Gallup: Obama Most Polarizing President Ever

Monday, 25 Jan 2010 02:34 PM

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President Barack Obama is the most polarizing president in American history, according to a poll released by the Gallup organization Monday.

The average difference in Obama's approval ratings between Democrats and Republicans turned out to be 65 percent -- the highest first-year gap of any president so measured.

"The extraordinary level of polarization in Obama's first year in office is a combination of declining support from Republicans coupled with high and sustained approval from Democrats," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones reported.

Obama's 88 percent approval rating from Democrats is the second highest level of party support for a first-year president, trailing only the 92 percent Republican support for George W. Bush in 2001.

On the other hand, Obama's 23 percent rating among Republicans is tied for lowest party rating of a rookie president, matching GOP "backing" of Bill Clinton back in 1993.

There's also the question of whether Obama is a polarizing president -- or is only the latest president in a polarized era, USA Today pointed out.

"Prior to Ronald Reagan, no president averaged more than a 40-point gap in approval ratings by party during his term," said the Gallup report. "Since then, only the elder George Bush has averaged less than a 50-point gap."

"I think we live in a divided country," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told USA Today. "Washington has been a polarizing place for quite some time."

Read the full story at Gallup.com

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