Obama the most polarizing president in decades
No president in recent decades had polarized the American public in their second year as much as President Barack Obama, according to polling organization Gallup.
During his second year in office, an average of 81 percent of Democrats approved of the job Obama was doing. But only 13 percent of Republicans expressed approval. That left a 68 point approval gap between the two parties.
At 56 points, President Ronald Reagan’s second year had the next highest approval gap. Clinton had a 54 point gap during his second year.
In fact, no president in the last 50 years, since President Dwight Eisenhower, had a more polarizing second year than Obama.
Overall, Obama’s first and second years in office both ranked in the top ten most polarizing years of any recent president. His second year was ranked fourth, while his first year was ranked sixth.
Though Obama holds the record with the most polarized second year, President George W. Bush holds the record for the most polarized year of any year, and the most years in the top ten.
Ranked at number one, Bush had a 76 point party approval gap during his fourth year in office. Bush’s eighth year ranked eighth, with an approval gap of 61 points. Only six percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans approved of Bush that year.
Obama enjoyed a bump in overall approval during the last month of his second year. In early December, 48 percent disapproved of the job he was doing and 43 percent approved. By late January, 50 percent approved and 42 percent disapproved.