Political Animal


April 10, 2012 9:32 AM Submerged Liberal Unhappiness

By Ed Kilgore

Scanning the new ABC/WaPo poll for something unexpected, I did run across an item that made me say “Huh!”

Considering that the entire Republican presidential nominating contest has basically been an extended discussion of conservatives’ relative degree of unhappiness about Mitt Romney’s ideological reliability, it’s not surprising that 13% of poll respondents say his views on the issues are “too liberal” for their tastes (as compared to 33% who say they are “too conservative,” 42% who say they are “about right,” and 12% who have no opinion).

But when the same question is asked of Obama, he hits double digits himself in terms of the percentage of all Americans considering his views “too conservative” (10%), while 40% say he’s “too liberal,” 44% “about right,” and a mere 6% having no opinion.

Obama’s “too conservative” number is at an all-time high dating back to the first time they asked this question in early 2008. Just prior to the 2008 election, it was at 3%. The “too liberal” number has ranged from a low of 29% around the time of the Inauguration to a high of 45% in September of 2010, but has mostly bounced around the high 30s.

Considering that Obama’s current job approval rating (from Gallup) among self-identified liberals is at 80%, and among liberal Democrats is 87%, I’d say he’s done a lot better job attracting support from people who wish he was more ideologically sound than has Romney so far.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • DAY on April 10, 2012 9:52 AM:

    Happiness is a state of mind.
    According to the recently released UN World Happiness Report, Canada's population is the The 5 happiest in the world are Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada in that order. The USA ranks 11th.
    (You will note that they all are North of us, and have higher taxation. And health care, education, employment.

  • SadOldVet on April 10, 2012 9:59 AM:

    Count me among those who perceive of The Obomination as being too conservative!

    Count me among those who have been polled and expressed dissatifaction with the job that The Obomination has done!

    Don't count me among the insane who believe that Mittens 'Mormon Elder' 'Candidate of the 1/10 of 1%ers' RMoney is a better choice for ameriKKKa's future.

    This sounds a lot like other Corporately Owned Media interpretations of 'opinions' on the ACA who just report the 'unpopular/dislike' total lumped together and do not differentiate the percentage who reply 'unpopular/dislike' because it did not go far enough!

  • FriscoSF on April 10, 2012 11:12 AM:

    Agreed, Vet !!

    For me, it's not so much liberal/conservative for Obama
    He's Incompetent and can't seem to get anything done
    Too much of a self-promoter, too

    Still, the Goopers are POISON !!
    A choice of hemmoroids or cancer
    I'll take the hemmorroids
    (but, it's a pin in the a$$)

  • zandru on April 10, 2012 12:34 PM:

    Actually, DAY, I'm kind of surprised that the US made it to 11th place...

  • FlipYrWhig on April 10, 2012 3:37 PM:

    And yet what proportion of the liberal blogosphere is dedicated expressly to railing at the insufficient liberalism of Obama and bellowing about his latest betrayals and perfidy? 70%? 80%?

  • Snarki, child of Loki on April 11, 2012 7:36 AM:

    What's to be unhappy about?

    Okay, okay, Obama isn't as liberal/progressive as one would like, BUT:

    There's still a lot to be happy about! Now that Romney has the GOP nomination wrapped up, he can peel off the reptoid mask and reveal the creature underneath: OBAMA-CLONE!

    You think the similarities of ObamaCare and RomneyCare were a coincidence? Think again!

    And yes, Mitt lies about EVERYTHING. Including about being a republican. And a conservative. And a human, but we can forgive that.

    Obama vs. Obama-clone: 2012. Truely, the future is upon us.

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