Steve Kornacki (Salon): Here we go again … President Obama is being confronted with warnings that he’s at risk of losing his left-of-center political base.
…As I write this, Obama has yet to begin his deficit reduction speech, but it’s very possible that the liberal commentators who have been excoriating him for the past week won’t change their minds as a result of it. In other words, expect more of these stories in the coming days.
This ought to feel familiar. Time and again during Obama’s 27 months in office, we’ve witnessed eruptions like this, with one-time Obama supporters claiming that because of [insert Obama action here], the president has lost their support for good….
All of these episode have one thing in common: For all of the threats and dire forecasts, Obama’s base stuck with him. At the same time that he was agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts, his approval rating among Democrats held steady, in the 80 percent range, where they’d been throughout 2010 – and his highest scores were among self-identified liberals.
And nothing much has changed since then … Gallup’s latest poll has Obama’s approval among Democrats at 80 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released last week put it at 83 percent – with a score of 79 percent among liberals. We have heard expressions of outrage from left-of-center commentators about how Obama has sold out his old base – but that base, by all appearance, remains very much intact.
…Just because Democrats instinctively tell pollsters that they want taxes hiked on the rich or that they want Guantanamo closed doesn’t mean they hold those views with the same intensity as commentators who live and breathe these issues for a living. What they do feel strongly about is a more basic and personal question: Do they like President Obama? The answer to this, when it comes to the Democratic base, has and continues to be an overwhelming “yes.”
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