In writing about our Jesse Helms/Jim Hunt poll on Friday I noted that the results weren't quite as polarized on party lines as you might have expected, with 16% of Democrats saying they had a more favorable opinion of Helms and 16% of Republicans expressing the same about Hunt.
There was a greater divide between admirers of Hunt and Helms, however, when it came down to whether respondents approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President or not. Among those who like his performance so far, 70% said they had a higher opinion of Hunt and only 9% picked Helms. Among the voters who disapprove of what the President has done in his first month, 72% are more favorable toward Helms and just 11% say Hunt.
Put another way, the Democrats who like Jesse are the same ones who don't like (and probably didn't vote for) Obama. Not a big surprise, but it's interesting to see that the polarization is greater along Obama lines than it is along party lines.