A Pew commentary is getting a lot of play today. It notes a larger partisan gap for Obama than Bush II, Clinton or anyone else.
For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama's job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president -- 88% job approval among Democrats -- and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).
However, they key findings are really about Republicans. They're the group that gave Obama a job approval of 27. While they are doing that, independents are giving Obama a 57 and Democrats a top-of-the-chart 88.
The growing partisan divide in presidential approval ratings is part of a long-term trend.
The door is always open for Republicans. They seem to be the ones refusing to step through it. Is Obama really that partisan, or are the shrinking band of Republicans just out of the mainstream? And if they are, why should Obama adjust to them instead of the other way around? What's wrong with governance aimed at independents and Democrats?
Lean Rep 12
Lean Dem 17