How much do Republicans hate Obama? A large plurality of them oppose him on turkey pardons

When pollsters say that Obama’s a polarizing figure, they really aren’t kidding.

Public Policy Polling released a poll this morning showing, among other things, that by a 35/22 margin Americans approve of President Obama’s decision to pardon two turkeys last Thanksgiving, as opposed to the customary one. However, the polling firm found a sharp partisan divide on the question, with 38 percent of Republicans opposing the move to only 11 percent in favor. Democrats and independents both favored the move, by 59/11 and 28/21 margins, respectively.

To be clear, this poll question isn’t measuring how people feel about the relative merits of pardoning two turkeys as opposed to one. It’s measuring just how much President Obama’s name affects people’s likelihood to support [generic and totally not political thing]. Much in the same way that members of the out party will criticize the president’s book choices, vacations and golf games only to shrug their shoulders when their party takes control of the White House, it’s hard to imagine that Republicans would oppose pardoning two turkeys by anywhere near a 27 point margin if, say, Mitt Romney were president.

In other words, there really is no limit to what Republicans will oppose so long as it has Obama’s name attached to it:

The poll also found that, by an overwhelming margin, Donald Trump is the presidential candidate voters feel would be most likely to ruin Thanksgiving dinner:

Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey via Shutterstock

46% say they think Trump would be the candidate most likely to ruin Thanksgiving, as much as all the rest of the candidates combined. Hillary Clinton at 22%, Bernie Sanders at 7%, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson at 6%, Ted Cruz at 4%, and Marco Rubio at 1% round out the standings on who people think would be most likely to wreck the holiday.

Many of these poll questions were conducting in some measure of good fun, but like the off-beat questions they include in many of their other polls, they’re still telling. Last week, one of their surveys showed that 69 percent of Republican voters agreed with the statement that President Obama has waged a war on Christianity, and that only 49 percent of Republicans agree that Islam should even be legal in the United States.

If you want to know why Donald Trump can get away with saying that we should close mosques and deport Syrian refugees who are already here — to say nothing of entertaining the idea of Nuremberg-style tracking of Muslims legally residing in the United States — there’s your answer.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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