That’s the percentage-point gap between the Democratic and Republican approval ratings of President Barack Obama last year, according to Gallup.
Obama’s average approval rating in 2012 was 86 percent among Democrats and 10 percent among Republicans. The 76-point gap ties George W. Bush’s fourth year in 2004 “as the most polarized years” in Gallup records, the polling organization said in a written analysis yesterday.
“The election year likely causes Americans to view the president in more partisan terms, given his involvement in campaigning that year as well as the presence of an active opponent from the other party who is trying to defeat him,” Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones wrote in an analysis of the numbers.
In November 2004, Bush defeated Democratic nominee John Kerry by 286 to 251 in the Electoral College and by 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent in the national popular vote tally. In November 2012, Obama beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 332 to 206 in the Electoral College and by 51.1 percent to 47.2 percent in the popular vote.