POLLS

Gallup: Obama Most Polarizing President

Barack Obama is the most polarizing first-year president in recorded history, according to a new Gallup poll. While 88 percent of Democrats approved of Obama during his first year in the Oval Office, only 23 percent of Republicans did. The 65 percentage-point gap tops the previous high of 52 points for Bill Clinton. Obama's initial approval ratings—which included an average of 41 percent approval from Republicans during his first week in office—ranked among the highest for post-World War II presidents. But the president quickly lost most of his support from across the aisle, with his approval ratings among Republicans falling below 30 percent in mid-February and below 20 percent in August. The wide approval gap in Obama's first year stems from declining support from Republicans coupled with sustained high approval from Democrats. His approval rating among Democrats has exceeded 80 percent throughout the year and showed little decline even as his overall approval rating fell from the mid-60s to approximately 50 percent.