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Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?
October 17th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama did better at the debate Tuesday night, but he's a long way from sealing the deal for a second term.

For example, Obama is one of the most polarizing presidents this country has ever seen.

According to a Gallup Poll, so far in October, a whopping 90% of Democrats approve of the job the president is doing, compared with only 8% of Republicans.

That's an 82-point gap in party approval ratings a month before the election and figures to be the largest gap for any incumbent in recent history.
George W. Bush had an 80-point gap in party approval the October before the election, while Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan all had gaps below 70 points.

And the trend is not his friend. Obama's ratings have become more polarized each year he's been in office. Perhaps not surprising when he pushed through measures like Obamacare with no Republican support. Also controversial are his record government spending and what critics claim are Obama's efforts to grow big government.

Gallup points out that it's not unusual for a president's ratings to be the most polarized their fourth year in office, right before the election.

For now, George W. Bush's fourth year is still the most polarized of any presidential year since they started keeping track in the 1950s.

But Bush and Obama share near-universal approval from their own party and a near-universal disapproval from the other party.

Another explanation is that feelings about Obama – and Bush before him – are partly a reflection of our hyperpartisan culture in which every issue degrades into a battle between left and right.

Here’s my question to you: Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. R. Weiss

    Because the president is BLACK plain and simple!

    October 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  2. jk in MN

    Jack, sadly, in my opinion, it gets down to racism (the 800 pound gorilla in the room). America is becoming more racially diverse and the white caucasians (I'm white) are going to be overtaken in percentage of the total population in the next 10 to 20 years. The GOP response to this at the state level has been to push ridiculous voter ID laws, screaming we have to protect against voter fraud. It appears to me that there is a faction of whites that are trying everything they can to keep the White House "White" and refuse to look at the positions the candidates have and vote for the one who aligns most closely wwith their interests. The latent racism saddens me, Jack. Some are being to act like to Whites in South Africa did. Shameful.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  3. Mark

    This guy is a socialist, need I say more?

    October 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Seattle Patty

    FIrst, people like you Jack, fuel the sharp divisions in this country. But the right's extreme hatred of President Obama is certainly more than policy disagreements. While conservative WASP's may have accepted the fact that a black family lives next door, or works in the cubicle next to them, a large number simply cannot accept that a black family is living in the White House.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Because he is smart and not a white man!

    October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  6. g

    because americans have to be told how to think-starts with education

    October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, Virginia

    Race may have something to do with it, but its mostly age. People who are older than the POTUS absolutely hate the thought that their generation is now old. Anti-smoking efforts and colonoscopies mean that many of those people are still with us.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  8. lou

    When Obama ran against McCain a lot of the conspiracy crazies came out in force. They couldn't appose him for his color in this day and age, so they claimed he wasn't born here. It's not that he's black, it's just that he was born in Africa. They were outraged at the crazy christian preacher in the church he attended, at the same time they called him a muslim. The republican party pandered to this group for their votes, never really dispelling the validity of the claims. Today we are stuck with the aftermath of all that disinformation and hate.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  9. david of Alexandria VA

    A couple of reaosns, Jack. Obama continues to evade delineating a specific plan for the country. Rather, he defers to generalities wrapped in soarinf oaratory about how downtrodden we all are because of the villanous actions of our oppressors and how our salvation lies simply in His Force of Will (oceans' rise slowing, earth beginning to heal, etc.) We kind of want to like the guy, but have trouble doing so when he seems to resent and despise so many of us, perhaps even me in time. He's detached and aloof. I want someone who's able to solve problems, not just descibe them.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  10. LeeMarie

    It is simple. I feel he has a hiden agenda. Obama says one thing, but his actions go in another direction. Not to mention that he is President to half of the people. His redistribution of wealth is only going to the poor and the unions. The rest of us are his piggy bank.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Tonybottomline

    It wasn't divided 4 years ago, as far as electing Obama goes. I believe the reason why it is now sharply divided is because of the poor economy; the fact that it's only sharply divided, not Romney winning it going away– in a bad economy, is remarkable.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Tony Mazzochi

    Sad to say in this day and age that his skin color is part of the problem among a certain portion of the public, but I believe mostly that the people of this country have become with every year since the Watergate fiasco, either so turned off by politics that they don't bother to take an interest and just follow what others in their circle of friends are for or against and the ones that do have an interest for the most are so politically polarized to one party or the other that their is nothing that will change their view.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  13. ken from connecticut

    Because many peope see how destructive his policies are. He is morally bankrupt and many people see that. He "says" he want jobs for everyone, but he wants a dependancy of the people on the gov't therefore His power becomes more controlling. He wants to bring the country down to a point in which we can now become subject to the United Nations. We have the greatest country that was ever on this planet and he wants to change that. If people saw that he would lose in a landslide. People don't see that and that's why the country is so divided.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Julie from Clarendon Hills, IL

    Whether anyone wants to talk about it or not there are still a lot of people who do not think an African American should be president. I am a white woman and after Obama secured the nomination in 2008 I heard many people, including Democrats, say they would "not vote for a black man." Plain and simple – people may not want to hear it but there it is.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  15. Eric

    Simple, he told everyone that he would change Washington and how they did things and decided to use all of his political power to push through not bipartisan or at least moderate programs, but a liberal dream, Obamacare, which is something conservatives hate and many moderates didn't want. That made him, in the eyes of a great many, unredeemable. His failure to deliver his economic and job promises make it worse. He chose to kick sand in the eyes of nearly half of the American people and to get a majority for re-election, he is telling everyone that what this nearly half of the people believe is scary and to not look behind the curtain of his performance and nearly half believe him. How could anyone expect anything other than cynicism, a divided electorate and a close election.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Frances

    The Country is divided more than ever now that the tea party took over Congress. The tea party is ultra right wing who hate the President, and have coerced John Boehner into a cowering coward. He must do their bidding and cannot work with the President. Mitch McConnell never intended to work together, he stated that his main goal is to make President Obama a one term President. We need to reelect President Obama, and elect a new and more mature Congress.
    Frances
    Escondido

    October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Phil, Philadelphia

    President Obama proved last night that the country needs not be divided. He was Strong, Tough, Inflappable, but with Calm and Grace. Obama took it to Romney, fact checked his bold face lies and left him Squirming, Studdering, Clamering, Fidgety, with no place to go but to try to be an arrogant Bully to the President and Candy Crowley which the President laughed off and continued to beat him down with the TRUTH. And Candy did a Great job with telling Romney to sit down and she followed up with great questions to get the candidates not to dodge the questions. Clearly you seen who the stronger, more knowledgeable, personable Commander and Chief was. The Truth wins out everytime, because Mitt could not hide from his previous statements and policies; and if you are not a true leader who has a backbone and stands for what you believe in; your opponent will catch you on all sides of the fence. Mitt wasn't for Coal, wasn't for Comprehensive Immigration, More teachers, And he definitely wanted to cut taxes for the Wealthy; And he tried to lie about it all and the President was right to call him out on it.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Dustin Ford

    Our country is at a vital point in its history, partisan politics are at an all time high, and people are scared about tomorrow. President Obama, regardless of your opinion of him, has been deemed either the hero by saving us from inevitible collapse or the man responsible for preventing economic growth that would save middle class Americans. Either way, we need do some fact checking over what has been said in the past couple of months by both candidates.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Bill

    Only sortition will bring corruption we can trust.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  20. J

    I support President Obama 100 percent, but I think Americans are divided because Governor Romney is such a convincing liar that they're not sure who to believe. There's a lot of "But I thought Obama did that..no? Okay. Hmmm. Now I don't know what to think."
    Alexandria, VA

    October 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Pete in Georgia

    Obama is a very clever deceiver who can make many, many people FEEL intensely without ever requiring them to THINK clearly. Well over half of the population sees him for what he is, an empty suit who insults their intelligence at every move. The remainder clings to his lofty empty promises full of poetic justice, while completely detached from the reality of the real world, of what makes America tick.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  22. annie, atlanta

    Duh! He's a Democrat, which gets the GOP machine in an uproar whenever there's one in the White House. And he's black, which has exposed the bigots who came crawling out of the woodwork. Any further questions.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  23. Rick Suarez

    Obama represents an educated minority. Apparently something still not acceptable to a great deal of Americans.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  24. Edward Carter

    Obama's biggest challenge is to CHANGE his story depending on the current situation and HOPE no one notices.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  25. Ed from California

    It's simple, Jack........it's because he's black. And to make matters worse....he's a black democrat. Jack, the teapots threw out Michael Steele as chair of the RNC. And it was Steele that won the last election for those same teapots!! Some gratitude.

    P.S. Great job last night, Candy!! I hope you or Martha are doing the next debate. Way to hold the line!!

    October 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  26. DIANE Sweet Home, Oregon

    Because he used his first two yrs. to push healthcare, an historically contentious and ultimately dead issue (ask the clintons), an issue -and this is the important part Jack -that if Obama and his advisers had had any BRAINS would of been brought up in his second (more secure) term; an issue he pursued -all the while the economy is tanking! That tells me he is either totally stupid or dangerously arrogant, and has no true friends watching his back... meaning the Dems were not supporting him. THEY WERE NOT GUIDING HIM. I got the very scary feeling that he was all alone fumbling around up there on the hill. He comes across as very weak, with no inner mojo whatsoever. No connections. Just a mouth.
    He continued to give our precious tax money to the greedy criminals responsible of gaming and crashing our economy.

    “We’re dealing with a real sick, decaying Democratic Party that can’t defend the country against the cruelest, most ignorant, most anti-worker, most war-mongering, most Wall Street–indentured Republican Party in its history, since the 1850s.”

    As for Romney, Ralph Nader said 'He’s basically a corporation running for president masquerading as a human being.”

    October 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  27. Doug Ericson

    That is a tough question because almost all the polarizing issues are ones that black voters are also divided on, yet they will almost all vote for Obama. And I imagine half the white voters are going to vote for Obama. So my answer is D., None of the Above. You could pose the same question about Romney, with the same conclusions, so lets pose the question without Obama, ( or Romney in it ). Why is the country so sharply divided? Well, you got, 1. The seriously Religeous, vs the casually Religeous and securlar folks. 2. Pro lifers, vs. pro choicers 3. Strong Military backers, vs isolationist, we don't need enough weapons to blow up the solar system types. 4. Pay or die Health Care advocates, vs if poor European country's can have Universal Health Care, we should be able to too types. 5. Pro AK47 hunter folks, vs vedgetarian small weapons or none folks. 6. People that want no tax without accontability, vs. folks that want to work 90% of the year to pay taxes for whatever the government feels like charging. 7. Pro Military Style Police in small and large communities, each force capable of defeating a small country, vs one cop for every 10 thousand people folks. 8. Folks that think Police Brutality is neccessary, and deplorable prison conditions are the cats meow. vs. folks that think every human being should be treated as humanely as possible. 9. Death Penalty advocates, vs intelligent people. Thats just off the top of my head. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  28. UG. Igbo

    it would appear Mitt Rommey has assumed a very desperate position in this presidential race. He charged at the president of the united states last night, advancing towards him aggressively as he repeatedly asked him if he had checked his pension investment lately. Most distasteful and disrespectful .
    UG. Igbo
    Abuja , Nigeria

    October 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  29. Jeff from NY

    Because he is one of the most extreme Presidents this country has ever head. Under his leadership, the debt has skyrocketed to $16 trillion dollars to no benefit for the economy. His diplomatic missions have been marked by feebleness. We've seen the NDAA bill pass under him. The government has seized control of how people can manage their own healthcare. Of course Americans will be divided on someone like that.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  30. Rich Texas

    The reason for people ever to America in the first place typically rested on the push of hardships at home including a lack of economic opportunity, religious discrimination and political persecution as well as unfair taxation. In Obama some are seeing these same things again. Others see Obama as a savior because he wants to take more money from the wealthy and give it to the poor and with this those poor see a future. Fair or not it is causing a huge divide and Obama is essentially creating a class warfare putting one against the other. Instead of uniting the country he is driving a wedge that may never be pulled out.

    Obama lacks the ability to unit the congress to accomplish anything worthwhile so essentially he is a lame duck. Americas foreign debt continues to grow.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  31. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, ny

    Plenty of people watch Faux "News." They haven't figured out that Roger Ailes is a lifelong Republican operative selling propaganda. When history allows the truth to come out, everyone will marvel at the ineptitude of today's journalists to have allowed it.

    "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." (Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

    October 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  32. Ram Riva -- Calexico CA

    Is very simple....first of all don't believe the country is divided...is simply that the GOP Tea party base really dislike the President....not the case in CA where is quite the opposite.....the conservatives don't want President Obama to be reelected...they've said from day one....their main goal is to make President Obama a one term President.....let's see how long it will take for the US to fully embrace a differnt race or gender President in the White House....not this time around....although is a giant step in the right direction......

    October 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  33. T Banguel

    One of the main reason why this Country is deeply divided is because day one the other side wanted him OUT.

