Four out of 10 New York City residents say they felt happiness when they heard of the death of Osama bin Laden, while most other residents reacted to the news with a mix of surprise, excitement and relief, according to a poll released Wednesday.
About one out of four residents surveyed Monday for the NY1-Marist Poll reported feeling surprised when they heard that the al-Qaida leader was shot and killed in a U.S. military raid a day earlier. Another 10 percent felt excited and 7 percent felt relieved. Sadness, worry, anger and confusion each were reported by less than 2 percent of those questioned.
The survey also found that President Barack Obama's approval ratings among New Yorkers jumped 10 percent after the news. Of the city's registered voters, 69 percent said Obama is doing a good or excellent job — up from 59 percent a week earlier. Twenty-six percent said he is doing a fair job.
Residents were comfortable with Obama's political handling of bin Laden's demise — with 63 percent saying he was taking the right amount of credit. Eighteen percent said he was taking too much credit and 11 percent said he was taking too little.
People were split over whether bin Laden's death made the city safer, with 38 percent of residents saying yes and 37 percent saying they believe the city is less safe.
Nearly a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks killed thousands on city soil, 54 percent of respondents said their lives have returned to normal. Another 35 percent believe their lives will never be the same.
The telephone poll of 502 randomly selected New York City residents has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Among those surveyed, 391 were registered voters. Their answers carry a margin of error of plus or minus 5.0 percentage points. The answers were compared to a telephone poll of 405 city residents conducted a week earlier — from April 25 to April 29 — with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 to 5.5 percentage points.