The two most recent presidents in U.S. history, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, have been the most polarizing in more than half a century a new Gallup poll says.
In Obama's fourth year in office, an average of 86 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans approve of the job he is doing. Going back to at least the 1950s, only President George W. Bush, in his fourth year in office, had the same 76 percent approval gap. At the time, he had a 91 percent average approval rating from Republican voters and a 15 percent average approval rating from Democrats, the poll said. For comparison, Bill Clinton had a 61 percent approval gap and George H. W. Bush had a 54 percent gap in the fourth year of their presidencies.
Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones wrote that the divide in the country occurred even though Obama and Bush have both made attempts to bring Americans together. Bush famously said he was a "uniter, not a divider."
"The reality is that under both of their presidencies, Americans have been more politically divided than ever before," Jones wrote. "It is not clear how much of that is due to their governing styles and how much is just a reflection on how Americans approach politics and the presidency these days."