If there ever were a time when you’d think Obama would lose support from his base, it would be now, with high profile lefty activists and pundits hammering the President daily over the emerging debt deal.
But Gallup took a poll from July 25th through July 31st and found him holding steady with both liberals and Dems:
The website Politico carried a story on Monday morning headlined: “Debt deal complicates liberals’ support.”
Yet the data show that Obama’s support from his liberal base remains as high relative to his overall average as it has throughout his term. Specifically, liberals’ approval of Obama last week was 72%, 30 points higher than his overall approval rating of 42%. By comparison, liberals’ approval has averaged about 28 points higher than his overall average so far in the Obama administration.
Obama’s job approval last week was 77% among Democrats, 37% among independents, and 12% among Republicans. This overall pattern of partisan difference is not substantially changed from the average such differences over the last 2 ½ years. Democrats have on average given Obama an approval rating 33 points higher than his overall rating, and last week their approval rating was 35 points higher.
The problem with this kind of polling is that it doesn’t gauge the base’s enthusiasm, as opposed to generic approval, and enthusiasm is a key metric for determining whether base voters will turn out, volunteer, give money, and so on. And as Digby notes, CNN’s new poll finds a majority of liberals thinks Dems gave up too much in the debt deal, and media figures are beinning to entertain the idea that depressed base enthusiasm could end up being a real problem for Obama’s reelection campaign.
But the toplines among liberals and Dems do seem to be holding steady for the President, which could give the White House a bit of comfort at a time of very heightened tensions with the activist left and with high-profile liberal commentators.