Update on Obama's Support on the Left

I said earlier that Obama was losing support on the Left like a sinking anchor. On reflection, that is not necessarily true.
A recent poll found that Obama’s popularity was at 42%, the lowest in his Presidency. The fall was attributed completely to loss of support among liberals and Democrats. He’s as unpopular as ever among Republicans (80%) and independents (58%). All of his moves to the Right have not gained him one % point from conservatives or independents. But they have lost him a lot of support on the Left. This is what we on the Left have been saying for weeks now. This triangulation crap is not going to work.
Obama’s still beats most comers in a 2012 election, except that for the first time, he loses to Mitt Romney by 2 points. I’m at a loss why Romney would be worse, as in more rightwing, than Obama. Can someone clue me in?
Obama still has ~80% support among Democrats, but his support among liberals has fallen to 68%, but that is still nearly 70% liberal support for the guy. So it’s not true to say that liberals are rising up against Obama. He also has very high support among Blacks, women and Hispanics. Black support ranges around 80%.
However, Obama’s insane triangulation crap has just begun. The rebellions against him are beginning among the hardcore liberal base of the party, the workers, paid and volunteer, who work for the party, for candidates, for politicians or for Democratic linked or allied organizations.
I noted earlier that he has 21% support on Daily Kos, Ground Zero for the liberal party grassroots base. That’s catastrophic. You figure he probably has higher support than that among Fox News viewers.
Truth is that Kosniks are sort of like an early warning system. As political junkies, they are way ahead of the rest of society. How far ahead? Maybe nine months ahead. As Kos goes, so will go the rest of liberals, but the rest will be slow to bring up the end of the line. Even on Kos, his drop-off has been slow. But only in the past week or so, Obama has lost the support of some of his top diarists who have been promoting him for 2 years.
There are still some pro-Obama posters on Kos. Here is an example of one of them. Their diaries are getting dog-piled with ferociously hostile comments. Here is one. 1,300 comments, probably almost all spitting with contempt.
One wonders where Markos himself is in all of this. Markos after all runs Daily Kos. He also works for a centrist DNC like organization that split off from the DNC, so he’s not exactly a firebreathing liberal. Looking over Markos’ diaries for the last two weeks, it appears that he’s had it with Obama and is throwing in the towel. He’s not nearly as contemptous as most on the site towards the President, but his disgust is clear.
Among pundits, we are seeing the same slow drop-off. Paul Krugman has been rooting for Obama for 2 years, seeing him as some liberal in hiding who is too phobic to come out and play with the other boys. In recent days, his tone has changed to puzzlement and even hints of hostility. Robert Reich threw his hands up a while ago. Dean Baker is giving up and walking away from the table. James K. Galbraith, his father’s son in more ways than one, is calling it a day on Obama.
In the coming days, weeks and months, Obama will apparently continue to move towards the Right. As such, his support among liberals will continue to slowly drop off. I would be overjoyed to read a poll where Obama’s popularity was ~20% or so among liberals. I would love to see the media spin about how crazy and unreasonable we are! At the same time, I do not believe he will pick up points on the Right. They will just see him as weak, and to Republicans, that’s like blood in the water to a shark.
I’m dubious it will gain him much among independents either. There’s a myth about independents, that they are somehow in the middle between Republicans and Democrats. Really they are disenchanted former members of one or the other parties. In quite a few cases, they are to the Left of the Democratic Party. That’s why they are independent. The Dems are too rightwing for them.
The truth is that there is a hard Right and a hard Left in the US, made up of hard liberals and hard conservatives. In between, instead of spit the difference types, is the mushy middle. They are more likely to have a finger to wind and sway with the tides back and forth. They are all about momentum.
In 2008, liberals had momentum, so indies went for Obama. In 2010, conservatives had momentum, so indies went Tea Party. For the most part, these are low information voters who are not deep political thinkers. If Obama’s hard base sits on its hands and closes its wallets, Obama loses momentum, and may then lose the independents.

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