The most and least polarizing presidents — the results will surprise you

Barack Obama, George W. Bush

Barack Obama and George W. Bush are tied as being the most polarizing presidents

The results of a Gallup poll released Thursday indicate that President Barack Obama is just as polarizing as former President George W. Bush.

Ask a Democrat who the most polarizing president is, and he’ll answer without hesitation: Bush. While Republicans loved his easy-going manner, Democrats hated him. The figures prove it.

Partisanship always enters into how we feel about a particular politician. Republicans naturally like Republicans, and Democrats like Democrats. So polarization is the difference in that person’s approval ratings between the two major parties.

After four years in office, Bush had a whopping 91 percent approval rating among his fellow Republicans – but was liked by only 15 percent of Democrats, a 76-point difference.

But what of Obama, Mr. “Hope & Change,” Mr. “no red states, no blue states, only the United States”? He’s only loved by 10 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats, another 76-point difference.

The least polarizing president in recent years is — are you sitting down? — Jimmy Carter, with a difference in approval ratings after four years in office of only 29 percent, Gallup’s numbers show. But the numbers used to arrive at that difference tell the full story.

Although only 24 percent of Republicans approved of Carter, Democrats didn’t much like him, either. His approval with the party faithful was a paltry 53 percent.

It takes more than catchy campaign slogans and flowery rhetoric to win over the loyal opposition — it takes an ability and desire to work with the opposition. So far, Obama hasn’t shown a willingness to do so. He’d rather do it on his own through executive fiat and agency rules and regulations.

Read the full Gallup poll here.

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6 thoughts on “The most and least polarizing presidents — the results will surprise you

  1. Gail Abazorius says:

    I loved President Bush. I loved his Dad too. President Obama, don't like or respect him at all.

  2. Patriot1742 says:

    There is a major difference in the poll results. When President Bush was in office he had 5.3 per cent unemployment, gas prices were under 3.00 dollars, and the debt was not 16 trillion. Those who did not like President Bush were basing it on what the MSM was pushing and democrats were wanting to win the WH – Pelosi, Reid and liberal democrats were willing to crash the economy just to get a democrat elected . Now we have a president that works from a point of revenge – has no idea of how the private sector works, employment is a real 15.3 per cent , gas is over 4.00 dollars and he gave us a 16 trillion dollar debt, raised taxes on everyone and has no leadership ability. His only game is revenge.

  3. seazen says:

    Ever since Barack Obama stunned both political parties by winning the Democratic nomination and then the Presidency, there has been a sustained, professional, well-financed effort to turn the general public against him using any and all hideous set of lies and preposterous claims imaginable. You can even see the results here. He has been labeled everything from a non-American to a Muslim, communist, dictator, and worse by folks making millions using our television and radio space to spew this school-year nonsense 24/7. Compromise? With what? Filibusters? Refusal to vote on Federal appointees? Pushing the country to the brink of default for spite?

    Republicans are buried in an avalanche of hate and negativity to the degree that their last gaggle of candidates for President simply competed to see who could stretch furthest to satisfy the extremists on the right. It was like a SNL skit and now they are scrambling to put Humpty Dumpty together again.

    The country needs sound, adult, intelligent and well-intentioned representatives from BOTH parties to actually work on the critical issues we face today. As long as one party is simply a set of puppets for the ultra-rich, ego-centric billionaires to play with as if this were all a game, we are all screwed.

  4. Quan says:

    Really now? And the purpose of this article is to point out that this is Obama's fault? Haters never seem to understand that their self-hatred speaks louder than anything else they say. To say we are willing to allowthe country to go to Hell simply to defeat a President and not allow him a second term is the hallmark of this kind of thinking. Enjoy four more years of hate, Mr. Dorstewitz! And do yourself a favor and check your blood pressure every day.

  5. Margi says:

    Interesting article , thanks for writing this!

  6. JJ says:

    Seazen, I am one of those true Independents that voted for Obama in '08 and for Romney this time around. Your comments about "adults" is about par for overly-sensitive Obama supporters and Kool-Aid addicts…Obama has proven himself to be a pathological liar who will say or do anything to get himself elected. Again, I drank the Kool-Aid in '08 but now that I know who he really is and was able to do a lot more research on his background and beliefs, shame on him for fooling me once, shame on me for being fooled twice…he IS, in fact, a narcissistic socialist, muslim racist…read his books, read his biography, understand his upbringing and look at his actions; he has no track record, no skill set and no plan (but he gives a good speech – whoopy). This country is not only now irreversibly divided but headed for bankruptcy to boot…and he had an historical opportunity during his first two years to do whatever he wanted with control of the whole government…and he "punted" on immigration, budgets, the debt ceiling, student loans, clean air, tax reform, gun control, and on and on….in favor of executive action circumventing congress because he doesn't know how to negotiate anything…and now he blames the republicans and the "1%ers" for everything wrong. We will soon regret missing the opportunity to have someone with Romney's significant accomplishments and skill set fixing our problems… and for the record, although I did not vote for him, we WERE most certainly all economically better off under Bush, as was the country. This was a "Gump" election: "stupid is as stupid does"…not hard to get 60 million votes with 47 million on food stamps, more people going on SS disability than getting jobs, anemic growth, and still 8-10 million on unemployment – again, no, track record, no plan, no skill set…I highly recommend you read some American history, especially biographies of the founding fathers, and you will see why Obama will go down as the worst president we have ever had. I have offered a bet to every democrat I know and, so far, no takers yet. I am betting that by November 2016, ALL of the following four things will have been be true: 1) the national debt will be over $20 trillion (@125% of GDP); 2)unemployment will not have been below 6.5%; 3) we will not have a had single full year of GDP growth above 2.5%, and 4) everything that goes wrong will be blamed on republicans by democrats. Any takers??…didn't think so.

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