Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The liberal backlash that isn't"

[As one prominent liberal after another cried "betrayal!" over President Obama's tax cut deal last week, I cautioned against reading too much into it: One of the most underappreciated stories of Obama's tenure has been the consistent disconnect between elite liberal opinion about the president and the view of rank-and-file liberals.
That point is more evident than ever today, with the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll -- conducted late last week and over the weekend, as the supposed liberal backlash against the deal was at its peak -- that shows Obama's approval rating with liberal Democrats sitting at 87 percent. That's essentially where it's been all year; it represents a statistically microscopic decline from where he stood with liberal Democrats in the last WaPo/ABC survey, taken about six weeks ago. Among all Democrats, Obama's approval rating in the new survey sits at 79 percent -- again, pretty much exactly where it's been all year. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama's problem among Democrats -- to the extent he has one at all -- is with self-described moderates and conservatives in the party.]

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