    T Banguel
    Baton Rouge, LA

    October 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  34. John from Alabama

    Jack: The country is divided over President Obama, because he is an African-American. He is the first President of the United States from Hawaii, and he is cool. He has a good young family with a good looking wife, who believes in the basics. Michelle Obama cares for military families, and healthy food for all people living and working in the United States. Does this sound familiar to you, Jack? John F Kennedy had a young family, a good looking wife, Jackie, and he was the first Roman Catholic to be President. President Kennedy was either loved or hated by people, and President Obama is either loved or hated. No middle of the road for President Obama, but he is more likable than hated, I think.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  35. Pete in FL

    Duh! He's BLACK!!! I'm a white guy in the South, and for the past 4 years I've been hearing the N-word ALL the time from other whites talking about Obama and the family now in the White House...even in Church! And he's a commie pinko socialist fascist unAmerican illegal alien, according to everybody that listens to FAUX News and Rush Limbaugh. Give me a break – Bush and the Repubs created a recession and TONS of problems, and then have refused for four years to help Obama and the Dems fix these problems, and you don't like OBAMA??? Are you folks NUTS?

    October 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Barb

    too many low information voters out there – the rich Koch Brothers have been able to buy their votes with lies.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  37. Phil S

    Lancaster, OH- Obama is emblematic of our transition status as a society. I think most people support most of his social initiatives, or at least the compassionate spirit behind them. On the other hand, they also know that we can't afford most of those things and therefore shouldn't be entertaining them. Obama is a lightning rod in this scenario. Sadly, he's also an inept manager. The conundrum in this election is how to go about firing everyone's favorite employee. He hasn't done much of anything, so it's hard to justify dumping him, but you know deep inside that he has to go.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  38. Rich Texas

    With Obama it is the Grasshopper and the Ant story all over. The Ant works all day long while the Grasshopper plays. The Ant stores his food for winter while the Grasshopper does nothing. When winter comes the Ant is full and warm and toasty and the Grasshopper is frozen out in the cold with no food. Along comes Obama and kicks the Ants door in and takes half of the Ants food calling it a tax and hands it to the Grasshopper. This is what is dividing the country Jack.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  39. Michael Jakobi

    The defintion of EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT I learned as an Air Force Officer and as a Business Owner is to "make a DECISION or choose a course of ACTION based on a review of DISSENTING OPINIONS". To me then, the main issue of this election is how to get GOVERNMENT to ACT on behalf of the interests of ALL of us, no matter what our views and WHO will be the MAN to oversee and manage that "dissenting" base the best for the benefit of ALL of us and be able to CHOOSE and ACT based on a REVIEW of those dissenting views? I have already cast my vote EARLY for ROMNEY in OHIO simply because, regardless of how "shaky" or "questionable" his "real" plans are once elected that the Obama teams tries to and keep harping on, it is ROMNEY who has the TRACK RECORD and the best one, in both Business and in Government of WORKING with the OTHER SIDE to find a COMMON SOLUTION and course of ACTION that BOTH sides can live with!! Whereas Obama has already shown with his healthcare agenda and even said so in the first debate, "it is MY way or the HIGHWAY"....in my mind watching the debates his INTENT to CONTINUE to push HIS agenda through and downplay or degrade the OTHER side's OPINIONS with nothing more than BUZZ WORDS that play on FEAR rather than state any FACT, and focus on Romney's WEALTH as PROOF of his REAL intentions, is further evidecne of how if HE is re-elected, it will continue to be HIS way and ONLY his way! What I WANT as an AMERICAN and a COMBAT VETERAN who put his life on the line for the right to CHOOSE and do so FREELY and OBJECTIVELY in this country is a man in the White House who will listen to BOTH sides and WORK WITH BOTH SIDES of an issue to find the COMMON SOLUTION and course of action that we can ALL live with! Whether or not that results in what I personally would WANT as the selected course of ACTION that then becomes LAW is immaterial...for as long as it is a COMMONLY agreed upon course of action that is based on a review of DISSENTING opionins, then that is what I will be happy with and will view as what we are all about in this country. The BEST road for ALL of us where ALL sides are listened to and worked with in coming up with the FINAL solution! No matter how Obama tries to SHIFT the focus AWAY from the fact his first 4 years have been all about what OBAMA wants, his RECORD still stands as that is how he GOVERNED and pushed things through like healthcare reform in the dead of night and without so much as consulting the OTHER side! I do NOT agree with everything I have heard ROMNEY say....but I voted for the man simply because I think HE moreso than Obama will work BOTH sides of the aisle in the best and most EFFECTIVE manner that will ultimately beneft the COUNTRY as a whole!

    Mike Jakobi
    Cincinnati, OHIO (One of the SWING States).

    October 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  40. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Hmmmm......., an African American President in a country where legal segregation was officially ended less than 50 years ago with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Let us count the way.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  41. Brad, Portland, OR

    It's a combination of factors that causes intense hatred within half the population.

    There's outright racism, there's the misinformation and lies spread by right-wing talk radio and Fox News, and there's the Internet, which allows people with crazy ideas like Tea Party Syndrome and Birtherism to find each other in blogs and web sites. And the chain mail conspiracy theory craziness they e-mail around to each other, full of lies purporting to be "secrets" that "they" don't want you to know, so they're not covered by the "lamestream media."

    Most of what these people think they know, and are angry about, isn't even factually correct.

    In the past, organizations like the John Birch Society never got much traction because it was harder for like-minded individuals to even know of each other's existence. Now modern-day versions of those groups like the Tea Party have grown large enough to have influence over the country.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  42. Allan Placerville, ca

    Because most don't remember the situation he inherited. 2 wars we can neither win or get out of, gas prices high, housing gone down, and most jobs gone overseas. A congress that will sink anything he tries to do. God help us if the extreme right wing gets in. Unfortunatly they might.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  43. Gary H. Boyd

    There are too many things about Barack Hussein Obama that don't seem to ring true in the minds of many people. His birth place, up bringing, religious beliefs, education, financial resources and socialist leanings all remain controversial after four years. His basic premise is a redistribution of wealth while America has always been a "survival of the fittest" incentive driven society. It all comes down to this - many people simply don't trust the guy.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  44. Bert K., L.A., Cal

    Hi Jack, America has always been divided; it’s not just about Obama!. Ever since the Patriots dumped that untaxed and deregulated global corporate tea cargo into Boston Harbor, there has been an equal amount of loyalist who agreed with King George’s dream of untaxed and deregulated global corporate lords ruling the world; only today we call corporations a “person,” it’s money “speech,” that dream “Reaganomics” and those loyalist, “Republicans!”

    October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  45. Bob D Iowa

    The same reason I couldn't vote for him in 2008 but I have learned to look past the man and look at what is country needs to continue to the recovery that is underway.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  46. pam

    jack, republicans and democrats have a dislike for each other. the country is divided that way.its only a PROBLEM when a democrat is in the white house....love pam in texas

    October 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  47. Miguel Morris, austin, texas

    Not the right person to ask, but I'll answer anyway. I can not tell if our President likes his job, or just the opportunities it provides to hobnob with celebs. He does not have the Presidental air, but more like an actor in the Presidents shoes. He fails to worry about the important issues and not mind the store. He is an excellent reader but a poor adlib speaker. Like it has been said, he leaves the White House in times of crisis and does not meet with our allies to further cement our foreign affairs, and there is talk he does not meet frequently with his important staff, like the Security Council. He is truly a duck out of water and will be happier in civilian life. I hope my vote already cast helps him realize that he is not suited for the highest position in our Government. Someday his book will attest to my feelings. I wish him well in his next endeavor even though he does not care about the military and those that need help. I truly hope his name will show ( *one term ) on the continuing list of Presidents.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  48. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    President Obama is a person of high intelligence, education, and accomplishment. Some people don't like that because it makes them feel inferior. And add to that mixture the fact that he's the first African-American president and represents dramatic social change in a country with a history of racism, and it's easy to see why the country is divided. Those who dislike the President do so out of fear.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  49. James - Alexandria, VA

    That is easy to asnwer Jack. It is because the country cannot get past the President's skin color plus they think he has done nothing when the real blame goes to Congress and those individuals who are living in the past. It is such a shame they cannot get past themselves......

    October 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  50. Herman Portland, OR

    President Obama campaigns with bi partisan rhetoric but when he is back at the White house he practices partisan policies and leads from behind. The President has further divided the country and continues to spend the tax payers money with out any accountability. All he can do is blame the previous administration for what he got and has no clear vision for America's future.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  51. David, Tampa

    I can sum my feelings up like this Jack, vote for Obama certainly not, vote for Romney an even more emphatic no, a bottle of sleeping pills and a quart of gin yep, and don't bother to wake me up in 4 years cause we'll just be going through this nonsense all over again with a different cast of clowns!!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  52. Bob in Ohio

    Race, anyone who gives a different answer is in denial.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  53. elizabeth miller

    Ignorance. Possibly racism. Most people get their information from the media which fails to hold our officials accountable. Politicians lie like hades with a straight face and get away with it. We have had two wars, a financial collapse of our economy caused by pure greed which created massive unemployment therefore less people paying taxes. The american people are paying the price while being told that they are not worthy of any type of assistance. But lets keep sending our tax dollars abroad and hand out corporate welfare. It is going to take a long time to get out of this mess.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  54. Daniel

    I really don't think it has to do with his policies or which end of the political prism he views the world. I think it all has to do with the color of his skin, and Republicans are too afraid to say it. – Daniel (San Jose, CA)

    October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  55. Oliver El Paso, TX

    C'onman Jack would it be because he is black, I hear this from people who tell me its because he black, the press was really pushing for Romney until last night, making up polls to to convinces Obama losing, thank god Romney mass's up
    by himself.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  56. Linda, St. Louis

    Racism! When GOP Congresspersons expressly state on day 1 that their sole goal is to defeat our President and then follows through with the obstructionism totally disregarding the interests of the country as well as initiatives they previously supported, It's racism, pure and simple.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  57. Grady Equality Duke

    Plain & simple RACISM.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  58. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    TAMPA, FL you have got to be kidding. on one side, you have the Obots, blindly following our current self declared dictator, and then you have those that have a brain and object to America having a murdering, lying, incompetent dictator, who even though dislike Mitt, will vote for him rather than go through another 4 years of Congress turning a blind eye to every illegal thing Obama will continue to do.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  59. ohdatguy

    Depends on where you live in the country Jack and what media outlet you prefer. If you live in the south, 60+ years old and your primary news outlet is Fox – it's because you want to keep the "White House, White" and there is nothing positive that can be said about a Kenyan born, Marxist, Communist, Socialist who apologizes to terrorists. Not even a stack of truth, facts and statistics to the contrary can sway you.

    If you were born anywhere else in the world, particularly with an education from the high school level and beyond, can read and reason you stand in direct opposition to the very idea that Marxism, Socialism and Communism in one man is even possible, least of all reasonable. The world is made up of those who think, and those who prefer to be told. That division exists on every level – even about the President.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  60. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    I really don't know but the reality is he is much more compassionate and honest than the man running against him. If America decides to put Mr. Romney in power then we asked for it and it will be worse than W. Remember Jack, some people, a lot of people look at President Obama and see a black man, not a man who happens to be black.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  61. Richard Oak Harbor, WA

    President Obama madel his 2008 campaign promises of "Hope and Change" before the he and the public learned at the last minute before his election that the economy was about to collapse. After the initial surprise and scramble to keep from going over the edge Obama still did his best to fulfill his promises to the American people. Constant Republican Congressional interference in his efforts combined with a new Tea Party element that effectively caused downgrading of our National credit rating has made progress in restoring the economy slower than it could have been. In the next four years we will not have the expense of two wars and the wheels of "Hope and Change" can get back on track. Romney will give us another recession in four years.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  62. Dave

    He's the first African American elected President and a democrat. Everything else is commentary!

    October 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  63. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    From an outside perspective it seems that, in America, "rich" trumps both "smart" and "good".

    October 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  64. Terry S.

    Typical Republican strategy, when President Clinton was in office, he fought against Republican attacks all 8 years in office. The President has the same problem, except he is also the first black president, which brings the racial issue as well as being a Democrat. Terry from Illinois.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  65. Pete in Georgia

    Obama is an impostor and well over 50% of America realizes this with crystal clarity.
    He has done ZERO in a practical sense in life. Absolutely nothing that is connected to tangible everyday life in America. People who work hard, who create things in life resent his arrogant, lofty, artificial position as President of America, a country he knows nothing about.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  66. Ron from NC

    Because he,himself has divided the nation between the haves and the have nots.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  67. Diane

    People are frustrated, they want change but have no patience for the process. Change is hard, it takes time it takes understanding and effort. And, I know some people who are racist and ignorant. Anyone not Obama appeals to these people, it's sad. I wish we hadn't allowed George W to mess up this country, but that will not solve the problem either!

    We live in a fast food culture, when we gain weight we want to take a pill and have it go away. When we want something we use credit to make it happen now instead of waiting until we can afford it... We as American's believe we deserve it, we've earned it, we want it... NOW!

    October 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  68. C from Boston, MA

    The answer is simple. Half the nation comprising of crazed right wing nuts and Fox News cannot get over an African American Liberal Democrat being elected the White House.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  69. Gary-Woodhaven, Michigan

    The same reason the country is so sharply divided in all, it's not just Obama.

    We have gone from a culture of character to a culture of personality and ego.
    A culture built on compassion and empathy to one of contempt and spite.

    It is the absolute ideologies, that all or nothing mindset we have come to, that builds hate.

    And until we find our way back to becoming one again, where we are all brothers and sisters, we will continue our decline.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  70. chuckchuck69

    Because Obama is the great divieder

    October 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  71. Claire

    Because a lot of folks watch "Fox News" and believe what they are being told is fact. The sad thing is they would rather do then then look around at what is going on, and believe their own brains and guts.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  72. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon, Oregon

    Jack, I think it has most to do with Obama's race– sure his on-the-job performance has at times been weak; but more often than not, his best efforts have been stymied by House Republicans intent on NOT compromising, not acting for the good of the country. Because of their no-compromise attitude, the Republican brand should be receiving a much less favorable rating. Romney's flip-flopping into seemingly more moderate positions reflects his campaign's polling on issues, results showing the majority of Americans are more moderate and are definitely NOT attracted to a political party so filled with Akin-like, mysogynistic Old White Guys .

