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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Four Weeks Out, the Base Stands Firm

As we enter the stretch run of this midterm cycle, the latest crosstabs from Gallup´s tracking poll show once again that while turnout among self-identified Democrats may be a problem, support for the president and his policies really isn´t.
For the week ending on October 3, the President´s job approval rating among Democrats is 81%; among liberal Democrats 84% (moderate Democrats are at 79%); among African-Americans it´s at 90%; and among Hispanics 61%. Perhaps it´s random noise unrelated to the emergence of Social Security as an issue in many Democratic campaigns, but the president´s job approval ratings among voters over 65 has suddenly jumped to 45%, the highest level since early June.
To compare Obama to the last two Democratic presidents in terms of base sentiment, at this point in his presidency Bill Clinton´s job approval rating among Democrats was at 69%, Jimmy Carter´s was at 60%.
Disaffection in the Democratic base is not Barack Óbama´s or the Democratic Party´s principal handicap.

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