Obama Now More Polarizing Than Hillary Clinton
Nine months into office and President Obama has become a more polarizing figure than his Secretary of State -- and longtime scourge of the GOP -- Hillary Clinton.
A new Gallup poll released on Thursday shows a dramatic drop in the president's favorability rating among Republican voters. Viewed positively by 60 percent of all GOPers upon entering the White House, Obama now only has a 19 percent favorability rating among the opposition party. Such, it seems, are the perils of the presidency, even a self-proclaimed postpartisan one.
Clinton, meanwhile, has seen no movement in her favorability rating among Republicans since the new administration took office. In January it stood at 35 percent, the same as it stands in October.
The Secretary of State, who lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to Obama, has, however, seen a rise in her favorability rating among overall voters. Sixty-two percent of the public has a positive view about the job she was doing - six percentage points higher than those who have a positive view of Obama's work.
The findings, of course, say as much about the jobs Obama and Clinton hold as they do the individuals themselves. Clinton has conducted much of her business away from the national spotlight and on issues that have generally produced bipartisan consensus. Obama has not been handed as fortuitous an agenda. As Gallup explains:
The change in the relative popularity of Clinton and Obama since January may reflect the realities of their new roles. Obama came into office as president with a 78% favorable rating, among the highest Gallup has measured since it began tracking favorability in 1992. But after nearly nine months in office in which he has made or confronted difficult decisions -- ranging from the economic stimulus package, to the auto industry bailout, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to health insurance reform, Obama's support has declined.