    October 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  73. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well, Obama thinks the people need a baby sitter and about half of them don't think so. Kinda gets insulting dosen't it.

    But people will talk. Celebrity's Stacy Dash, Kid Rock, Lindsay Lohan and Rocker Gene Simmons, once supporters of Obama now support Romney. Humm, I see a Trend here.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  74. Pat in Michigan

    Because half think like a republican and half care about their neighbors and seniors. By the way Jack.How about them Tigers?

    October 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  75. Andre R. Newcomb

    The race issue. Excuses come later.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  76. I.O Alaska

    Same reason it's been divided for a while- a 2 party system with both ends drowning out the middle majority. i don't seem to recall much unity under Pres. Bush either.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  77. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The division you ask about is the manifestation of the deep racisim that continues to thrive in America. Conservatives have decided to pander to the basic fears and hates that motivate a particular segment of our society. Faced with the realization that the majority of citizens preferred a progressive multi-racial man as President, the right wing fanatics utilized the only people they could influence easily. Racisim dies a very hard death for some people, and it forever colors their thinking and ends up defining them.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  78. Tadd Schwab

    On domestic issues Obama looks and comes across pretty good. On International issues particularly the middle east, he really has no clue and does not say many good things....

    October 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  79. Rob Gallagher, Canada

    It's not Obama that divides the country, it's the two party system in Washington, called gridlock. Neither Obama or Romney will get anything accomplished in the next 4 years. A successful business is comprised of players all on the same team striving for the same goal. Until the powers that be incorporate the same strategy, expect the status quo of stalemate to continue. I shake my head in disbelief when I hear the candidates list of a whole slew of goals they are going to accomplish if elected. How do they honestly expect to pass any bills, policy or legislation, when the other party will shoot it down quicker than you can say ‘my way or the highway?’ I really wish someone would have posed that question last night. I would have loved to hear their responses.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  80. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    The GOP's goal starting in 2009 was to make him a one term President and they have done everything in their power to make this happen even when the American people lose. The Majority Leader of the Senate and then the pledge on taxes makes it even more obvious that these people don't care about America, they care about money and the rich.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  81. Pete

    One polititian is probably as good as the next. The major difference would be the big government approach of the current administration. Some do not like being told what they can and cannot do. They do not like seeing their tax dollars spent on services that family, community have taken care of in the past. Between the two approaches, big government is the least timely, least effective, and most costly. Also, they do not understand why government does not focus on economy, infrastructure and security.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  82. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    Gee, Jack. do you think it might be racial?

    October 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  83. rex in portland, or.

    I cannot recall (and I am 75) a time in history when an opposition party spent so much time and so many dollars continually castigating the incumbents. The propaganda has been incessant; no topic is off limits; no truths are necessary – the republicans are waging an all-out propaganda war against anything centrist or liberal, and particularly against Obama's person. It is not a wonder to me that this country us more polarized than ever.

    I resent having to pay (in taxes) the defense against the billions spent against the legitimate government of the USA for every law enforced, every rule litigated, every oil well drilled, every trip taken, and every word uttered.

    I resent the lies, and partucularly the impoliteness and disrespect shown by the republicans (i.e. Romney in this last farce of a "debate") against the presidency and the government.

    I, for one, am ready for a popular uprising to rid this nation of the illegal, dangerous, and obvious collusion between corporate America and congrefs.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  84. Billie Jo

    Unfortunately, there are numerous reasons, they however fall under the same category. This nation has far too many "Bigots" both openly and in the closet, Then there is this new problem called the "Tea Party" (Gawd, I use to love my tea & now it's hard to swallow). Combine these things w/the takeover in the government & the severe change of the old fashioned GOP (I used to have some respect for them being raised in a politically divided home). I am a 67 yr old Caucasion female, raised in the south & had a "Mammy" named Bessie who remained my heart beyond her passing. I spent 20+ yrs in law-enforcement and am so ashamed of the way Blacks and/or minorities are treated. Obama/Bush/ or ANY "Commander In Chief" should be showm respect period as the world watches us & so many have embarrassed us in their hatred spewing narratives from the ilks of Lumaugh and Trump and Joe the plumbers of the world. God grant us peace and I will vote for Obama this election because I feel he is at least honest & answer me this. If Romney showed McCain so many years of his back taxes & McCain chose Palin wouldn't that speak volummes???

    October 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  85. Angela

    The country is sharply divided because of the flagrant disparity in which President Obama has been treated. The night of the Inauguration when the President was being sworn in, Republicas were meeting and strategizing how they will not allow him to pass anything. This is America but as a country we have not moved past racisim. It is clear and blatant and the media plays a large role in how the President is protrayed, but we forget others are watcj=hing us and we behave in some ways worst than animals. If Romney wants my vote then provide me with some substance and not just finger pointing and stories. Provide solutions and encouragement not political satire and blame. Be the solution not the problem.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  86. Juan

    Very simple answer.
    He is Black.
    Sad, cause his white mother carry him for 9 months.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  87. Bob In Florida

    Perhaps it’s because he’s been the most divisive President in history. I know most Americans didn’t want to see the first black President fail so miserably. What’s really disappointing is he started almost on day one demonizing segments of our country and driving wedges between people. We were attack on 9/11/12 and he goes on a campaign trip hours later “Really”. Add to that his giant narcissistic ego and you can see how 50% of the people have turned away from him. He makes a great celebrity but he’s certainly no leader.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  88. rohn from louisiana*

    The word compromise is a bad word on both sides. Politicians are more concerned with building a legacy than reaching across the isle to build a country. Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan are dead and so are their principles.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  89. Overby

    Obama looks right into the camera and blatantly lies about anything and everything. The only changes have been for the worse. There will be no hope if he's re-elected. Of course it's all so polarizing....

    October 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  90. Sharon Logiudice

    Add race to the mix of partisan politics and this is what we get – a sharply divided nation!

    October 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  91. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It is what I term "THE ECONOMIC DIVIDE."

    October 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  92. RickFromDetroit

    Race and Money is my guess. Many people have not, and can not accept the fact that we have a Black President, and they will vote against Obama regardless of what his policies are. We also have the small business crowd that wants to run a business, but they want to pay their employees as little as possible so they can pocket more profits. This is why they object to Obamacare, even though most Americans will benefit from this program, or in other words, if their employee dies, tough luck, they will find a replacement. Race and Greed has been a long standing problem in this country for many years.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  93. chuckchuck69

    Because Obama is the great divider

    October 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  94. bonnie from NJ

    "Push through Obamacare without Republican support"! The Republicans mission from day one was to go against anything he did, no matter what good it did the country. I am an independent, but I don't see where the Democrats (President Obama included) are trying to polarize anything, they have repeatedly tried to compromise to no avail. But mainly in answer to your question I would say, Duh, he's black and there is a heck of a lot of white people (men) who don't like that.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  95. Jayne in NH

    Thank the hate machine on the right for the division in this country. People like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity rake in gazillions of dollars peddling distortions about Obama.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  96. Paul in NC

    Because the vast majority of Americans seldom, if ever, employ critical thinking. They see or hear commentary on talk radio or Fox News or they read some absurd piece of trash on the internet and they internalize it. No filter, no questioning, just yep, that's my opinion. The old timers used to say it only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel. Well, it only takes one Rush Limbaugh to poison a nation.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  97. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    I think a lot of it is the split in cable news networks. at ultra right-wing Fox News, Obama can do nothing right while at ultra left-wing MSNBC and the new Current TV channel he can do no wrong.

    CNN seems to pretty much "play it down the middle" BUT even YOU guys seem to give the breaks to Romney lately esp the recent "push poll" questions on your blog, Cafferty.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  98. ogthug

    Because there are still people out there that cannot get used to a black man in the W.H. because of the ignorant racism still in America.Governor Romney have people coming to his campaign with racist t shirts and he doesn't say anything. If he and Ryan can't stand against racism in their own party against all minorities then why should he be president and vice-president??

    October 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  99. H. Rose

    Divided....there will always be division since we have Dems,...Repubs......and.....Indep. that is what makes the world go around, such as Chocolate versus Vanilla.
    President Obama did an excellent job last night, while Romoney tried to direct and take over the show but got put in his place.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  100. Ken Vaughn

    Uninformed Voter is becoming as much a cliche as it is redundant. With as much as Obama has accomplished during this inherited Bush era recession, I can only think it must be because there is a lot of closet racism going on. I see people voting against their own economic status somehow projecting themselves to a lifestyle they dream they might have someday. Albany, OR

    October 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  101. George in PA

    I think it's much more about the divide between Democrats and Republicans. If Hilliary Clinton had won in 2008 do you think the two parties would be playing nice? Whatsmore, if Rommney wins do you think Democrats will be disposed to compromise to further his agenda? I fear things must still get worse before they get better.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  102. Steve Spielman in Pennsylvania

    We are divided on Obama because he is black. White middle and lower class voters are unable to see themselves swimming in the same stagnant labor pool with minorities. We need to support the same unions/organizations and attend the same churches. They say there are no athiests in a foxhole. . . well, there are no bigots in a foxhole either. We need to look around and see who we are standing next to.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  103. Gigi Oregon

    Because the media doesn't listen to "We the People" I guess media is part of the 1%. Why haven't you done a program on Grover Norquist and the (NO tax increase) "Pledge" . Norqiust is blackmailing our Republican Representatives. We've really come to corruption in the government when the representatives bribe and blackmail "WE the the peoples" representatives.

    A well respected Republican said it best, "We don't have a spending problem...We have a revenue problem. Look at revenue rates from the Korean war to-date. Do some Fact Checking.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  104. basho1644

    Racism and stupidity. Pure and simple.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  105. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Fox news has preached hate ever since the 2008 election. The Republicans want their power back even if they have to bring down the country to do it. The party of old white men do not want anyone but a white person in power

    October 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  106. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Jack, its because Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump all attack Obama for either being 'too right-wing, too socialist, too Muslim, or not American' and there are plenty of people that buy into everything these left-wing hypocrits say. Best solution would be to keep Palin in Alaska, fire Trump from public speaking, and turn off Coulter and Limbaugh. I prefer you and Wolf Blitzer to them any day.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  107. sonny chapman, Villie Platte,La.

    We can thank Fox News & Rush Limbaugh. They are Merchants of Hate according to Bill O'Reilly i his "Debate" w/Jon Stewart.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  108. Phil

    Jack, the President reaps what he sows.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  109. Penny Ireland

    The sleaziest campaign of lies has been waged about President Obama than about any other USA president in my 60 years. The likes of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Schiafly (Eagle Forum), Pat Robertson (700 Club), The Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Moral Majority Coalition, just to name a few, began an assault on Barack Obama before he even won the Democratic Primary.
    They have said that he was not born in the USA. – He was born in Hawaii.
    They claim he is from Kenya.-His father was.
    They claim he is a Muslim.- He is in fact a Christian.
    They claim he is a Socialist.- He is a Democrat.
    And that is just a sampling of the lies deliberately spread about Barack Obama in order to play to the pre existing fears and prejudices the white right already had.
    And there you get to the crux of it. He is a black man. His mother being white only further damns her in their eyes, She slept with a black man.
    I have heard it from neighbors, acquaintances and family. They say it like they expect accordance.
    And that is not all. President Obama's work for LGBT civil rights stirs every insecurity already existing in these same audiences. One of my 5 children is LGBT, yet I hear the revulsion in the negative comments everyday.
    When one combines insecurities with a platform of self righteousness, the result is hate.
    And it is a dangerous platform that has been carefully and purposefully constructed by the Right Wing in the USA.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  110. David Doherty

    Gee Jack it could be the same reason that the GOP is made up entirely of pasty old white guys. They don't do black, although they did have a token for the leader of their party once, we all know how that turned out. I could have made some money on that relationship.
    Dave from NH.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  111. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  112. lucianne

    The president is doing very well with people who are looking forward. Forward to a multi-colored, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world. Forward to a world where scienc and technology are a step forward, forward to a world where we need to address climate change and energy development, forward to a world where massive troops on the ground won't protect us against Iran but a cyber war will, forward to a world women aren't confined to a role as baby-producer and wait staff for white men. The GOP is desperately hanging on to a Donna Reed imaginary world, where even the most pathetic white man is better than anyone of any other color or gender. That world is OVER regardless of who wins the election.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  113. ray

    You have to be joking if you can't figure out why President Obama is so polarizing? It is because RACISM thrives in america! Get your head out of your...

    October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  114. JonF

    Jack,

    The country is sharply divided when it comes to President Obama because the president has worked long and hard to divide the country to achieve his own agenda. Just one part of that is the 1%-99% divide. Another is/was Obamacare. In all these issues you must be for or against it, and the president has condoned this attitude. We are seeing Obama's divided America now in full force.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  115. L

    The elephant in the room is and always will be race. No one wants to admit it. No one wants to confront it. We want to use the race card excuse to shield us from it, but the truth is race is a primary factor. Put it this way, with the majority of Congress over 40, male and white many of them have never had to answer to an African American man as their boss. Now they have to, and we are lying as a country if we dont believe that this is a problem.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  116. HarrietLawrence

    Don't you think part of this is about race? Someone had to break that barrier. And long before there had been time to develop policy initiatives, the vitriole, and the demands about proving his heritage (even though his mother is a white woman from Kansas) were thunderous.

