Fictional presidents such as Frank Underwood from the Netflix original series House of Cards are apparently more popular than Barack Obama.
That was the conclusion of a new online poll from Reuters-Ipsos, which revealed that the real-life incumbent U.S. president had a 54 percent unfavorable rating among Americans.
Fake TV presidents fared a lot better in the survey taken during the March 5 to 19 timeframe. For example, President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert, also the Allstate commercial guy) of 24 topped the list with an 89 percent positive rating, while Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) of The West Wing received an 82 percent approval rating. Others clocking in with high marks included President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica, played by Mary McDonnell, and Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) of Scandal.
“And while Underwood, the executive mansion resident on Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ played by Kevin Spacey, is known for his devious schemes and murderous tendencies, he still garnered a higher approval rating than the real-life president, with 57 percent of respondents who have seen the show saying they have a favorable opinion of him,” The Hill reported.
Spacey received a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in the role of Underwood, a South Carolina Congressman who lethally manipulated his way into the White House in Season 2 of House of Cards.
“Obama himself has expressed admiration for the savage politico from the Beltway drama, saying in 2013 that he wished Washington was as ‘ruthlessly efficient’ as it is in the Netflix series,” Business Insider noted.
Parenthetically, many viewers were disappointed with Season 3 of House of Cards, in that series seemed to have lost much of its previous edge.
The survey results may be best understood because “[f]antasy figures can draw support from across the ideological spectrum; real presidents can’t,” according to USA Today.
Along those lines, late last year, a Military Times poll suggested that President Obama’s approval rating has “tanked” with active duty troops, falling to a low of 15 percent. His approval rating with the general public has in general trended downward too, which partially explains why the Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate and increased their hold on the U.S. House in the 2014 November midterm elections.
In this new poll, Obama is, however, more popular than Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was disapproved by 66 percent of survey respondents
Assuming the poll results are valid, are you surprised that make-believe U.S. presidents are more popular than Obama?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment]