Polarizing Prez

Pollster Finds Opinions Sharply Divergent on Obama

January 31, 2012

President Obama had the most polarizing third year of any president since the Eisenhower administration, according to the Gallup organization.

Gallup surveys show a 68-point difference between Republican and Democratic approval ratings of President Obama’s job performance in 2011. That is the highest divergence recorded in the Gallup poll in the more than 50 years since the inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower. Eighty percent of Democrats approved of Obama’s job performance in 2011, according to the Gallup poll, while only 12 percent of Republicans approved.

"Only George W. Bush’s fourth, fifth, and sixth years in office showed higher degrees of political polarization," wrote Gallup pollster Jeffrey M. Jones on the organization’s website.

President Obama’s overall approval rating is at 46 percent in the Gallup daily survey, a dangerous position for an incumbent president to find himself in 10 months before reelection.

"To put this in perspective, on Election Day 2010, his approval rating was 45.6 percent in the RCP Average and 44 percent in Gallup," wrote RealClearPolitics elections analyst Sean Trende on Tuesday. "In other words, his rating is roughly where it was when Democrats suffered their worst midterm drubbing since 1938."

You can read Gallup’s analysis of President Obama’s highly polarized approval ratings here.

Published under: Obama Administration