Report: Obama is More Polarizing Than Almost Any Other Second-Year President

An analysis by Gallup of its daily tracking polls finds that President Obama is more partisan and polarizing in his second year in office than any other second-year president since Dwight Eisenhower. His approval ratings are also more partisan now than they were his first year in office, when he shattered the record (by 13 percentage points) for being the most polarizing first-year U.S. president in history.

Gallup found that 80% of Democrats and only 13% of Republicans approve of the job Obama is doing in his second year in office. That's a 68-point gap between the parties -- up from the 65-point gap last year.

According to the report:

Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are the only two presidents prior to Obama who had gaps of at least 50 points in their approval ratings by party in their second year in office. In general, recent presidents, including George W. Bush, tend to have more polarized ratings than earlier presidents did.

Though Obama's first- and second-year ratings rank among the most polarized of all presidential years, Bush had three years with a larger gap in party ratings. In Bush's fourth year in office -- the year he was re-elected -- there was an average 76-point gap in approval ratings of him between Republicans and Democrats.


AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at February 4, 2011, 5:45am

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