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Party polarization hits new high in Trump's third year: poll

Party polarization hits new high in Trump's third year: poll
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President Trump's approval rating is more polarized than ever before as his third year in office ends, according to a new poll. 

On average, 89 percent of Republicans approved of Trump versus just 7 percent of Democrats during the third year of his presidency, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday. 

The 82-point split is the highest it has ever recorded, beating the 79-point gap marked by Trump’s second year in office, according to Gallup. 

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The all-time high in party polarization comes after the end of a tumultuous year that was marked by the ongoing impeachment process. The House held public hearings in the last few months of 2019, leading up to the vote to impeach Trump, largely approved along party lines, just before the end of the year. 

The process is now moving forward in the Senate, where a trial will begin this week. 

Trump’s approval, however, has been split along party lines long before the impeachment inquiry began. His first year in office also ranked among the top 10 most polarized years in office, according to Gallup. 

During Trump’s first year in office, there was a 75-point gap between approval from Republicans, averaging 83 percent, and Democrats, at 8 percent, the survey giant noted. 

By comparison, former President Obama’s eighth year in office was marked by a 77-point gap, Obama’s fourth year had a 76-point gap, and pollsters found a 76-point gap during former President George W. Bush’s fourth year.

The more recent years under the Trump administration are also notable because of the lower approval ratings from members of the opposition party.   

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Trump’s approval ratings among Democrats have averaged in the single digits for each of his three years in office, according to Gallup. Obama averaged 13 percent approval among Republicans as president, and Bush averaged 23 percent approval among Democrats. 

The 10 most polarized years have all occurred in the past 16 years, based on Gallup’s data. 

Gallup’s data is based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 14, 2019 to Jan. 16, 2020. It included a random sample of 4,560 adults in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. There is a margin of error of 2 percentage points.