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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

About That Drop in Liberal Support for Obama

Back in early December, when all the talk was about progressive unhappiness with the president’s decision to cut a deal with John Boehner on the extension of Bush tax cuts, Gallup seemed to offer some empirical evidence that Obama was paying a price with self-identified liberals’ support:

Liberal Democrats remain strong supporters of President Obama, but their approval of the job he is doing has fallen noticeably since the midterm elections. For the first time, it dropped below 80% in the week after the announcement of the tax deal he brokered with congressional Republicans.

Well, whatever was going on then seems to have been an outlier or just a momentary blip. In the last Gallup presidential job approval tracking poll (January 3-9), liberal Democratic job approval ratings for Obama were back up to 87%. And in case you think that poll picked up some sort of backlash to the Tucson tragedy, Obama’s job approval rating among liberal Democrats was even higher, at 91%, the week of December 20-26. Among self-identified liberals in general, the relevant support is at 76%, as compared to 69% in December 6-12. How about African-Americans? 93% now, as compared to 84% in December 6-12.
If there was ever some sort of trend indicating that disgruntlement with Obama was spreading from progressive elites to the rank-and-file “base,” it’s gone away, which should cool the jets of those folk who so recently were calling for a left-bent primary challenge to the president in 2012.

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