President Barack Obama's handling of the economy remains a concern for Americans, though the killing of Bin Laden has boosted his overall poll ratings, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Here are excerpts from AEI's May Political Report:


There is still very little good news in the public’s current assessment of the economy. In an April Gallup poll, 29 percent described our situation as a depression and another 26 percent a recession. Forty percent in a recent Pew poll said the recession had had a major effect on their personal situation and that their finances have not recovered. Fifty-one percent, down barely from 54 percent a year ago, said that they or someone in their household had been out of job or looking for work in the past year.

High gas prices and rising prices for everyday items are taking a toll on public attitudes. Forty-three percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll said the rise in gasoline prices had had a serious effect on them. In a Fox News poll, 34 percent they had given up necessities to afford gas.

The recession’s pain is producing some longterm changes in public thinking. In a recent Gallup poll, nonretirees were less confident than at any time in the past that they will have enough money to retire. And people are delaying their retirement. The only good news: most people say it is a good time to buy a house.


The AEI Political Report says electorates' views on Obama are hardening. We don’t believe the polls tell us much at this point, and we are content to let the pundits dissect them. But views on President Obama are hardening.


After the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama’s ratings rose in a handful of polls. But the positive feelings about the commander in chief did not transfer to views about the nation’s chief economic steward. President Obama’s ratings on handling the economy are dismal.