    I think both candidates leave something to be desired. But seeing the photo of the young man whose T-shirt read "Put the White back in Whitehouse" at a Romney campaign said it all.

    Whether Obama is, or is not, a good president – the immediate comments by his opponents that their job was to oppose all legislation and make him a one term president from day one, and providing soundbites to constituents to encourage their rage – is evidence of why he is polarizing.

    He's the first minority to hold the office, pure and simple. I expect the same will meet the fate of the first woman to hold the office as well.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  117. The Left Wing

    The sharp divide has more to do with the nature of modern Republicans and the rise of right wing media than it has to do with President Obama himself. Both of these groups has made it their job to demonize him before he even took office.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  118. J.E. Martinez

    Since day one of Obama's term republicans made one thing certain:let's make sure he doesn't get another term. the only explanation is the president's race . No ifs ,ands or buts about it. Republican= white angry men.

    Pingree Grove, Illinois

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  119. Dr. Garry

    Obama has not yet convinced enough people that he has realistic ways to support his ideals.
    It's the ancient conflict between idealism and reality.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  120. Gary W

    Uh.... could it have anything to do with the Republicans being better at getting their message out? Whether or not that message is accurate? And since Dems are more liberal and Republicans are more conservative (at least that is what the media says) doesn't that type of message fall right in line with their thinking. Republicans seem to me to be more hard line than Democrats. Just my thoughts.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  121. nick

    Jack, there's a lot of racism still out there. No other way to explain how ANYONE could walk into the situation that Obama did IN 2008 and do better than he did. PERIOD

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  122. Regan

    Both Bush and Obama pushed the Constitution and our basic freedoms into question. Most presidents before them understood the Constitution and what it meant.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  123. Pee Dee

    Obama has been polarizing mostly to middle-aged and older white males since the date of his election. Especially in the South. They have elected to JUST SAY NO to any and every thing so that he would not be re-elected. They want him to be the first and last person of color to govern this nation. The last 4 years has been America at it's worst simply because of the color his skin which they choose to call his policies because the content of his character is unquestionable.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  124. Itsmeagain

    My short answer is: racism, money and the Tea Party.

    The President's race angers some, like Uncle Buck's ear-flap hat. There are open
    and closet racists who just don't like him as President, no matter what he does. It
    will take time to change this attitude.

    In the last few decades, many more people have figured out the way to wealth.
    This changes their mindset toward taxes, the law, and, of course, politics.
    Some fiercely guard this wealth against any threat or "entitlements" for others.

    The Tea Party itself is polarizing. The Republican Party hasn't really figured out
    how to work with them. The TP is non-compromising and believe themselves the authorities on religion and patriotism. They are wall builders, not bridge builders.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  125. Ramona

    Jack, After almost 4 years of Mr. Obama being POTUS, do you really have to ask why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama??? Geesh, just when I thought everyone knew the answer to your question. Going back to work now. :-)

    October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  126. Susan Mason

    I think the nation is sharply divided because of the republican propaganda machine called "Fox News". There are a lot of people who watch that channel, and become brainwashed, Old people especially, tune into fox news, I know this because I have seen it in my own family. These family members that I speak of, who watch this channel, do not turn to CNN or MSNBC. They only watch Fox. To give you an example, I was on a cruise with my Aunt when Osama Bin Laden was killed. When we learned about it on the ship, we returned to the room, and watched CNN's World Coverage for about a half hour. Then my Aunt notified me that now that I have seen my version of the events, she wants to watch her channel, Fox News, to find out what really happened. Low information, highly influence-able 72-year-old women like my Aunt, will believe anything coming out of Fox News whom, I might add, refuse to report on anything positive President Obama does.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  127. Steve,NY

    The reason the country is so divided is that Obama and his handlers are spinning the facts to brainwash the public and the Press supports him. The biggest contributer to the dfivision is the Liberal Press. Sixty % of the country is conservative, while the Press is 80% Liberal. The Press is trying to brainwash the majority. This is the reason for your problem.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  128. bbrooker88

    That's easy. After 8 years of having to suffer the world trashing their boy George W. as the worst president ever, Republicans have an identity crises. They're trying to make themselves feel better by attempting to put that same kind of tag on President Obama, which frankly just doesn't stick.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  129. 9/11 Families For A Secure America

    When Obama first campaigned, he blasted Bush as unpatriotic for piling up $4 trillion in debt and promised to cut the annual deficit in half by the end of his first term. We heard all sorts of bring-us-together rhetoric: a new bipartisanship, a new civility, a new transparency, a new campaign ethos, a new everything — coupled with lots of “no mores”: no more earmarks, no more revolving doors, no more former lobbyists in government, no more serial fundraisers on the government dime. The reality of Obama's 4 years in office have seen statesmanship degenerate into chronic blame-gaming and “Bush did it,” as he piled up over $5 trillion in new debt. Financial sobriety was abandoned in favor of creating new entitlement constituencies, and job creation was deemed far less important than nationalizing the health-care system. His promises made in 2008 have not been kept. He's brought Chicago style thuggery to the legislative process and we have a media that refuses to call him out on it.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  130. Jack from PA

    Why is it that if someone opposes and disagrees with Obama's failed policy, they are called a racist? That is so unfair. I guess we here in PA just cling to our guns and Bibles like Obama accused us of in 2008. I'm a life long Democrat voting for Romney and proud to do so.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  131. Rasheed

    It is just the state of our political climate. We will see the same results next election too.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  132. Guy Mantua NJ

    I have tried to answer this myself by talking endlessly to my republican friends. He never gets any credit from them for anything. My conclusion? They are all white suburban guys with christian upbringings who fear him......for being different. Very close to bigotry. SAD

    October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  133. Robinho70

    The economy, and his lack of knowledge on the economy. For example; gas prices were lower when he took office as the economy was worse then, and now gas prices are higher as the economy has improved. Was he serious?

    October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  134. ryche

    Because Jack.> hope and change is not an economic fix... taxing millionaires and billionaires is not a fix... People are so divided because that's how obama wants it.. he wants us divided... and its working obviously... he's played class warfare since his first day in office... People are sick of it.. we want answers.. not division.. and so far, for the last 4 years, that's all we have.. He has no plan to fix the defecit or debt... he's a one trick pony and that trick has been played out... he has nothing new, he offered nothing new for the next 4 years... rhetoric does not work.. fancy speeches do not work... Someone sitting down with ALL parties and hashing out the issues, that's what works... obviously this president is not up to the task.. never has been... it also doesn't help that he said "I won" and that replubiclicans were going to have to ride in the back.... mitch mconnel was taken out of context when he said he wanted to make sure obama was a 1 term president... if you listen to the whole quote he specifically says that he hopes obama is a 1 term president, IF the president isn't willing to work with republicans.. well we have seen time and time again he's not willing to work with them.. Biden even told Ryan to "just get out of the way"... that is not bipartisian... its division... and that is obamas fault.. noone elses..

    October 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  135. Pau Forbes

    It's no coincidence that this is also the most racially polarized election in history. We thought 2008 was the first post-racial election. Alas, it also brought out a lot of haters from the woodwork. Remember that all the Southern racist Democrats fled to the Republican party after President Johnson signed the civil rights bill and have remained there ever since President Nixon's Southern Strategy. There are other reasons the right wing hates Obama, but race is a very big factor.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  136. Guy Ngame

    He is also al ot smarter than every republicans out there, they can not stand it. you can actually see the anger among all republicans.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  137. TG

    It is not Obama that is so sharply dividing, it is the Republican Party's leadership and the information they are feeding party members (via FoxNews etc.) that has become more radical and thereby more uncompromising and dividing.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  138. PtheCanadianSizzle

    I hate to even write this but I suspect that the reason for his disapproval in replublicans circles is so high is a simple answer of racism. They don't like blacks (unless they have money) and they will never ever approve of a black president yet a black govenor, sheriff or who ever they can vote for. If they are black they will never be trusted or approved of by republicans. They can deny it all they want. Look at how fast they got rid of their token black RNC chairman for a guy named Reince Priebus in time for this election cycle. Not a coincidence that there are 2 serving black republican congressman serving today.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  139. David

    North view drive collington lane

    B24 new Carrollton

    From almost day one republicans have reviled him and made him out to be the greatest destroyer of the American way of life that has ever walked God's green earth. His election to President has never been regarded by them as a testament to far we have come as a nation but as a sign of how low we have fallen. We demonized both Clinton and Bush II before him, but the level of passionate disdain and hatred for Obama is unique and emblematic that we do need to dial back our hyperpartisan fervor. Obama is just one man and he during four or eight years cannot destroy America. The real truth is that that we all have contributed to the decline of our great nation and unless we all pull together we are only doomed to continue declining regardless of who is the White House.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  140. Mysterious

    Sounds like you President Obama for the way the Republicans treat him . This man has been gracious since day one, but all the GOP has in mind is to "make him a one term president."

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  141. Richard Ledford

    The real question is:

    Why is the country so sharply divided?

    October 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  142. JeffZ

    Barack Obama has actually been a moderate. 50 years ago Republicans would have aligned with many of his policies. What is polarizing our country is huge amounts of secret money trying very hard to influence political elections.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  143. Jim in Florida

    Why, Jack, you ask that question as though you think we should all just fall in love with Obama's policies. That is the media's game, not ours out here in the real world. Obama's past and his present policies make it abundantly clear that he is a Sociialist – I do not agree that socialism in the best path for the country – have seen it fail around the world and see the mess it has made in Europe. So that is why I am "divided" – then again I knew this before we started this little experiment known as Obama in 2008, again, apparently the media hasn't caught up – or maybe the media is filled with socialists and llef tleaners who fancy themselves as socialists

    October 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  144. George from Binghamton

    From reading all the anti-Obama comments over the past four years it's clear racism is a big factor for why some people don't like him. The misconceptions of what Obama has done or said are rampant, even Romney was guilty of this last night! in this age of the internet it's shocking at all the misinformation bandied about. Why do people believe this malarkey? Because they want to, and why do they want to? Because Obama is just one of 'us' (that's code for 'he's black!)

    October 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  145. Skyler

    It's been a polarizing congress, Jack. Not a polarizing president. You've got it upside-down.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  146. Raul Raina

    I know people always say don't include 'race' in everything, but I really do feel and think that conservative America never did get around to accepting a 'black' President. This was evident in the real hostility and anger and the rise of the tea-party very soon after the President took office, much before the partisan unpopularity of the President's policy's had taken effect. The extreme unprecedented and hostile polarization had set-in as soon as the President took his seat in the Oval office. What else, besides race, could be the reason, when he hadn't even begun to exercise his agenda? What's ironical is that he is only half black, but his color is enough to make him get him a very raw deal. Which other President has been questioned repeatedly about his birth place, religion and patriotism, as Mr. Obama?

    October 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  147. Spacefunk

    The elephant in the room that the Republicans dare not mention is that President Obama is Black. Psychologically, this is degraded to ignorant small minded white men to have a black man shaping their future and having that type of power the President Obama has. This nation will suffer tremendously if we as Americans do not overcome racism and greed.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  148. Tom Fields

    The facile answer is racism, but I think that only explains a part of it. Basically, the "haves" among the Republicans feel all their priveledges they have worked so hard to get into the tax code, and the loosening of federal regulations theior lobbyists have gained over the past decade that enrich them even farther will be removed under a Democratic administration. For them, Obama just happens to be the guy in office. They would feel the same way toward Hillary or Kerry or any other moderate Democrat. Meanwhile, the "have-nots" among the Republicans–generally low-information, less-educated voters, have been convinced by the Republican leadership that the President is personally a bad actor who will deprive them of the things they hold dear.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  149. Jake, Austin, Texas

    The country is so divided because of the Repuiblican stand that their number 1 priority is to see that Obama is a one term pr. President. Grid lock in Congress tells it all.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  150. debra

    Simply: RACE

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  151. Moewolf

    Of course his race has nothing to do with it.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  152. Chicago

    Because this is America and many of us don't want to live in a socialist/communist country. We came here for freedom, not for more government control and oppression.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  153. Rick Diguette

    One little word: race.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  154. Tired

    The problem is that Obama promised change to America. When he was elected he never even tried to work with the Republicans. He walked in and said – I won – you lost -I'll do what I want now. Americans are furious about the arrogance and lies. And, on top of all that – he said he wanted to make life better for the middle class. Sorry but he gets an F on that grade. Job losses, houses foreclosed, big spending, big entitlements, money to buddies. He is the worst of all politicians. And, now that he wants to be reelected – he doens't run on his record but tries to divide the country into "us" and "them." No wonder we are polarized.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  155. Maria

    I believe it is because President Obama is black.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  156. heidi

    There is hyperpartisanship involved. However there is a nasty element of racism involved. When you have the son of a governor not an extremis joking baout sending the President back to Kenya and you have people wearing T-Shirts that say lets put the white back in the White house then you have to think some of it racially motivated. What is sad is there seems to be no moderates in the Republican party anymore.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  157. Pam from Texas

    Because they're being sold a bunch of malarkey from the Republicans. Earlier this year everyone had a fit when Romney's spokesman said the "etch-a-sketch" phrase. Now that he's about used the toy up, alot of people are thinking he has all these grand ideas. How many times does he need to lie for you to get it? Primarily though it's because too many believe horrible things about the President for whatever the reason.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  158. Thom Williams

    It is the hyper-partiship and racism.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  159. CG46

    High unemployment 4 years later, and the President spent most of his political capital (and two years) passing health care. Wrong priorities.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  160. Gail, Plano TX.

    Easy question, Jack, easy answer. The President is a polarizing figure because he is BLACK! There are those in this country which was built on slavery, who do not like a black man in tfe WH! Simple. Case closed.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  161. flowersphotography

    For at least 30-40% of Republicans it's simply because he's black. Not necessarily your down in the gutter racist hate (though there is a smaller element of that), but just a general discomfort/dislike of most things black. The rest have just been pounded on a daily basis by right wing media which can only find fault with anything the President does. This part works on both sides – just look at the percentage of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim or the percentage of Democrats that believe that 9-11 was an inside job by Bush. The media has a lot of fault – real journalism sucks in this country now.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  162. Greg

    Because this country treats politics like spectator sports. It doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong, it matters more that their guy wins. Civil discourse has reached the point of no return.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  163. Willie from St. Petersburg, FL

    The easy answer would be that it is a race issue. However, a stronger argument can be made that the reason we are so polarized is because we have been conditioned as Americans to believe that winning is the ONLY thing that matters. So, when progressives and many others buoyed Obama to office in 2008, the conservatives began plotting their revenge on inauguration night and they have fought a multi-front war (filibusters, congressional hearings, voter supression, etc.) to ensure the President's defeat in 2012. At this rate, the Pledge of Allegiance may as well begin with "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the "Conservative or Progressive states of America".

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  164. john

    Well Jack, it's just that Obama is such a polarizing figure and he is the reason the Tea Party was responsible for elevating Texas Republican Senatorial candidate Ted Cruz to the top of the ladder in the upcoming election. He was a complete "unknown" until he decided to run. If this illustrates the anger among the American electorate, it could be a difficult time for the Democrats in November.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  165. wayne, va beach, va

    Obama promised so much and enough people believed him and he didn't produce. Those on the right see that now and the left are still asleep.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  166. Dave, Kissimmee, FL

    It is so sharply divided because it is a matter of black and white. Sadly, we have not come nearly as far as 2008 promised. Obama’s lackluster performance in his first term did not help. Had he immediately begun with the jobs problem instead of his hoped for legacy, and reversing all the Bush blunders with executive orders that did not require permission from Congress, it would have been harder to drive the wedge. But even had Obama done the impossible and solved all the problems created by the previous administration, make no mistake, the neo con artists and tea partiers would have still found a way to drive the wedge. In a word, the answer is racism.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  167. Robert

    Our society has cultivated a politics of fear, and the extremes of both parties are encouraging its growth. You might as well throw the word "compromise" out of the vocabulary of Washington, for compromise, especially for the Republican Party is seen as weakness, and not much else. We are becoming what we fear most, and that is not a liberal democracy, but a totalitarian extreme, wherein anyone with a differing opinion is considered unpatriotic and is ostracized. As it seems we haven't learned from history (remember 1930's Germany?), we're destined to repeat it.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  168. alanjay1

    It's really simple: race.

    I'm not saying that Republicans are consciously racist as a whole. A small fraction undeniably are. But race remains an unconscious fixed point around which so much else revolves. We fight a lot of proxy battles that really come down to race. Because if you look at what Obama's done with any sort of objectivity, he's anything but radical. He's made some progress on liberal issues like birth control, drilling in sensitive areas, and gay rights, but for the most part, he's actually slightly conservative by any historical barometer. Even his version of healthcare is the most conservative possible healthcare reform on the table.

    But race also serves a proxy for even more fundamental battles. Obama breaking the color barrier of the presidency puts into check a whole bunch of other barriers. To the conservative mind, the fears about what comes next are the real concern. We could have a truly radical black president. Or a woman president. Or a gay president. Or a Mormon president (let's not forget how reluctant conservatives have been to warm to this prospect).

    This threat to the social power structure is what drives the hysteria over Obama: birtherism, the Tea Party, the unprecedented legislative obstruction.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  169. Jeff Welch

    The GOP started this partisan war to manipulate the electorate into doubting the President's direction even before he declared any such direction. The GOP created the partisan divide to obstruct the good-faith efforts of the President and other Democrats. When that tactic turned into a full-blown political movement known as the TEA Party, and got the GOP seats in Congress, they doubled down because it was the quickest way to regain power. When the Democrats saw their support dwindle due and their "Hey, we're all on the same team here" attitude getting nowhere, they had no choice but to fight fire with fire.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  170. John Q Public

    A big part of the polarization is the pushback against President Obama's marxist policies. I don't mean that as a slur, he was brought up and mentored by marxists, and his adult mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. I'm not sure Obama really knows he still has these beliefs, but they are there, and are doing more to threaten the common decency this nation once had.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  171. calaurore9

    He is the personification of the tipping point of U.S. society. He represents the scary future to a diminishing segment of the population. Is this stated in a politically correct enough way for TV?

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    October 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  172. Jim8

    It's not the president that's divisive, it's the opposition that likes nothing he does even when it's what they do, and make up the rest.

    If they have nothing, then let's question his citizenship. I think that's enough proof.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  173. EarnYourOwn

    Obama has done what just about Presidents have done before. He ran as the President to bring us together and make Washington work for the people again, but he has completely done the opposite. He is dividing us on every line and moving Washington further away from where most of the Americans want the country to be governed from, and that is the Center. Not the Right and Not the Left, we want Government ran from the Center. Might be a farfetched dream but that is what most Americans want. And because we have been scorned/burned by so many before him he is feeling the brunt of the frustration.

    Now you have the partisan hacks who despise anyone who is not a D or R, but they make up the edges and do not represent the majority of Americans.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  174. Rick (Wash. D.C)

    The country is so divided when it comes to President Obama can be largely attributed to severe, right wing conservatives who believes the White House is no place for an African-American born to a white mom and Kenyan father. The polarization gets raised to greater heights when birthers, religious zealots who claim he is a Muslin, bigots who try to paint him as the next coming of Hitler all jockey for a position on one of the 24hour news programs to puch their agenda/belief. The polarization enters into the stratosphere when you have our elected officals publicly stating and meeting to make him a one term President before he is sworn in. So all of these people find and feed off of each other pushing their narrative on the president who cannot aggressively counter their argument for fear of being labled "The Angry Black Man." Look no further than analysis of last night debate for proof: one of the analyst started promoting the theme, Barack Obama came out aggressive, almnost angry. We African-Americans know when the card is being played and it has been played for the past four years by the people mentioned above.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  175. Donna Cangemi

    I can think of a couple of obvious reasons: 1) his race 2) the Tea Party.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  176. Rob

    The President didn't need any Republicans in the first two years and unlike Bill Clinton after the 1994 Congressional shellacking, President Obama has not pivoted to the center. He has not shown the ability, temperment or desire to work with the opposition party which is crucial for building consensus in the country.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  177. Mark

    To easy, It racism from the republicans. THEY Have divided this country. All the obstrunctionist in congress should be investigated and tried for treason. Im not joking.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  178. Derek

    We are divided over Oweblamo because he is the worst President in our history. Simply put!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  179. Jean Hochu, Montreal

    A large majority of white american males are anti-Obama. Reason:
    color of the skin, stupid.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  180. Terrence Gilbert

    I am a 63 year old white male, registered Connecticut Republican, who will vote for Obama this time around.
    I have a job, am middle class, not a 1 percenter and am nearing retirement. I do not trust anyone who made or makes their money in private equity firms like Romney did. Private Equity firms have hobbled American Industry with huge debt and then outsourced jobs to China and India claiming Americans cannot compete. They are right and they should know because they put American Industries in that position while making themseves 1 percenters.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  181. Josh

    I think that the main reason is the rigid posturing of the republican party. They, in their quest to wrest power in this country, have chosen a tactic of no compromise, slash and burn, obstruct at all costs and vilify/discredit. This has developed into a national dialogue of absolutes that become fodder for the violent and thoughtless. Out of this, we have an environment that more with or against, rather than a respectful disagreement of ideas. We have lost respect for our sitting president in this dialogue and in the behavior of our opposition and this make us look petty and mean in the eyes of the world. Unfortunately we add to this a media that loves to present the most extreme views, fanning the flames, and on top of that we add in latent racism that we must admit is still somewhat rampant in this country.

    Honestly, a statement of unwillingness to compromise under any circumstance and a statement of primary objective as defeat the incumbent rather than work for the country should be grounds for immediate discharge from ones government position. Those idea are incompatible with the government of this country.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  182. Tre'

    The country remains divided over the President because as a society we are at a crossroads. While, socially we continue to become more tolerant, understanding, accepting and seek to continue our creed of taking care of one another, fiscally we are currently unsure of how to do that. President Obama represents both our social progress and the fiscal realities of needing to see balance a budget, just like any ordinary family must do. Thats a thin line to walk. San Diego, CA

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  183. J. Truman, Toronto, Canada

    Jack,
    The media has everything to do with it. As recently as Bush's final years in office the news media still managed to eek out a respectful tone on both sides. That's gone now, all we hear about is how "Obama is destroying our country", "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Gay-lover", and "Obama wants you to get an abortion from a death panel" from most talking heads. Even your question, Jack, contributes to this reduction of the President from "Commander-in-Chief" to "Celebrity Trainwreck" a-la Lindsay Lohan, to be gawked at and analyzed without anybody actually seeing the motivation to simply make headlines at his expense.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  184. daveinla

    Because he is a socialist that has never worked a manual labor job in his life and all he wants to focus on are culture issues; gay couples, abortion rct.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  185. Frayie Otieno, Oklahoma City

    Jack why ask a quesion you will not air the true answer to? One look at the president tells you exactly why right-wing Republicans despise him. And don't even pretend that it has anything to do with his policies. Smh.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  186. michael

    people are polarized in regards to the president because, in a historical context, he's actually having a huge impact. lincoln was a polarizing figure in his day, too.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  187. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    The Republican dis-information machinery seems to be working well!!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  188. Karl in Flint, MI

    He's black, if you haven't noticed... next question.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  189. binders? maybe examine obamas WH and their treatment of women

    binder shminder..is that what you hang your hat on?

    how about the FACT that he actually avocated for more women in his cabinet and got it....far more than any other governor had...and how about the book telling of the inside the white house outlining how obama is actually the one with a gender inequality issue in the makeup of his admin and how theese few women are treated as outsiders to the boys club....

    welllllll?????? stop being such partisan idiots....

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  190. Joe - Denver

    Polarizing is not the correct word. Polarized fits better. He has been demonized by the Republican party and pundits since the day he took office, regardless of how hard he tried to compromise.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  191. BrainTurnedOff

    Blame it on G.W. Bush, the big divider. Obama's election in 2008 came from a desire to turn things around after the Bush years. However, the far right of the Republicans never got over the loss of the presidency and wanted Obama to fail no matter what he was doing even if it was good for America. Worse yet, having no good policy for their own, all they can do to blame Obama for whatever reason or excuse they come up with. The polarization is really a reflection of the shift in the Republican party.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  192. RAY

    Your conclusion is nonsensical and statistically incorrect. Yes the gap is wide but referencing it to another President is incorrect. Example if 100% of the democrats say W was dong a bad job and 20% of his own party was saying he did a bad job you would have an 80% difference. This does not mean that the individual is less polarizing than someone who has a 90% difference. It simple means that 20% of the republicans have some connection to the real world during W's time in office and only 8% have maintained in resemblance of reality in the Obama years. Once again, liars can figure and figures can lie. Do some real reporting rather than right a conclusion about numbers you know nothing about.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  193. JW

    C'mon Jack, what do you think! We Americans can be so gullible. Do you really believe that, (Obama)being the first Black president elected, and the nation ,all of a sudden, is more polarized than ever, is just a coincidence?? And Dubbya, was afforded get a 2nd term after his fracas? Get real people. America unfortunately is still living in the shadows of its past!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  194. Moogly

    Because Obama pushed his own agenda instead of the people's agenda. His ideals were the only ones that mattered, forgetting that America has many different mindsets and that you have to work together. He needs to learn how to compromise, and another 4 years won't teach him that lesson.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  195. jt

    let us not forget that racism is alive and well and living in the hearts of too many americans.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  196. Russell

    Because he's black, and republicans are'nt very friendly to them.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  197. Lisa s N.J

    When you bet your entire re-election strategy on dividing our citizens this is what your get. Class warfare, war on women, war on Big Bird, war over taxes,war over deficit and debt reduction. Hell he couldn't even support his own Debt Commissions findings. I so hoped for a leader who would bring America back to prosperity for someone that would inspire us to work together. And no Jack I am not leaving out our Congress they have done as much to divide us anyone. Sad state of affairs for The United States of America.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  198. DJESQ

    Basic concept for America ...
    .
    Founders' limited government with delineated powers ... v.s.
    FDR's 'government can do everything, and should' ...

    BIG difference = polarizing

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  199. Bob R., Maryland

    It is called predudice Jack. "The South Shall rise Again" is the phrsae I have heard all my life. The WASPs cannot stand that a black man is as god ot smart or smarter than them. Jesse Owens of 1939 Olympics fame found that out in the the year I was born and Jackie Robinson experienced that too.

