Gallup poll shows Obama among most polarizing presidents
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama is set to become among the most polarizing presidents to vie for a second term, according to a new Gallup poll.
With nearly two weeks into October, those who approve of the president’s job comprise of 90 per cent Democrats and 8 per cent Republicans. The 82 per cent gap between both parties is the widest margin for an incumbent president seeking reelection in the final month before Election Day since Gallup started measuring.
The October gap for his predecessor George W. Bush was 80 per cent while previous incumbent presidents showed less than 70 per cent.
Obama’s situation is similar to that of Bush who had strong approval from his party’s supporters and heavy disapproval from the opposing party’s supporters when he tried to run for reelection.
Like Bush, Obama is also expected to have a tough time in his reelection bid against Republican candidate Mitt Romney this year. In 2004, Bush narrowly beat Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.
Considering Obama’s entire four-year term, however, he is slightly less polarizing compared to Bush. On that respect, Bush had a 76 point gap between Republicans and Democrats, while Obama has 75 points. They are followed by Bill Clinton who had a 61-point gap.
The data emphasizes the importance of each party’s ability to boost turnout of their respective base in the Nov. 6 election, considering that the views of the president are now somewhat fixed.
Also seen as an important factor that could determine the president’s winning chances is the support he will get from independents, whom he gets around 50 per cent approval rating in recent weeks.