I suppose this should be filed under other breaking news like "the sky is blue," and "grass is green," but I'll say it anyway: Republicans continue to lie about the recent Pew Poll, using it to say things like
Yet no president in the past 40 years has done more to polarize America so much, so quickly. - Karl Rove
But as reported by Greg Sargent at The Plum Line:
Many on the right have grabbed on to the Pew poll’s finding that Obama’s approval rating has a 61-point partisan gap — 27% of Republicans approve, while 88% of Dems do. Pew called the numbers “the most polarized” in decades but didn’t blame Obama.
Pew associate director Dimock, however, says this is a misreading of the poll. Dimock says the divide is driven by long term trends and by the uncommonly enthusiastic reaction to Obama by members of his own party — by what he calls “the way Democrats are reacting to Obama.”
Interestingly, Dimock also said this phenomenon is partly caused by the recent tendency of Republicans to be less charitable towards new Presidents than Dems have been.
In contrast to the 27% of GOPers approving of Obama now, more than a third of Dems (36%) approved of George W. Bush at a comparable time in 2001. Before that, only 26% of Republicans approved of Bill Clinton at the same time in his presidency, while 41% of Dems approved of both George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan at comparable times.
And as Chuck Todd explains:
And then the other thing that Republicans ought to be aware of when they're making these charges, is that the pool of Republicans has gotten smaller, and so sure, the most conservative part of the party is still identifying themselves as Republicans, and absolutely, three out of four disapprove of the President's job. But there are a lot of former Republicans sitting in that independent category now, Nora, and a majority of independents do approve of the President's job. So it is a, it's one of these things that Republicans ought to be careful about how they're writing it because it's not, it's not the best news. It's a smaller group of Republicans that are identifying themselves that way and when you're getting shellacked in the middle like that, it doesn't matter what the ends look like. The middle is what decides these elections and right now we're seeing the President, he had big numbers with the middle during the election and he still has big numbers with them now.