    Just FYI, I personally am an age-73 white Anglo-Saxo Roman Catholic (WASC ot WASRC.) All my life to date, I have seen contempt of black people, Asian people, and all other non'WASPs from the WASPs. That crap must stop!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  200. joe smith

    because from the beginning, this fellow was in over his head..and nothings changed, except the water is getting higher..

    October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  201. bluedogboy

    Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?

    Answer: Because he is black and has a funny last name.

    That's the only answer to your question.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  202. Chris

    I believe the country is so divided because Americans have short memories and don't do their own research on the issues or the candidates. They watch commercials and feel they are informed!
    If you listen to a statement, lets say "we have a horrible economy" over and over and over you may start believing it. Even though your stocks are making money, the housing prices are on the up, permits for new construction are up and we are not losing jobs by the thousands every month as we were four years ago.

    And then we have people that are told they don't take personal responsibility for their lives but don't think the candidate was talking about them. If you have no chance of ever being able to pay your way into a room like that you ARE the people he was talking about. How blind can people be.

    UNREAL

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  203. Rick

    He's a fraud, a radical Left-wing, anti-capitalist, disrespectful (to our allies, and people, but not enemies) clown who had no experience or plan, other than tossing taxpayer money into ratholes. Aside from that, Jack...!!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  204. KC

    This is easy. Here came a good looking, charismatic, intelligent Democrat to clean up the epic failure of the Bush administration. That REALLY ticked off conservatives. They knew if they didn't demonize him and do all they could to make him a failure they would lose power for a loooooong time. They had no one who could compete, so they knew they had to bring him down. If he had clear success, the Republican Party would have been in big trouble.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  205. Ron, denver

    Only because of the Media Jack. You all devide the country well. Poor journalism at it's best

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  206. Paul Lee

    46% of the population didn't vote for him in 2008 and Obama certainly hasn't done anything to change their minds in his 1st 4 years. Couple that with the fact that a large number of people feel bamboozled by Obama's rhetoric in 2008 and they are angry and disappointed. This leaves only the true Kool-Aid drinkers remaining for Obama, hence the great divide.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  207. AJ Birmingham AL

    The fact that he is a black man running the country plays a big part in the division. Some media outlets stopped addressing him and the office with the respect that the office deserves due to his race. I know that people will say we are beyond that but that is just not the case

    October 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  208. Mary Clare Munger

    The world we live in is changing very fast. Many of us are fearful of losing the principles and values that seemed so true most of our lives but now seem like perhaps all we know is soon to be on "reset". If our leaders could show us a vision of what life could be like if we make progress on health care, education, peace, immigration, economics and poverty then we wouldn't be so determined to stick with past practices. However, the past practices we know may be more comforting than the courage and faith we need to try new methods and more promising but untried solutions. Fear is getting the best of us.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  209. Brenda Blodgett

    The difference today is we have media outlets that divide us. For years we all chose our candidate and even if our pick lost we supported the President. That time is over. With Fox News and Rush and all the dividers reinforcing their propaganda we no longer try to work together. And Jack, I totally disagree that the President caused this division. He has tried to unite our country but some people will never accept him because of his race.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  210. Mark (Ann Arbor)

    I'm solidly in the "disapprove" category and it is because, unlike Clinton, Obama is disinterested in working with the other side and is totally opposed to taking blame for anything. He was elected as the single least-qualified person ever to hold the office and has done nothing to show that he was prepared for it.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  211. Evan

    The answer is simple, Americans can't agree on the ideology of what goverments role should be during tough times like these. Most believe Obama has spent the last four years building a bigger government to correct the wrongs, while others believe in Romneys idea that less government is needed to correct the wrongs. You can't get anymore divided than those two ideas.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  212. Lindi Mack

    I believe the answer lies in the demographics of those who support and oppose him viewed through the prism of geography. Those states where Obama’s support is the highest have much higher per capita ratios of colleges and universities than those states that opposed him. Perhaps that explains it in a nutshell – it comes down to those who can think for themselves versus those who need to be told what to think and the divisiveness is really of function of which group is growing.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  213. m123

    Obama promised the world and has done nothing to help the common man
    More people in poverty under Obama
    Income is down for middle class families
    Violent crime up
    The buck stops with the president, too bad so sad
    Four more years of failure is not an option

    October 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  214. joe Jarvis

    Simple answer, republicans don't like socialists and we are tired of paying for his terrible policies and being force fed doo doo that we don't like like "Obama care"!!!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  215. Stephen in VA

    Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have been spouting untruths for so long that everybody has gotten numb to it. Now, if you're a Republican and you hear something bad about the President, you accept it into your world view, while if you're a Democrat and you hear something good about the President, it's the same thing. Nobody seems to care about facts any more.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  216. brian

    I think what you said at the end is exactly right. We are becoming more and more polarized, to the point where you can't agree with a single thing the other party wants to do, for fear of either being a"left wing liberal socialist" or a "right wing religious nut conservative".

    Our country needs at a minimum a three party system to really get true political discourse happening again, in order to generate true compromise. With only two parties it just all devolves into a fight for that one or two percent that puts you on top, without needing to compromise.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  217. Ryan Spector

    Jack there is only one silent reason for Republicans, race plain and simple
    Ryan – New Jersey

    October 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  218. Paul Lee

    When you have a President who does everything possible to pit American citizens against one another (racially, economically, politically...) why would you expect anything other than a huge divide?

    Chicago, IL

    October 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  219. HenryMiller

    Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?

    Because Obama represents the division in the country between the "takers" and the "makers," the welfare bums who think they're entitled to "free" everything, paid for by anyone other than themselves. The "takers" are scared of losing their free ride on the gravy train and are determined to keep it; the "makers" are tired of having advantage taken of them and furious at the "takers" and those that enable the takers–like Obama.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  220. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, you take the normal partisan politics and add to that the fact that the President is a black man and you have your answer. He could bring peace to the middle-east, pay down the deficit and actually have a surplus, find a cure for cancer and have Jesus Christ come back and publicly endorse him and he would still have a large group of people hate him, just for the color of his skin.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  221. Jim

    I hate to say it, but probably race has a lot to do with it.... I really feel for the man. I voted for him last election, and will again.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  222. Karen Sampson

    Plain and simple Jack, he is part African American. Most people are trying not to voice this fact but it is the FACT! I was told by a police officer in the state where I live, that he is not voting because Mitt is not it and he would NEVER vote for President Obama because he is a "N". Than questions are being asked "why he has not completed his agenda?" He told the world he was going to try and CHANGE Washington so when the Democrats had control when he was elected he made the grand gesture to try and work with the Republicans to get things done. Bad idea! He is not a perfect man but neither were the others that were in office before him. Lord help us if Mr. Mitt the flip flopper wins. Should this happen in six months or less, he will be getting the same criticism that President Obama is getting now. But the world will accept him and his family better because they look like what most Americans consider the great American Family to be.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  223. Steve Cataldi

    It's simple. He does not fit the presidential mold. He has a Muslim name, he's black and he plays basketball. Those on the right can't handle the fact that someone so different than they, i.e., old, white and angry, could ever become president.

    Sunset Beach, NC

    October 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  224. Jason from Laurel, MS

    I'm from Laurel, MS-I can tell you exactly why some people are so polarized about Obama here. In the deep south it's race, simple as that (I'm white BTW). Besides being a hugely republican state which surely accounts for some of his disapproval here, frankly he's also black. I've been told to my face: "We just need a white man in the White House." If the Republican party could produce an african american candidate I would be very interested to see how my state would vote. Odds are they may dig deep and vote for the guy just to prove to other people that they aren't racist after all. I know I don't speak for everyone in my state, but people that pretend that his race is not a factor are lying to themselves. Come down here, see what people say behind close doors (and not so closed doors) and it will become obvious why he is disliked so much. Keep in mind that racism isn't reserved just for the south, either. No matter what color unfortunately Hate is still being taught to our children.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  225. RTinKC

    The man who promised us "Hope and Change" is nothing more than another partisan Illinois Democrat. His idea of "reaching across the aisle" involves slapping the other party in the face.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  226. mjw

    It is without a doubt the colour of his skin. Any white person had accomplished as much as this President did, would be applauded, but the right wing could not possible concede that that he is doing a good job. His win in 2008 caught the GOP by surprise, they really never thought a black man could win. They are desparate now because they see the tides have turned for the white majority and they cannot do anyhting about it unless they change some of their social policies and broaden their tent. It will not be easy to see them go back on some of their words. It will be more than a flip-flop or etch -a-sketch. In the end truth will prevail.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  227. Fortune

    In all honesty its either because hes black or yea thats just it... i mean look at him no bad background he isnt gaffe prone hes never acted like he wasnt for the middle class he believes in education and other various moderately liberal social issues so if you put away your biased sun shades and look deeply into the president soul then youll probably not find a dime worth issue with him

    October 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  228. Tim

    Jack are you kidding me? The better question is how could a country which still has a dsyfunctional view of race elect him in the first place? The bottom line is still race. Its a huge factor in this election but it is not being discussed. Why don't you delve a little deeper in your next show?

    October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  229. Gary from Duluth, Ga.

    He caters to the something for nothing crowd. Most of us earn our money without relying on The President to give us things. Skin color is always the Liberal response when someone doesn't agree with them but has very little to do with why Obama is polarizing. On Democrats notice skin color.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  230. Greg in St. Paul, MN

    The USA was more united after 9/11 than at any time in history, with the possible exception of 12/7/41. Heck, the world was so united after 9/11 even the French were on our side when we went to Afghanistan. It took GW Bush little over a year to screw up all that goodwill and divide the country by going to Iraq in search of phantom WMDs.

    As for why the country is so divided over Obama now, there's no secret to that, Jack. Chalk it up to the Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast nutjobs on the far right all but wiping out any semblance of moderation in the GOP. To borrow a scene from Blazing Saddles... "I think the Tea Party said the President is...near"

    October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  231. Larry in Houston

    Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama ? Jack – I think it's Partly about his race. I'm a democrat, and I don't think he's doing a most spectacular job, but it beats the other person, who could turn back the page on Obama's accomplishments. It seems like every other country takes care of their people when they are sick and in distress, but the good 'ol U.S.of A. government ( for years ) had always had the "you're on your own" mentality. Of course, maybe it's all the republican noise on the street, I hear down here. Can't wait til Nov. 6th. I just hope the supreme court doesn't get involved with the election, like in 2000.
    May the Best Man Win – 2012

    October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  232. Jason

    Fairfax, Virginia

    This is not a complicated question. People are more divided over Obama than any other president, not because he's Obama, but because media is hyper-fragmented. Everyone gets their news from outlets that confirm their biases, and even when we see actual journalism (like when Candy simply confirmed a fact at the debate), you have right wing freakouts claiming bias of the other side. Neutrality is shunned as biased, because anything outside of one's current news narrative sounds biased. It wouldn't matter if Clinton or even Washington were president. Fox News/Limbaugh et al would skewer them too, and the country would be just as divided. It isn't Obama's fault the country is divided about him. It's the media (those on the right that promote the division, and those on the left that allow them to do so).

    October 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  233. Jim (Baltimore, MD)

    I think it's normal for many Americans to disagree with the policies of the current president. I am 59 years old, and I don't think I can recall hearing so many say that they don't trust this president.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  234. Derek

    Obama isn't the main reason why the country is politically polarized. It's the spin from Super-Pac's that gets broadcasted through media outlets. You think Obama hates republicans? Nonsense. It's the staunch opinions from people at the top of the mountain, shouting down with all their media power to bring in that dollar from all us sheeple.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  235. Aztec Phil

    Jack, you hit the nail on the head with the word "hyperpartisan". There are no shades of gray anymore with respect to politices or with respect to republican red or democrat blue for that matter. Everything is either black or white–as symbolized by the racial disparity of the candidates themselves.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  236. dburdick385

    Half the country has above average intelligence. Half the country has below average intelligence. There's one guy in Ohio who is exactly average and he's undecided. I'll let you decide which side is which.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  237. steve

    From day one, the GOP has been fighting tooth and nail against anything Obama wanted. Obama has been vilified and insulted across America, even on the floor of Congress. The GOP has worked up great fear in people against Obama. The GOP does not care about anything but getting rid of Obama. When your leadership (GOP) is so hateful, followers become hateful.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  238. ddaryl

    Because the tea party only votes for a far right wing agenda no matter how ridiculous their candidates are.

    I'm so turned off by far right wing politics I have swore to never vote for a Republican the rest of my days.. the far right wing has done the same. The line is drawn and that is not going to change for most of us.

    those who are undecided are fools.. This election is clear as day

    October 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  239. southernwonder

    it is because obama has never repudiated categorically and often enough in front of bubba that he is not a muslim nor an arab.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  240. Aaron Stange

    Woodbridge, NJ

    The problem with this president is he has done a poor job of representing the population as a whole. My wife and I are middle class Americans. I fall right in what I would call no-man’s land when it comes to the political parties of the last decade. I don't make so much money (>250k) that Obama attempts a Robin Hood with my income, but I don't make so little (<75k) that I benefit from any of his high-level fiscal policies. I don't need or want government hand-outs, I only want the freedom to succeed or fail in life on my own merits and I want the same for my children. Obama represents the poor of this country very well, neglects the middle class, and persecutes the rich. He's divided this country in a way I would have thought impossible after 9/11.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  241. streets950

    At first I thought it was because half the electorate didn't want an intelligent African-American man in the White House, then it dawned on me what they really didn't want was ANY intelligent man in the White House . . . .

