The Pew Research Center reported last week that President Barack Obama "has the most polarized early job approval of any president" since surveys began tracking this 40 years ago. The gap between Mr. Obama's approval rating among Democrats (88%) and Republicans (27%) is 61 points. This "approval gap" is 10 points bigger than George W. Bush's at this point in his presidency, despite Mr. Bush winning a bitterly contested election.Now if you shared that paragraph with any Obama fan, they likely would shoot back with something like, "this can only be blamed on Republicans -- all they can do is say no -- Obama is the only one actually looking out for everyday Americans." But is that really the case?
Look at the record. He froze Republicans out of the debate on the stimulus and the budget. He's personally gone after conservatives like Rush, Eric Cantor, Palin and most recently played the blame game with George W. Bush.
This is where in response, an Obama fan would deflect the argument to identify Bush as an even worse character when he entered office.
But take an honest look at W's record upon his inauguration:
Among his first appointments were Democratic judicial nominees who had been blocked by Republicans under President Bill Clinton. The Bush White House joined with Democratic and Republican leaders to draft education reform legislation. And Mr. Bush worked with Republican Chuck Grassley to cut a deal with Democrat Max Baucus to win bipartisan passage of a big tax cut in a Senate split 50-50 after the 2000 election.But does Obama have anything to worry about? Absofrickinlutely.
On both Mr. Obama's performance and policies, independents are starting to look more like Republicans. For example, the most recent Fox News poll (taken March 31 to April 1) found that Mr. Obama's job approval among independents has fallen to 52%, down nine points from the start of March and down 12 points from late January. Over the same period, the number of independents who disapprove of Mr. Obama's performance has doubled to 32% from 16%.If that Obama supporter isn't sweating a little bit by now, he should be.
The same poll also found that 76% of independents worry that government will spend too much to help the economy; only 12% worry it will spend too little. Independents oppose Mr. Obama's proposed budget by a 55%-37% margin.