorist Attack Over Time
Table: Safety of the Nation Following Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Table: Safety of the World Following Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Table: Reaction to Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Table: How Residents Heard of Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Majority Say Daily Life Back to Normal, But City Has Not Healed
A majority of New York City residents — 54% — say their life has returned to normal in the years following the September 11th, 2001 attacks. 10% report their lives will eventually return to normal, and 35% think their lives will never be the same.
There has been little change in these numbers since last week’s survey when 53% said their life has returned to normal, 10% reported their life will eventually be the same, and 37% thought their life would never be the same.
There has, though, been a change in opinion over the past few years. When Marist last reported this question in August of 2007, just four in ten — 40% — thought their life was back on track. 13% believed their life would get back to normal while nearly half — 47% — said their life would never be the same.
However, residents think the city still needs healing. Nearly half — 48% — say that the city has not fully recovered from the September 11th attacks. 28% believe the city is just as good as it was before the attacks while 25% say it is even better.
When NY1-Marist asked this question last week, half of those in New York City — 50% — felt the city had not fully recovered from the attacks. 28% thought it was just as good, and 22% said it was even better than before the attacks.