    October 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  242. Hannah

    He's the first African American President and after almost four years in office, white people is still in shock.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  243. John

    The media, and the people themselves, are clearly to blame. With so many partisan media stations, and such ease of access, people can blind themselves to all other points of view. It is incredibly easy to find someone in a suit on a news station claiming to be unbiased, but who blatantly skews everything to fit a narrow viewpoint. This has lead to the majority of people no longer questioning their favored media.

    The blame cannot be placed just on the media though, because it is us, the people, who support these media outlets. We make the decision to listen to what we want to hear, rather than face the uneasy truths of the world. If everything Obama does is terrible, we don't have to think about how his healthcare system may have save the life of someone close to our hearts. If everything Obama does is flawless, we don't have to think about his handling of foreign policy and its possible repercussions.

    Both sides have decided it is easier to close their eyes to the muddled reality of life, rather than to face the challenges of running a country together.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  244. Michael McPeck

    It's a lot of things, but I think that racism plays a part. And don't forget what Mitch McConnell said: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” ~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010. I mean, the deck has been stacked against him every single step of the way.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  245. Michael

    Too much goverment spending – too little attention to jobs and the economy - too far to the left – too aloof etc. etc.etc.

    All of this will get the label of racism out there.......but so be it.

    That is the sadest point of all.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  246. DC Observerf

    He will not take responsibility. He talks but does not act. He promises but he does not follow through and deliver. He demonizes his opponents but cannot stand on his own record.

    He is very partisan – extremely so – sort of a Nancy pelosi and Harry Reid protege. This drives the nation crazy.

    Is it becasue he is black? NO, but he does tend to play the race card and this certianly plays into peoples' feelings.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  247. Jim

    Americans are more isolated than ever before. We surround ourselves with people who only agree with what we already think, we blast other people's opinions on the internet instead of having a fruitful discussion, and we're becoming less and less forgiving about differences of opinion. I think the root of the left-right divide in modern times was the Bush-Clinton election of '92. It became far more personal than people expected. I couldn't disagree with someone at work without taking it home with me, and with each election, it seems like that's becoming the way we feel about our politics.

    The hatred for Obama seems to stem from the left's hatred for Bush, which probably came a lot from the right's hatred for Clinton in the '90s, and maybe that came from the dirty politics of the '92 election, in which both parties fought a ugly game, but the Democrats won. If Romney is elected, how likely is it left-wingers will forgive the animosity against Obama and come out to shake hands?

    I am voting for Obama again because I think he has done a decent job–with bipartisan support he could have done much better, but those days seem to be gone for a while. The Democrats will likely freeze out Romney to the best of their abilities if he's elected. We can't let go of the sour grapes of the past and we can't stop thinking about the next four years. I don't believe in Republican policies, but it's clear the country is treading water when each side is pulling in separate directions.

    The responsibility is on voters like myself to live with compromises that make both sides happy, or equally unhappy. I'm a left-leaning liberal Democrat who isn't seeking socialism. I choose to believe most right-leaning Republicans don't want wars for oil. If we could accept each other as people willing to live in the center, maybe we can do more than we've done since 2000.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  248. Tom

    When nearly half the country opposes legislation such as Obamacare, the opposition will gravitate towards those that openly oppose it. The right has theirs too. Oddly, the founders realized this and constructed a constitutional amendment process that required a CLEAR majority of support before amendments could occur. Because that bar is so high, legislators circumvent the clear majority problem by warring over control of congress and the presidency. The result is continued polarization, and the solution is simple. The power to enact legislation that affects all 50 states should be approved by two thirds of those states. The Federal government was not designed to have the kind of power it has today. And if it continues to grow, it will self-destruct.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  249. Itsmeagain

    So, I did the negative polarization thing above. As for the positive, he is good and
    positive himself and this comes through. He has a natural leadership quality. People feel that he believes what he says and won't just say anything or do anything to win. In other words, they trust him!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  250. Osilama Abu from Ontario,Canada

    Hey Jack,

    Obama is not a polarizing president,it is those with innate hatred for the black race, who cannot find themselves cooperating with Obama for the good of the country-because that will make them look bad.These individuals could easily be found in the Republican party-Etch a SKETCH -Tea party.

    It is sad,but a reality that these Americans-like Rush Limbaugh,Glen Beck,Sean Hannity now represent the ugly spectacle of American politics and need to be stopped.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  251. James Reilly

    Fear, stupidity, and racism are the reasons. Racism is easy to see when the Right counts in its membership groups like the KKK, Arian Brotherhood, and all manner of supremicist groups. They want to see our first black president fail, no matter what good he's done (Bin Laden–dead, Iraq War–over, economy recovering–slowly, but surely). Fear among white voters as the nation turns more racially mixed, and financial insecurity due to an economy that is held back by the never ending flight of jobs to low wage countries (thanks to big corporations) are certainly playing a part. Lastly, stupidity is evident in poll after poll. The "birthers" who continue to cling to an idea that has been clearly debunked, climate change deniers, Americans who think we're "exceptional" (have you walked through a Walmart lately?), and simple ignorance of recent history like those who believe Obama passed the bank bailouts (happened before the election in 2008). Top all this with a lack of critical thinking skills and it all adds up to a toxic environment for honest, civil political discussion and compromise.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  252. K in LA

    Those benefiting love him and those paying the bill during hard times do not. Sort of why 65-68 year old to retire Germans balk at bailing out 48-50 year old retiring Greeks. Equal benefits without equal invested effort.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  253. Gerry Iowa

    Jack, the answer is simple. Senior citizens, in their day, were raised to think black people were not bright, and certainly not smart enough to be president. As Pat Boone said," After the Obamas leave the White House we will have to fumigate it", And Boone is pitching walk in showers for senior citizens. Yes, sadly the answer to your question is he is black. .

    October 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  254. DC Observerf

    If you critize Obama, you are a racist. This polarizes many. It is not helpful. It is divisive. And Obama is a very divisive person – he thrives on pitting classes against one another – racial warfare – economic warfare – sex warfare - and as he does this, he tends to lecture his opponents - that doesn't sit well with most folks...

    October 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  255. Gurgyl

    It is a shame on the part of every one. What color in 21st century. Most of the people do not care. Nation needs education–not wars and cricked thinkers like GOP idiots. What did rethuglicans do for forty years??? Nothing. Iraq war, Vietnam war, world war, Korea war all USA lost. Shame. I still think this president is doing the BEST for this nation.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  256. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    I've worked in a factory owned by a huge consumer products production and marketing company for years. No matter how much education the company provides, the factory hand mentality pervades nearly every moment of conversation. "Us vs. Them". The company sends e-mails and snail mails to scare workers into backing the GOP and the workers tend to look at it as black vs. white. Despite the company's opening and operating numerous plants in Mexico and China, many of my coworkers act like if they vote for a Democrat, the company will make sure it outsources their job to China. Corporate pressure combined with ignorance and prejudice equals uninformed votes.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  257. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama being the first Black President is still shocking to all Americans.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  258. nu2okc

    He has not done what he said he would do on at least 5 counts of action. He tried to scrub his past and hide it from the US Public. His friends are or should be on the terror watch list. His mentors are of socialist mentality which to would like to convert the US to. He has never convinced me of his change in faith from being Muslim. Why go on from here there are many more reasons not to trust this man. I will say this though, when he stood on the debate last night and answered about the attack in Libyia even though WELL Rehearsed, I like it. but it did not win my vote for him.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  259. Jay Miller

    Jonesboro, AR

    I think that if you look at where the largest concentrations of Obama supporters are located geographically you'll notice a stark contrast of ways of life. He certainly has the support of the heavily populated urban areas (the anomaly being New Mexico) with the least amount of support being the more rural areas. I think the basic difference is that in the urban areas people have a better sense of collectivism whereas rural areas have more of a sense of do-it-yourself with expectations of support coming from the community at the local level. At least in my area a lot of people view Obama as a president looking to socialize America and put people on the path to government dependence. There's not that sense of cultural homogeneous that you see in places like New York or Los Angeles. The red states are more traditional in terms of culture and as such cultural shifts take place at a much slower pace. In short, too much trying to be pushed too fast and either the results fall short or remain to be seen. Romney on the other hand has some grandiose promises and a better track record since he has managed to govern Massachusetts quite well. However I for one do not trust Romney on foreign policy and social issue decisions. So it's a toss up between good foreign policy, advancement in social issues or a practical plan to fix the economy. Obama's plan may be the correct path but it's just moving at a snail's pace. Granted he did inherit a mess but he's fallen short in terms of explaining exactly why we are where we're at instead of the numbers he promised. Both candidates have some strong suites so it's a tug in both directions.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  260. ChuckB

    Jack, it isn't the economy, socialism, health care, or any other political issue. There is really no need to talk about the elephant in the room as its presence is obvious given the widespread recognition that the hatred for Obama exceeds what is normal for an opposing politician. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  261. beevee

    It is not that president Obama is a polarizing figure. it is the white american men who cannot concede leadership to a smart, and intelligent person of a different color just because he is not white even when everyone else including white women accept and respect it. You look at the statistics on this issue. Jealousy may be a factor.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  262. Singh

    Basically America is still full of racist folks who only want a White male, Protestant or Catholic person to occupy White House. If not available, then a Mormon or other religion is OK if the person again is a White male. The country is not ready to accept a woman of any color, a non-christian person. It may take another 50 or hundred years before that will change. I have personally felt this sting of racially motivated comments when trying to obtain a home mortgage in 1980 in Central Texas.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  263. John in Kansas City

    Jack–anyone that claims the divide over President Obama is due to race, I believe, is not giving any credit to the American people. At the end of the day it is not race or age or style that has substantive impacts on peoples' lives. When people step into the voting booth they're going to be asking questions like "Is my future brighter?", "Am I doing well financially?" "Do I have security?" That's what's going to decide this election.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  264. PoleCat

    Let's be frank. If you are indeed a racist, what would enrage you more than having a black man as president ?

    October 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  265. Scott

    First, let me say that I believe there should be a requirement prior to becoming president – either be a former Governor or have run a multi-billion dollar company. The idea of a legislator being able to run a government is putting the wrong person behind the wheel – no matter the party.

    Second – polarizing because of his overarching idea of Government being the creator of jobs and wealth. The government is necessary, but the goals from this administration are simply not attainable by the methods he has chosen. The government needs to be at a 30,000 ft level of administration, but is too often on the ground attempting to dictate who, where, what and how. This is the fundamental difference between Dem and Rep – in my opinion. Spring Hill, TN.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  266. Jason Beckstead

    Two reasons. One...we have two sides. The republican party and the democrat party who are now moving farther and farther away from one another. More so then in any time in history. Its making this the Us Vs. Them society causing sentiments of anger and resentment towards opposing sides of the political spectrum. The left is seen as super elite liberals...the right, tea party conservatives. And the worst word to ever use is moderate. Yet if you look at when washington really works its when both sides compromise...which also seams to be an outdated idea in DC. Two...during a bad economy everyone wants to point blame at the other side and chant that THEY have the right idea on how to get us back on track. That only THEIR ideas are valid...right or just. I think its very sad that we cant all remember we are all americans first...party second.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  267. Middle Class and falling Patsy

    I think Democrats are scared of Romney, they are afraid they may have to give up something to pay down the debt. We all will have to give up something if things don't change pretty quick. Everything Obama has done has failed. I'm ready for a new plan and a new President and I am not afraid to let him try. New Bern, NC

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  268. notasdumasu

    We are so divided on Obama not because of his race, like the idiot socialists would like us to believe, but because his policies are so far out there. Despite the majority of the nation not wanting the ACA passed, it was forced down our throats. Despite Obama's pledge to cut the deficit in half and calling Pres. Bush unpatriotic for spending so much, Obama added nearly 6 trillion in debt. Despite promising to bring both sides together, Obama himself and his policies have divided us. It has nothing to do with race..give me a break. What a cop out.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  269. GJM, Portland OR

    Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Honey Boo Boo.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  270. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    It is a natural human trend to reject or atleast dislike someone who attempts to bring change in our lives. This is true even when the change is aimed at making our lives better. Obama is been courageous with his policies and making some of them laws. His policies such as Obamacare and tax policies are going to bring change which America had not witnessed before.He went against Pakistan courageously, something no other president has even done. It would take years for us realize and appreciate some of the policies that Obama has implemented so far.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  271. Wanda

    Obama has been a horrible president, in my opinion he has spent way too much of my tax dollars – he's spent more than the Government took in. As a family, we would be broke pretty quickly if we spent that way. Oh, wait, that is what started the "Great Recession", maybe Obama just didn't learn that basic lesson of Econ 101. That makes him unsuitable for leadership, along with his dismal and disappointing foreign policy blunders and obfuscations. Now a liberal/left-winger/journalist will call me a racist even tho I'm not. It's so (boringly) predictable.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  272. Jersey Girl

    Sorry, have to agree with R. Weiss, it's because the President is black, plain & simple!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  273. Gford

    Whats sad is no the blannant racist in this country. Whats truley said are the other who just accpect it as the way things are.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  274. Dennis

    Same reason Bill Clinton never got a majority vote. Why people hated the Bush's, Carter, Reagan, Nixon, people have strong opinons. The country would still be divided if McCain had won, if Hillary had won. We are American's it is our way of revolting. Thank goodness is isn't like many parts of the world where they just go and murder those that oppose them, Here they just try to assassinate each others reputations.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  275. advocatusdiaboli

