CNN Poll: Majority in U.S. say bin Laden in hell
May 4th, 2011
11:45 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Majority in U.S. say bin Laden in hell

Washington (CNN) - Of all the newspaper headlines covering the death of Osama bin Laden, the most provocative may have been the New York Daily News.

Their "Rot in Hell" Monday headline, with a full front-page photo of bin Laden, was mentioned by the cable news networks and generated buzz on the on-line social networks.

So do Americans think that the founder and leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network is now in hell?

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 61 percent of the public says yes, with one in ten saying no and nearly a quarter unsure.

"Not all Americans believe in hell - a point of view reflected in the relatively large number of 'don't know' responses - and many religions don't include punishment in an afterlife as part of their teachings," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Nonetheless, the six in ten who say bin Laden is in hell reflects how strongly many Americans feel that bin Laden was an evil figure."

"This is one question on which there is little partisan division - at least six in ten Democrats, independents and Republicans all believe bin Laden is in hell," adds Holland.

The survey was conducted Monday, one day after the president's announcement that the al Qaeda founder and leader was shot and killed by U.S. forces during a raid in Pakistan.

Seven-hundred national adults were questioned by telephone for the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Osama bin Laden • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. BeverlyNC

    WHO CARES? The important thing is President Obama executed a covert operation to find him and remove him from leading more terrot plots around the world. President Obama brought Osama to justice here on earth (and Republicans had NOTHING to do with this success – Bush stopped looking for Osama in 2002 and told us he was stopping in a national address to the nation- Bush said Osama was irrelevant – that is why he is too embarrassed and cowardly to go to Ground Zero with President Obama tomorrow). THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR BRINGING PEACE TO THOSE STILL SUFFERING FROM 9/11. YOU ARE A REAL LEADER AND ONE WHO ALWAYS WORKS FOR WHAT IS BEST FOR THE PEOPLE!

    May 4, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Bruce

    Funny, I thought Christians believed in a bodily resurrection of everybody in the end times, heaven or hell coming after that resurrection, not some spiritual heaven-ish or hell-ish para-existence in a disembodied state that starts the moment you die physically.

    Oh, wait. Christians don't read their scriptures and don't actually consider actual theological ideas. My bad...

    May 4, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Russ

    Dominican mama 4 Obama......exactly my thoughts. Well said. Who the hell comes up with these polls and why? Especially since we all know there is no heaven and hell!!!! Most of these poll responders aren't referring to the "Biblical" hell anyway. They are just expressing a common misnomer. Geeeeeeeezzzzzzzz!

    May 4, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. talanhugh

    As an athiest conservative, I do not beleive in heaven and hell. The day my father died, I hoped I was wrong and there was a heaven...the day Bin Laden died I hoped I was wrong and there is a hell.

    May 4, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. SperoGOP

    "Not all Americans believe in hell – a point of view reflected in the relatively large number of 'don't know' responses..." This statement is badly reasoned. I believe a lot of Christians would offer that it's not their place to judge whether someone – anyone – is in Hell, on principle

    May 4, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. PssttCmere

    Hey Realistic.....They don't want to show the general public pics of obl, maybe because they didn't blow off enough of his head and we would be able to tell it is not him. Seriously, I cannot believe a single word that comes out of the WH anymore.

    Now, why would anyone care if obl is in Hell? Seems to me the people left behind without jobs, money, not being able to afford gasoline are the ones in hell....jmo

    May 4, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. mike

    bin Laden is in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the wicked (John 5:28-29). According to Rev 20:9 he will be destroyed with the rest of the wicked when fire from God comes down out of heaven and devours the wicked after the thousand years referred to as the millenium (Rev 20:5). They will be left neither root nor branch (Mal 4:1)

    May 4, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. GH

    haha the middle ages... Just because humans come up with their own ways of living life doesn't mean that they will not still be held accountable for their lives according to the creators laws. Everyone will still be judged by the same standard regardless how they choose to ignore God's laws. All who's sins have not been paid for by Jesus sacrifice will be condemned; God won't just pass over your sins or he would be unjust. But if God's justice was satisfied through the sacrifice blood shed of himself then the sins have been paid for and he can pass over your sins and still be just, that is if you believe in him and accept his offer. It's amazing that we have a creator who thought enough of his creation to die for it as a sacrifice to satisfy the penalty it deserved for it's evil, and the world just ignores him and rejects his gift. That just shows how dark the world is and how much everyone needs healing. Why would anyone reject such an offer? It's called being blind and enslaved to sin. And don't use religeon as an excuse not to believe in God, thats stupid because God tells us in the Bible that everyone is corrupt by nature and needs to be forgiven, even those who practice religeon. The destruction that religeon causes is because it is guided by humans. however if those humans were to actually live out what Jesus taught then there would be no evil. So it's not Jesus or the Bible that is the problem, it's man.

    May 4, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Marie

    Why not release the pictures – The entire world was able to see the people he killed at the twin towers. Also, when they killed Saddam Hussein they showed us pictures. What's the big deal of not showing pictures. I would like to see the ones of him being buried at sea that's the one that most interest me. I would like closure and see proof. I believe that with the almost 3,000 people he killed on 9-11 and all the tax money that has been used to catch him that we as american's deserve to see them. PLEASE!

    Thank you for you time.

    May 4, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Marie

    He's always been in hell – he had no life. To live in hiding and scared all the time is not living – so he should feel right at home HELL where he belongs.

    May 4, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    The polls doesn't break respondents down by religious affiliation, so it's pretty much worthless ... Lots of religions don't believe in hell, so asking the question without factoring that in skews the results.

    CNN, go take a remedial course in data gathering!

    May 4, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. eldridge simpson

    if you folks don't believe in heaven or hell what happens when we die? oh we just don't exist. kind of defeats the purpose of eternity which GOD himself our creator represents. oh yeah, there is no GOD and you think this story is fairy tail thinking. only a fool says there is no GOD

    May 4, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. S1N

    It's sad that people need a fairy tale about fire and brimstone for eternity if they're bad little girls and boys in order to lead decent lives.

    Bin Laden isn't in hell because there is no hell (or heaven for that matter)! God is no more real than the boogie man.

    May 4, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. DickeLocker

    Of the 3/5 of Americans who think Osama is in Hell, hopefully a few take the question metaphorically and not literally.
    Surely not the Christian/Jewish "Hell," since he was Muslim? It is further brave of the 10% who say he is in Heaven.
    Of the remaining 25% "unsure" & 4% silent, do nearly 1/3 of the USA have no opinion on this media-hyped matter?
    A more relevant poll would be to see what the Afghan, Iraqui, Egyptian and other Muslim peoples think.
    Or is our vaunted "Democracy & Human Rights for the whole World" merely window dressing and status quo propaganda?
    Pres. Obama acted, and I try to support our President.
    Forgive me if I don't gloat in vengenance, perhaps shed a tear for lost innocence, and wonder at human savagery.

    May 4, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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