Voters Have Obama’s Number, Sort Of

Today, Scott Rasmussen sampled voter opinion on Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s political leanings. The results suggest that voters are not as out of touch as one might think:

Most voters have little doubt that President Obama and Vice President Biden are liberals.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of Likely U.S. Voters consider the president at least somewhat liberal in political terms, the highest since the beginning of the year. This includes 44% who believe he is Very Liberal. Twenty-one percent (21%) feel the president is politically moderate. Just five percent (5%) consider Obama conservative, with two percent (2%) who say he is Very Conservative.

So 44% think Obama is “very liberal,” while 26% say he is “somewhat liberal.” Only 21% call him a moderate, and the remaining flakes are commies, not worth talking about. Basically, likely voters peg Obama as a liberal rather than a moderate by a 3 1/2 to 1 margin.

This finding is reassuring, to the extent that it suggests most people have a reasonably accurate, big-picture perception of Obama’s politics. Historically, American voters have not had a favorable opinion of politicians they see as liberal. Just ask George McGovern, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. This tendency is reflected in Rasmussen’s current approval/disapproval ratings of President Obama, running at 46%/52%. Still, Obama runs well ahead of the popularity of liberalism with voters. Why is that? There are several possibilities, but the most likely is that voters forgive Obama a certain degree of liberalism because of his ethnic background. This is one more illustration, I think, of how Obama’s status as our First Black President has warped political discourse and created a climate that is favorable to the Left in a way that will be hard to replicate when Obama is gone.


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