The partisan split seen in Obama’s approval rating in the latest Gallup numbers is pretty fascinating:
Perhaps the more significant number is the gap between independents and Democrats. A Republican is almost always going to look at Obama with a skeptical eye, as most Democrats did with Bush. But the independents are presumably the persuadable swing folks in the middle.
The gap between independents’ approval rating and Democrats’ approval rating is 38 percentage points on health-care policy, 38 percentage points on the deficit, 36 percentage points on the economy, 35 percentage points on taxes, 29 percentage points on foreign affairs, 28 percentage points on energy policy, 21 percentage points on Egypt, and 17 percentage points on Afghanistan.
The gap between the Republican and independent approval ratings ranges from 11 percentage points (Egypt) to 27 percentage points (foreign affairs).
Some of us suspect our friends on the left side of the aisle don’t live up to their self-proclaimed moniker of the “reality-based community,” and this poll offers some further evidence. With unemployment at 9 percent or higher for the entirety of Obama’s presidency, 68 percent of Democrats insist Obama is doing a good job in that area, and with the CBO projecting this year’s deficit at $1.5 trillion, 57 percent of Democrats give him a thumbs-up in that area, too. One wonders what they would have to witness to express some disapproval.