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“Any president who has a success in the war on terror will get a political bump,” Mr. Gilmore said. “But in 2012, President Obama will be judged on how he has handled the economy.”

Some Republican presidential-nomination candidates may benefit more than others from the demise of the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, mass slaughter of Americans on American soil, these observers say, while others think bin Laden’s death is likely to have little or no effect on whom the Republicans pick as their presidential nominee next year.

“As for GOP contenders, this helps the more seasoned candidates like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It hurts Donald Trump the most because he took on Obama, was defeated on the birth-certificate matter, and now seems rather silly in light of Obama’s very strong action and speech on Sunday night,” Mr. Towery said.

“Really this thing should help Gingrich the most - he has the most experience with foreign policy,” Mr. Towery added.

Mr. Devine doesn’t see it that way. “I don’t see how the killing of bin Laden affects the GOP field,” he said.