- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scores of fictional TV presidents, including the murderous Frank Underwood from the Netflix hit political drama “House of Cards,” have polled more favorably than President Obama, a new Reuters-Ipsos survey has revealed.

The poll taken March 5 to 19 found that 54 percent of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Obama, while 46 percent were favorable.

Kevin Spacey’s Underwood character, by contrast, was favored by 57 percent of respondents who have seen the show. And Martin Sheen’s Jed Bartlet of “The West Wing” was rated favorably by 82 percent of its NBC viewers, the report said.

While Mr. Bartlet is portrayed as a wise and heroic president and the show’s moral center, Mr. Underwood decidedly is not, and yet is still more popular than Mr. Obama.

Mr. Spacey plays his chief executive as a power-hungry tyrant who bullies members of his cabinet, foreign dignitaries, and even his wife. He at one point declared the unemployment in D.C. constituted a “state of emergency” and thereby used FEMA money to set up a jobs program, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster.

The comparison of Mr. Obama’s numbers with those of other fictional presidents also was inauspicious.

Asked to imagine that David Palmer, played by Dennis Haysbert, of “24” was president, 89 percent of those who had seen the Fox drama were favorable, Reuters reported.

Of those who watch ABC’s “Scandal,” 60 percent had a favorable view of the philandering Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn, Reuters reported.

On the upside, Mr. Obama did rate higher with Americans than the real-life Russian President Vladimir Putin, who scored favorably with only 24 percent of respondents.

• Kellan Howell contributed to this report.

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