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.