    Race but no why you think. Many people wanted a black president to over come racism. But, now that they have one, rather than treating him like any other president, they want him unassailable like some kind of king—dare to criticize him and you'll be accused of racism. Just like a king who allows no dissent. Why do we have to give up our right to dissent and debate once we have a black president. I don't oppose his race, I oppose hi liberal socialist many-state policies. Same as I do for Gore, Clinton, and most other democrats. It has nothing to do with race and never will. Colin Powell is a republican and I'd like to see him in the WH rather than Obama.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  276. don from AL

    President Obama is a lawyer and advocate. He offers FAIRNESS to groups who feel the system has treated them unfairly. Democrats have always promised this but he has been actually trying to do it.
    Governor Romney is a wealthy Republican businessman who assures the wealthy businessman that he will improve shareholder value and will allow the wealthy to keep more of their money. He has little interest in social issues or the
    grubby hands that grasp them.
    President Obama is loathed by Republlcans because he actually tried to follow through with his
    "what's better for more people".
    Karl Rove has used those passionate about social issues and race for their votes. But they will be cast aside.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  277. Dave

    Because he campaigns one way, but governs in the opposite direction.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  278. Josh

    Obama has championed some very controversial issues over the years. Whether they were handled the best is up for debate, but I think the very drastic approaches to policy have been made between the parties and candidates. We are now a society of 'right now' and we want results NOW! Actually we wanted them yesterday and the day before like they were promised. Obama in 2008 was amazing. He really captured the nation and swayed many undecideds and republicans. After 4 years, we hear the same themes, and wonder why we arent further along.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  279. al london

    When he was elected I hoped he would be a centrist not a borderline socialist. I also hoped he would work on the economy instead I feel he has made every decision, program and proposal in furtherance of his re-election and pandering to his liberal base. Although the liberals feel he did not go far enough to the left. It appears to me that he has been our Campaigner-In Chief not the Commander-In-Chief.
    Race is not an issue to most whites but it is to most blacks. He was elected by a huge number of whites. There were never enough blacks to put him into the White House. Now that some whites are disappointed in his job performance, many Blacks yell "racism". You can't have it both ways. Did white voters who voted for him 4 years ago suddenly become racist? Come-on, the guy failed and a new guy should take over.
    His recent behavior regarding the terrorists vs. demonstrators was the shameful act of a cover-up by a man who should act more like a leader instead of just a fellow who wants more than anything to be re-elected.
    The country is divided between his supporters and apologists and the other half of us who think we need a more capable and dependable guy.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  280. JayVMN

    That's the problem. The Democrats will vote for him no matter what because he's a Democrat.
    The Republican's will vote for Mitt because he's Republican. It's about a 50-50 deal (Mitt's probably right at 47%).
    We have to forget about that and say Mr Obama you're fired! Not because you didn't fix all the problems, maybe no one could. But you didn't even work on most of them. You're fired because you did a bad job. And it Mitt get's in and in 4 years doesn't do what he say's...he's fired to. CONGRESS IS THE WORST. Every Democrat in the Senate should be fired for no budget. In the private sector can we NOT DO our jobs for 3 years and keep them?

    October 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  281. CTX

    If it weren't for his absurd domestic and international policies (or maybe agenda would be a better word) Obama would be A-OK.

    I guess most people love Obama because of the new medical insurance tax due to kick into effect in 2014. If you don't currently have medical insurance you'll love it. And if you don't think this is a low-middle end tax increase all you have to ask yourself is how many rich folk don't have medical insurance – hint – not many. Enjoy especially since a crummy policy today will exceed $8,000/year for a couple.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  282. Dave

    Funny how people believe we want to get rid of Obama because of race. How do you explain that our country voted for him in 2008? Fact is, Obama made promises he did not keep.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  283. Coming in sense

    Because the middle ground in this country, is not respected anymore.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  284. Bobby Baker

    It's easy, Jack.

    In 2000 Democrats saw what they believed to be the theft of the presidency by Republican partisans in Florida, with aiding and abetting by the conservative justices on the Supreme Court. They were livid and felt President Bush's presidency was "illegitimate." Democrats then witnessed the Clinton-era surplus and vibrant economy squandered by two wars, further deregulation of Wall Street and huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. They felt their guys (Vice President Gore and, subsequently Senator Kerry) would have done better than President Bush did. The US ecomomy went from healthy to a near-depression in eight years.

    So, when 2008 comes around, the Republicans, still stinging from guilt for allowing the Bush debacle, and tired of eight years of anti-Bush illegitimacy complaints, begin their attacks against the new president, Barack Obama. It's payback to them.

    EIther that, or they simply can't stand that our president is an African-American Muslim socialist who was born in Kenya.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  285. Jim Charlotte NC

    I don't know Jack. Why don't you tell us why you dislike him so much.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  286. AB

    Throughout history, many great political leaders have been polarizing. Some people like them while others hate them. The same phenomenon was true in the cases of Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Clinton and is now true in the case of President Obama. The US Presidency is a very polarizing political position. Great leaders have been controversial and have done and said things that divided public opinion. However great leaders have always done what was in the best interest of the nation and Obama is no exception.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  287. Larry in Houston

    Romney will be a one termer, once we get to around 18 Trillion in debt. Then it's bye – bye for the GOP , from there on.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  288. JayVMN

    The racist stuff is crap.
    If white people did not vote for him he would not have been elected.
    He failed because he had no experience... at anything. Not because he's black. Not because of Bush.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  289. Abdur Azad, NY

    Because, four more years of Obama means more tax for Kotch-Adelson-Trump & co, beginning of a pro-people suprme court, beginning of the end of exploitation by Romney like mult-millioners and tax-dodgrs and vulture capitalists.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  290. Zul

    1. News media is busy trying to show opinions from different view points but does not state if whether such opinions are based on truth. News should lay down the facts.
    2. With the news media taking sides, people only watch news that reaffirm their own beliefs.
    3. A "person" may be smart and understand the nuances of politics and the world generally, but the "people" are stupid. I just have to hear the comments made by CNN undecided voter focus groups to prove that.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  291. Mark - Austin, TX

    Why? Because in the quest to fill air time in the reality TV, 24/7 news cycle there seems to be a need to declare a winner and loser of every comment, sound bite, or presented issue as if it is a referendum on their campaign, administration, organization, or product. Someone is made out to be a hero or an idiot, a demon or a demigod, for each belief stated, every action taken. Again, why? Because it brings the eyeballs to the advertisers and because peace and cooperation are not generally as profitable as chaos and discord. Follow the money trail.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  292. Larry Noble Stinson

    Obama has consistently put groups of citizens against each other; he has conistently been untruthful about his polices and his intentions; he is woefully arrogant; he actually perceives that the majority of citizens are ignorant and cannot think for themselves. He has crossed both legal and moral lines and have not been brought to task of about this; his rhetoric is so revealing yet many citizens approach it from an emotional level and avoid being analytical about it; he shows a propencity to not really like people but pretend in order to get favor and votes. He, moreover, is a con man and to some of us, not a very impressive one because to us he is so transparent.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  293. JoeJoeinAZ

    Largely in part to the media, we have become a culture of polarized individuals. This is visible in how we shop, communicate, form opinions, and of course in how we vote as well. To understand this we need look no further than some of the daily decisions we make as American consumers. Are you an Apple iPhone customer, or a Samsung Android customer. There is no room in the middle, if you love your iPhone, by extension you dislike the Android phone. Did you choose Verizon? If so, you are against Sprint. Do you drive a big truck, a Ford perhaps? If so, you probably roll your eyes at hybrids and think Chevy is a pile of junk. This trend of polarization might be better called brand loyalty. Unfortunately voters today are brand loyal to a fault in that they eagerly buy the product because of the brand. A staunch Republican is more unlikely today to vote for a Democrat, regardless of the individual, because of this blinding brand loyalty they have created within themselves. Why are we so polarized? Because brand loyalty has created this division in every aspect of our lives, and politics amplifies it in all of us.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  294. CT

    I'm not sure if you've noticed, Jack, but Barack Obama is black. That alone is reason for a large number of conservatives to oppose him. We could have 0% unemployment and gas at 52 cents per gallon and you'd still have an 80-point approval gap. It's racism, plain and simple.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  295. jim

    People are sick of being told since they did not vote for Obama or do not support him, they are racists. Color is not relevant but his arrogant attitude and lousy views are! At the end of the day people are tired of the games no matter the party. By the way, people are tired of the media who spin everthing.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  296. Da Realist 1

    !1st of all President Obama is black! I however am not, but I see the hatred and disrespect that this man has to endure from the other party. It is quite disturbing how people are so quick to stand up and disrespect the man holding possibly the highest position on the planet. No other has had to deal with this, and this is just from the color of his skin. His policies may be somewhat controversial, but the fact that he had to push things through without any help from the other side is ludacris. The Republican party has said that the want to stop this man from doing anything that would help him win another election. Which inherently means that they will throw the country under the bus to stop this ONE man! We all know that there is something wrong with this situation and as the leader of our country he has made leaps and bounds to try to work with both sides of the aisle and now is chastised by both for it. If he doesn't push obamacare through then we would just be hearing that he did nothing in office and he was a waste of time. Since he did push it through, now its he did this without the republicans so he is a complete leftist and doesn't care what happens as long as he wins. That belief in itself is exactly what the republican party has been doing the entire time. So there really is no winning for this man unless by chance he gets re-elected and his policies get to play out and fix our already IMPROVING not DECLINING economy. Give this man another four! If you don't the economy will be on the floor, under republican rule once more....

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  297. Chris, NY

    Not sure Jack,

    But this president has my vote!!!! We ARE better mathematically than we were 4 years ago. Yes we don't all "feel" better. But i would guess 4 yrs. after the on set of the Great Depression, Americans did'nt exact;y, "feel" better. The stock market numbers, & the unemployment numbers, don't lie. Things are beginning to get better. Men lie, women lie, numbers don't.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  298. Chris from Iowa

    He is trying to get us to the 21st century as we hold tight to the past century. It has nothing to do with his race but more to do with his vision. Until the last dinosaur leaves the "house" there will always be distrust of anything "new", that is why there are so many people out there who are content with Romney because he is old school, "the rich shall inherit the world." Obama takes care of the people and Romney takes care of the big business who have the money to spread the hate!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  299. PeterTO

    Sadly, the answer is simple: the incessant misinformation from certain "news" media, and the incessant attempts to demonize him instead of working with him in order to make political gains instead of actually running the country.

    Some people will claim that the reasons are racial, but I think race–along with his unusual name and family story–are not the reason. They simply make the false stories about Obama easier to believe.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  300. RapidOne

    1) Because of Racism
    2) Because Republicans have seized, spread and promoted HATRED

    October 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  301. Rich vs. US

    This is NOT about race or politics. It is about a huge and growing divide between the rich and the rest. Rich won't give a dime or damn about US, and we need to take the country from them before we become total slaves of their greed.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  302. JackieKG

    That’s an easy question – It’s Obama’s mantra about Americans who don’t pay their “fair share” that is fueling misconceptions and pitting people against each another. No matter your gender, your race or your age– or whether you work a double shift at McDonalds or spend 12 hour days leading a corporation with the responsibility for the well-being of dozens or hundreds of workers on your back–everyone has varying amounts of responsibility for making this country great, and everyone is important and deserves respect for their efforts and accomplishments. But a lot of us are just getting a kick in the teeth by this president.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  303. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    Real simple. THE INTERNET and 24 hour news cycle allows people of like minds to exacerbate their ignorance of other ideologies.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  304. Alex

    The truth is.... The country has been extremely polarized ever since the Clinton impeachment. Conservatives HATED Clinton and wanted him out of office, Liberals and moderates liked him because the economy was great. Now Conservatives and most moderates don't like Obama because of his POLICIES have made the economy worse, but for some reason, die-hard liberals still love him. Sorry folks, but it has NOTHING to do with race.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  305. Sara from New Jersey

    Republican leadership set the agenda the moment President Obama got elected – priority number 1 was defeat the President and make him a one term President. They opposed everything he did – even if some of it was based on Republican plans previously set forth (Like Romney's health care plan In MA). They are to blame for the partisanship.

    Oh – and some in the Republican party – (down south) are just blatently racist!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  306. Thomas

    Last I checked Mitch McConell stated his job was get Obama out of office. We've seen democrats compromise, republicans seemingly compromise only to remove their support at the last minute.

    Every single congressional bill I've read has been amended to remove Obamacare. Why should Americans need to choose between health and employment?

    October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  307. Ken Wayne

    Simple:
    Obama is a socialist
    and
    Romney is a capitalist

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  308. Gail

    Obama is so polarizing because he's specifically pitted various groups against each other in an attempt to win the votes of one or the other!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  309. mjw

    Does anyone remember when Jackie Robinson started playing for th Yankees? The same thing here. I think the change is happening and they are scared. No one believed a black man would be president in this generation...judge by some of the un-necessary, negative comments here. If they think Barack is unintelligent what did they think of GWB?

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  310. Donald

    Two words: Skin Color!!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  311. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Q: "Why is the country so sharply divided when it comes to President Obama?"

    Jack, we ellected a black person to be our president 4 years ago, proof that our country is NOT as divided as some think.

    Perhaps the appearane of a divided country stems from a media who, instead of reporting the facts, are more concerned about advancing their own, self-serving agenda.

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  312. Morgan Jasper, IN

    The nation is so sharply divided on so many topics because we live in an era of personalized news. People end up reading what they wanted to hear in the first place. Few people seek out news from "the other side."

    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |