No kidding: Poll shows most Americans think Obama is a confirmed liberal

posted at 6:40 pm on December 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Actually, there’s more to it than that: Americans don’t just think Barack Obama is a liberal; they also think he’s decidedly to the left of them, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. USA Today reports:

On a scale of 1 to 5 — with 1 being very liberal and 5 being very conservative — respondents rated themselves as a 3.3 ideologically, slightly to the right of center.

They perceive Obama to be a 2.3, to the left of center.

Some of the Republican candidates are more aligned with the respondents, said the poll: “Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically, and Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama as furthest away.”

I’m far less baffled by the majority’s opinion of Obama than I am by the 23 percent of respondents who describe the president’s views as “moderate” and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.” Am I to understand that 38 percent of Americans either (a) have even more radical views than Obama, compared with which his seem “moderate” or “conservative” or (b) don’t understand the meaning of the terms “moderate” and “conservative”?

More relevantly, though, this could be a somewhat positive indicator of the president’s vulnerability as an incumbent (declining unemployment rate and brief positive blip in his approval rating notwithstanding!). As the poll summary puts it, “If Americans chose their president solely on the basis of the fit between their own ideological views and their perceptions of the candidates’ views, Huntsman, Romney and Paul would be in the best position for the 2012 election.” Then again, Americans don’t choose their president solely on ideological fit — and they’ve viewed Obama as a liberal pretty much from the minute he took the national stage.

For whatever reason, this poll makes me think Newton’s third law of motion is as applicable to politics as it is to physics. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The American people seem to be reactionary voters at least as often as they are proactive voters — and, if they were more inclined to vote for a liberal in 2008, after eight years’ worth of what they perceived as relatively “conservative” policies, it seems probable to think they’ll be less inclined to vote for a liberal in 2012, after four years’ worth of transparently liberal deficit spending. Meantime, their views never really change. In other words, fear of extremes as much as any concretely held opinions seems to be voters’ most visible operating principle.


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Obama?

O = -5

And then some.

turfmann on December 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Well Tina, it’s been du jour on far lefty sites to rail and wail about Obama being the second coming of Richard Nixon for some time now.

They all consider him the worst CONSERVATIVE President we’ve ever had. Most of them are just engaging in hyperbole, of course. But I’ve seen plenty of examples of those on the far left decrying how ‘conservative’ Obama is. ANYBODY to their right is the reincarnation of Reagan.

manofaiki on December 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically

Poll’s crap then

Flapjackmaka on December 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

3.3 wins it then

hanzblinx on December 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

No kidding: Poll shows most Americans think Obama is a confirmed liberal idiot…

FIFY

hillsoftx on December 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Is there enough time left for enough scales to fall from the eyes of enough people to see that he’s a Communist and do something about it??

Mimzey on December 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Hopey/Changey is a Progressive Socialist
who has Hi-Jacked the Liberal Party,and
its well on its way,to full blown Communism!

The evidence,what Obama has said and done!!

canopfor on December 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

O!bama a liberal? No way. Must be a rigged poll.

predator on December 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

manofaiki on December 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM

One of the new liberal trolls, can’t remember their moniker right now, was spouting the same rhetoric the other day. I just shake my head in amazement.

Flora Duh on December 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

(b) don’t understand the meaning of the terms “moderate” and “conservative”?

Well when you have Romney being described as a conservative and Gingrich as a socialist is does tend to confuse.

sharrukin on December 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

One Term Progressive Socialist Liberal

Rovin on December 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I’m shocked!

gerrym51 on December 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

“Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically

That’s depressing if you are a conservative.

Dr. Tesla on December 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Poll shows most Americans think Obama is a confirmed artist liberal

FIFY

Joe Mama on December 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

They perceive Obama to be a 2.3, to the left of center.

During Obama’s lengthy & illustrious senate career, he earned a measly 8% rating by the American Conservative Union.

On a 1 – 5 scale, wouldn’t that translate to about 0.4?

itsnotaboutme on December 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

How about a stone cold Marxist empty suit who doesn’t give one fig about America or Americans..?

d1carter on December 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

“Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically

Ugh. We’re doomed.

predator on December 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

O/T: legalinsurrection.com has a neat little article about Operation Demoralize.

herm2416 on December 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Am I to understand that 38 percent of Americans either (a) have even more radical views than Obama, compared with which his seem “moderate” or “conservative”

Yes. HA posters, crr6, AnninCA, Getalife, Growfins, BleedsBlue, BedBug (aka ToiletBug) and Carolina21 could all be considered for the short list of those least as radical as zer0–and those are “people” that we all know.

Then again, Americans don’t choose their president solely on ideological fit — and they’ve viewed Obama as a liberal pretty much from the minute he took the national stage.

Yes, again. White guilt on the part of “independents” and libtards trumps all.

MisterElephant on December 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I’m far less baffled by the majority’s opinion of Obama than I am by the 23 percent of respondents who describe the president’s views as “moderate” and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.” Am I to understand that 38 percent of Americans either (a) have even more radical views than Obama, compared with which his seem “moderate” or “conservative” or (b) don’t understand the meaning of the terms “moderate” and “conservative”?

Tina Korbe

Combination of (b), and (c).
(c) would be: cognitively lying to the poll.

I do believe there are those who would do that.

listens2glenn on December 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

No chit, Dick Tracy. I’m not shocked that most dumb azz Americans don’t see him as a full blown Marxist! We have become a nation of stoooooopid government teat suckers! I’m afraid there is no hope for the future of this once great Republic. Conservatives are now relegated to the last gasp and whimper of a dying nation.

they lie on December 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Ron Paul

I guess he’s deemed far right in some areas (do away with all foreign aid) & left-of-center in others (he’s against capital punishment), so he averages out to be slightly right-of-center…?

itsnotaboutme on December 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

What most people don’t understand is that “center” is already way left. To get to an actual center we have to go hard right rudder.

darwin on December 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Old Adage update !!!

Lies

D@mned Lies

Statistics

MEDIA POLL RESULTS

amadan on December 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM

38% say Obama is either “moderate” or “conservative(!)”

The poll asks for an objective assessment, not political position relative to the respondent. I think we may reasonably conclude from this that 35-40% of the electorate couldn’t tell sheet from sheenola.

spiritof61 on December 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

The Republican candidates are mostly .2 or .3 to the right of the average voter and 0bama is 2.0 to the left. And we are the extremists.

pedestrian on December 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

darwin on December 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Yup, the Overton Window.

listens2glenn on December 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Oops, make that 1.0

pedestrian on December 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Goes to show how out of touch americans are.
“Ya mean your just figuring this stuff out”? Morons!

angrymike on December 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

In other breaking news – water is very wet. Film at 11.

platypus on December 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

I guess he’s deemed far right in some areas (do away with all foreign aid) & left-of-center in others (he’s against capital punishment), so he averages out to be slightly right-of-center…?

itsnotaboutme on December 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

That was my thought, too.

It doesn’t mean people agree with his policies.

mockmook on December 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.

The lunatic fringe will reveal itself in any poll, on any subject.

Am I to understand that 38 percent of Americans either (a) have even more radical views than Obama, compared with which his seem “moderate” or “conservative” or (b) don’t understand the meaning of the terms “moderate” and “conservative”?

Or (c):
Too scary to contemplate.

MichaelGabriel on December 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Worth pointing out, as was done in the headlines thread, that this is perception of Obamas/Huntsmans/Romneys/Pauls Ideology, not actual ideology. A person portrayed as moderate by the media will naturally fare better. Ron Paul is probably doing well because of how odd his positions are. Liberals say he’s close to their ideology because of his foreign policy and some social views, conservatives say he’s close to their ideology because of his economic views.

vegconservative on December 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I’m far less baffled by the majority’s opinion of Obama than I am by the 23 percent of respondents who describe the president’s views as “moderate” and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.” Am I to understand that 38 percent of Americans either (a) have even more radical views than Obama, compared with which his seem “moderate” or “conservative” or (b) don’t understand the meaning of the terms “moderate” and “conservative”?

If you ask a democrat about Obama, liberal, moderate or conservative, they do not judge him by the center of the entire country’s population, but by the center of the democrat party. Many democrats are left of Obama, that doesn’t make him any less Uber Liberal and a Proud Progressive - his own words.

The truth is Obama isn’t everyone’s President, he’s just the President of the democrats. If the President of the United States is calling American citizens names like “teabagger” the TEA party members, and disparaging them, he’s stating he doesn’t represent them as their President – they are other – inferior. This is why the progressives lost in such large numbers in the 2010 Mid Term elections. Only 21% of Americans going into the Mid Term elections thought they were being governed by their own consent.

Dr Evil on December 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically…

^Which one does not belong?

…respondents rated themselves as a 3.3 ideologically, slightly to the right of center.

I wonder if people identify themselves on this 1-5 scale as they want other people to perceive them.

SlaveDog on December 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM

In other words, fear of extremes as much as any concretely held opinions seems to be voters’ most visible operating principle.

All evidence – having voted Obama into office – to the contrary.

Midas on December 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM

USA Today, speaks for American values. Oh please!

Egfrow on December 29, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Horatio Huntsman shall lead us out of the wilderness…!

/

Seven Percent Solution on December 29, 2011 at 7:27 PM

The fact that a Marxist was elected POTUS should be the dying canary in the mine warning to all of us. What’s even worse is that Romney won’t even label the Marxist a Socialist. We are so screwed!

they lie on December 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM

The truth is Obama isn’t everyone’s President, he’s just the President of the democrats.

