The partisan gap regarding presidential approval is wider under President Joe Biden than under his predecessors, a mid-April Gallup poll shows.
Biden’s gap stands at 86 points, according to the poll, with 96% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approving of his presidency so far. The gaps for former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were 77, 56, 57 and 50 points.
The difference in Biden’s partisan approval does not necessarily mean that he’s more divisive than his predecessors. Biden and Trump both had 10% approval from voters in the opposite party, meaning that the former president’s gap was only smaller because he was slightly less favorable among Republicans, according to the poll.
More likely, however, is that the American electorate has become even more polarized in recent years. For Obama, Bush and Clinton, nearly one-third of voters in the opposite party approved of their performance, many of which were from states that would often vote differently in senatorial and gubernatorial races than they did in presidential races, according to the poll. (RELATED: Over 80% Of Americans See The Country As ‘Greatly Divided’)
Biden’s approval also varies more among gender and education than his predecessors, with a 13-point spread in each, according to the poll. Trump had a 12-point difference in approval among men and women, and a nine-point difference between non-college and college-educated voters.
“Much of [the increase in partisanship] is tied to the growing reluctance, if not unwillingness, of partisans to support a president of the other party, even during the honeymoon period of a presidency,” the poll notes. It added that Biden’s near-unanimous approval among Democrats was something never afforded to Obama or Clinton, who retained 89% and 78% support among Democratic voters, respectively.
That 96% approval among Democrats has given Biden a relatively high approval rating given the amount of polarization in the country. Gallup gives Biden a 57% approval rating, just a tad higher than most polls which mark Biden in the low to mid 50s.
Trump, conversely, was the only president in the modern era to never hit 50% approval in a Gallup poll, largely due to his lack of support among Independents and women. (RELATED: Trump Approval Hits All-Time Low In Final Days Of Presidency)
Despite Biden’s approval and the record polarization, a majority of voters want Biden to try and work with Republicans for the good of the country. Sixty percent of voters said as such in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday, double those who said the opposite.
Americans’ want for bipartisanship, however, is easier said than done, the poll says: “[Record polarization] makes governing difficult, especially given the narrow Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the evenly divided Senate.”
The poll was conducted among 2,937 randomly selected Americans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and has a margin of error of 2 points.
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