Despite the dismal economy and this Administration’s failure to inaugurate the progressive utopia its backers were hoping for, most liberals still support Obama and will vote accordingly. According to the Washington Post:
Although African Americans remain the base group most broadly supportive of Obama, liberals and Democrats are very much in his camp as well. In Gallup’s most recent data, Obama’s job approval rating stood at 78 percent among Democrats and 70 percent among liberals.
Those numbers are similar to where President Bill Clinton stood in November 1995, when 78 percent of Democrats in Gallup polling approved of the job he was doing. (Bush had the support of 87 percent of Republicans in the fall of 2003, but those numbers were the result of the boosts he received from the start of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.)
Readers should not underestimate Obama; he will be a formidable candidate despite his policy problems, and there can be little doubt that he will lead a united party into a serious reelection campaign. His challengers so far seem weak, and he also has the unwavering support of African Americans, which may well prove crucial in 2012 as it did in 2008:
In Gallup’s latest weekly tracking polling, Obama’s job approval rating stands at 43 percent among the general public but is nearly double that — 84 percent —among African Americans. In the November NBC-WSJ poll, Obama’s approval rating among black voters stood at a stratospheric 91 percent.
Given that African Americans made up 13 percent of the overall electorate in 2008 — and, hence, a much larger chunk of the Democratic base vote — Obama’s continued support among that key demographic makes any sort of widespread base erosion in 2012 unlikely.
Even a weak economy may not hurt the President as much as some expect, especially if the blame for the downturn can be laid at Europe’s door. If voters start to blame their economic woes on the political dysfunction across the ocean instead of policy problems at home, Obama will have a far easier time winning reelection.Other foreign issues could break the President’s way as well. Neutralizing the Iranian nuclear program, for example, with a well timed military strike would anger some people in the base but would overall make this President hard to beat. Killing Osama and keeping the mullahs from getting their fingers on the nuclear trigger would give the President some serious national street cred that the GOP would be hard put to counter.With the election still almost a year away and the GOP nomination still up for grabs, it is much too early to for Republicans to start measuring the Oval Office for drapes. An administration that tilts left at home and right abroad could be hard to beat.