Dr Evil on December 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

That’s a very important observation. I can think of a couple of GOP candidates that might want to use that line.

SlaveDog on December 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM

And liberal is still a four letter word.

Speakup on December 29, 2011 at 7:32 PM

IOW, the independents and moderates and “Republicans” who voted for The First Black President have realized they voted for The First Liberal Black President. It took them three years to realize this.

I can’t say this helps me to now trust their judgment or the reliability of their vote in the future. The clueless tend to remain clueless, almost always playing catch-up. Many of them will rationalize some other reason to vote for him again

farsighted on December 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Poll shows most Americans think Obama is a confirmed liberal

I wonder why folks would think that.
Could it be because he sets up phone hotlines to aid illegal aliens…?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70943.html

(on Drudge now)

itsnotaboutme on December 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

I’m far less baffled by the majority’s opinion of Obama than I am by the 23 percent of respondents who describe the president’s views as “moderate” and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.”

Pseudo-conservative con artists like Andrew Sullivan, David Frum and Con(+n/+nn??)or Friedersdorf promote the myth of Obamas “conservatism”. They have (for reasons that completely escape me) still an audience, so you will meet people who parrot their nonsense. Just dont let them irritate you, Tina!

Valkyriepundit on December 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Obama is an infantile megalomaniac who decided, early in his career, to pander to whatever voting bloc got him power.

It happened to be the hard left in his case.

If he could have gained the same celebrity, money, perks and goodies with the hard right, he would have pandered that way.

He doesn’t care about anything but Barry’s power.

As his vows before being elected (close Gitmo, etc., etc.) proved to be mere sucker bait.

That worked once.

But will not fool the leftoid rubes twice.

profitsbeard on December 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Where were these einsteins three years ago?

msupertas on December 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

profitsbeard on December 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Actually, that’s not quite true. He also wants to “feel good about himself” while he’s beating everyone else over the head with how superior a human being descended Lightworker Messiah he is.

In the present cultural milieu’, that pretty much requires him to be “progressive”. As anything else, he couldn’t count on a Greek chorus of like-minded “enlightened” people providing him with the adulation his ego craves.

Never underestimate the power of his narcissism…over his own actions. Ultimately, it really is all about him, in his own mind.

cheers

eon

eon on December 29, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Not a liberal in the classic sense.

A marxist-socialist running AVGAS? Sure.

CorporatePiggy on December 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM

“Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically, and Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama as furthest away.”

For pollsters, this is really shoddy work from a statistical standpoint.

According to the survey, 42% of Americans are conservative or very conservative (presumably a 4 or a 5), with 37% being moderate and 19% being liberal.

All of the Republican candidates are perceived to be less than a 4 (with the exception of Bachmann). Thus, a plurality of American actually consider themselves to the right of what the mean ideological perception of pretty much the entire Republican field.

Yet, we are told that “Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically, and Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama as furthest away.” What a joke.

besser tot als rot on December 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Yes! And I’m TARZAN!
(Tarzan…wife’s laughing so hard and uncontrollably while looking at my physique, she may have wet herself)

KOOLAID2 on December 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

I know many young people working in the oil industry that voted for Obama—not believing he was toxic to their business. For three years they have been kicking themselves in the butt. Why did they vote for him? Because that’s what was cool at the time, like getting a tat. Many americans ignore politics and don’t really understand simple terms like liberalism, socialism, conservatism, etc…and it embarrasses them to discuss it. Many just go with the flow and the flow is usually determined by MSM. You and I know Obama is, hands down, the most liberal, progressive president to be elected. Unfortunately, many americans really don’t have a clue, nor want one. Scary.

Oracleforhire on December 29, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Hopenchange = Hoax and Charades

Left-wingah and slick operator

Conservchik on December 29, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Mitt and Barry — blech

Conservchik on December 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I’m far less baffled by the majority’s opinion of Obama than I am by the 23 percent of respondents who describe the president’s views as “moderate” and the additional 15 percent who describe the president’s positions as “conservative.”

Tina

Almost every lefty I know — and I know a lot of them — find O’Bonehead to be a centrist / moderate, and decidedly to the right of themselves. This is a function of a) how far to the fringe and out of the mainstream of American political thought most libs actually are, and b) how stupid they are.

Jaibones on December 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Obama is not an ordinary liberal… He is a true blue Marxist.

Dasher on December 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Who’d a thunk it?

oregano on December 30, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Consider the source…but, if even close to accurate; this poll does help explain why America is in free fall–a whole lot of Americans have totally lost their minds; assuming that is, they ever had one.

aposematic on December 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM