Have liberals really given up on Obama?

Despite anger at the president over healthcare reform and other issues, his base hasn't abandoned him yet

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 5, 2010 6:11PM (EST)

There's been a fair amount of talk recently about disaffection in President Obama's liberal base. Opinion-makers on the left were up in arms over the president's decision to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Even more of them have been slamming him over healthcare reform, especially the death of the public option and his apparent failure to do much, if anything, to try to save it.

For now, though, it doesn't seem as if those critics have had much effect on the opinion of most liberal Democrats. In an article for the National Journal, Pollster.com's Mark Blumenthal makes a convincing case based on polling that there's not really any evidence of a larger backlash against Obama:

While Obama's [Gallup approval] rating has declined across the political spectrum, nearly nine out of 10 liberal Democrats -- an average of 87 percent in December -- approve of the job Obama is doing as president.

While Obama's numbers have declined modestly among liberal Democrats since last April (from 95 percent to 87 percent), the declines have been more pronounced among conservative Democrats, moderate to liberal Republicans and "pure independents" (those who do not "lean" to either party) ....

Among liberal Democrats, the ABC/Post poll found a decline in strong approval from 78 percent in the first three months of the Obama presidency to 69 percent over the last three. A decline, to be sure, but at least two-thirds of liberal Democrats still say they strongly approve of the job Obama is doing as president.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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