Is the nation more divided? A new polarization metric.

I analyzed over 12000+ job approval polls split between adult democrats and adult republicans to extrapolate how ‘polarized’ the US became over time.

I propose a simple ‘dis-unity’ ratio that is the job approval percentage by the party in charge over the job approval percentage by the opposing party. The lower the number, the more united each party members are in their view of the president, while the higher the number, the more dis-united the party members are in their view of the current president.

Here is the result from Obama’s 2 terms and Trump’s 1st up to February:

Some key findings:

  • Obama started with a more united America in his first term than Trump’s first term or Obama’s second term.
  • During Obama’s first term, the country became more divided
  • During Obama’s second term, the country became more united

Caveat: This ratio does not allude whether the current president is generally liked or disliked at any time, it only alludes the disparity between both party member’s perception of the current president, and thus gives an insight into the polarization of the nation during a presidency.

I am awaiting data from other presidencies to see if there is a general trend between presidents or over time. I will also add major events in the timeline that might account for some spikes.

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