CNN poll: 14% of Republicans disapprove of Obama because … he’s not liberal enough?

posted at 4:21 pm on December 20, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you wanted to know who the hell’s voting for amnesty among the congressional GOP, here you go. Now you know.

Seriously, though. Fourteen percent? If you believe CNN, there are more GOPers who disapprove of O for not being as liberal as they’d like than there are who approve of him for being as liberal as he is. Dude?


Meanwhile, the not-liberal-enough segment stands at eight percent among self-identified conservatives(!). What gives? My first thought was “margin of error.” Any time you take a small-ish subsample like “Republicans” or “conservatives,” the MOE creeps up and suddenly you’re at risk of weird, anomalous results. But the MOE here isn’t gigantic: For Republicans, it’s six percent. Even if you subtract that entire amount, you’ve got eight percent of GOPers seemingly wishing O really was the statist gladiator that lefty media dreams of. What about tea partiers, you say? Behold:


Unless the only responses accounted for in the subsample margin of error are people who said they disapprove of O because he’s not liberal enough, you’ve got some small but not infinitesimal group of TPers in this boat too. What gives? Why would anyone call themselves a member of the tea party if they feel that way?

I think Harry Enten’s on the right track about the use of the word “liberal” in the question:

More from Republican poll analyst Logan Dobson:

Yeah, “liberal” is a gassy term. We know what we mean when we use it because we’re like-minded partisans, but what about low-information voters who don’t follow politics? Or, on the flip side, what about politically conscious right-leaning voters whose beliefs depart in a few key ways from mainstream conservatism? If you’re a libertarian for whom NSA surveillance is a major issue, you might identify as Republican generally but dislike O especially for not taking a more “liberal” view of the sort of data-mining that’s championed by conservative hawks. Likewise, if you think Obama’s been too aggressive in intervening abroad, you may equate interventionism with conservatism because of Bush’s example and conclude that O should be more “liberal.” In fact, some libertarians identify as “classical liberals” because they refuse to cede the term to leftists who use it as a rallying point for illiberal statist ends. There’s just too darned much room for interpretation in the term and too great a risk that people will apply it as a blanket designation even though they have only one or maybe two issues in mind here when they use it. Same goes for the eight percent of Democrats who think Obama’s too “liberal.” Why is that? Is it because they’re centrists generally who have numerous problems with O’s agenda, or are they mostly dogmatic Democrats who disagree sharply with O on one key topic, like abortion or gay marriage? Probably the latter, I’d guess.

The one truly interesting wrinkle about this is that the overall number who say Obama’s not liberal enough is a bit higher this month than it’s been traditionally. Skip to page 3 of CNN’s crosstabs to see how that metric has polled over time. Only in July and August 2011, in the thick of his first standoff with the GOP over the debt ceiling, did the “not liberal enough” crowd hit double digits. I think it’s back to 12 percent now partly because of upset over the NSA program and partly because, as ObamaCare crumbles, the further reaches of the left are starting to fantasize about the public option and single-payer.

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Bmore on December 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Liberals often lie about who they are in polls such as this, for precisely the reason that this poll is noteworthy. I do not believe that ANYONE who considers themselves conservative approves of anything zero has done, unless it was to call Kanye West a jackass.

SteveThomas on December 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Liberals often lie about who they are in polls such as this, ..
SteveThomas on December 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I could see some conservatives trying to screw with the pollsters.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Speaking of RINOs, this couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Wigglesworth on December 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM

14% of Republicans disapprove of Obama because … he’s not liberal enough?

I think there is an equivalent number who answered differently, but have no idea what the question was. In other words, I’d guess there’s 28% who can’t associate ideology to a party name. Statistics say half guess right, the other half guess wrong.

They know they disapprove of Obama, but can’t properly assign the correct ideology to him.

This poll reveals the danger of polling. Accurate results depend entirely on the knowledge of the sample. I bet if you asked the same questions in a pre-school lunch room, you’d get similar results.

BobMbx on December 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM

People. Lie.

Progs will lie to skew polls and misrepresent the opposition.

Conservatives will lie because they hate the media.

The rest will lie to either get off the phone or just to be a dck.

budfox on December 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Could you repeat the question? This is multiple choice isn’t it?

claudius on December 21, 2013 at 12:06 PM

There are stupid Rs who voted for obama. I hope he scrooms you and yours royally.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM

There is a god.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I am libertarian and I think O is not liberal enough from a crash-and burn perspective. The further left he is, the faster people will wake up and this whole progressive clusterf- will end.

tdarrington on December 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

OT: Brock Obama met with Duck peeps right before the release of GQ interview. Guess he didn’t like them much.

Then, there is this forgotten tidbit:

Paula Deen made the mistake of insulting Mooch

Do you sense a pattern here? No? Okay then.

Key West Reader on December 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Further evidence that politics won’t fix the country. Civil War will eventually rear it’s ugly head as the country continues to deteriorate.

bgibbs1000 on December 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

First, they’re “self-identified” Republicans. Actions speak, words don’t. If you eat meat, you’re not a vegetarian, no matter what you call yourself.

Second, speaking of words, this might be yet another result of letting the Democrat party re-brand themselves as “progressives” instead of “liberals” without a squeak out of anyone.

Unless we want to “progress” toward statism, they’re not progressives.

Third, Obama is a liberal. So, how can he not be liberal “enough?” If you go past liberal on that scale, you hit socialist. Maybe he’s not enough of a socialist or a communist or some other word but how do you argue that a giraffe is not giraffe enough? It makes no sense. It obviously made no sense to the people being polled, either.

IndieDogg on December 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

@ comment by tdarrington on December 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Your problem is obvious.
Seems like you are betting if enough people ignore stop signs, the government will see the error of it’s way and take them down.

NEVER IN A MILLION lifetimes is this, “The further left he is, the faster people will wake up and this whole progressive cluste” a working option.

That’s just a dodge, so people can continue to vote with their head up their @SS

papertiger on December 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Damn lies.

Anytime you see statistics, especially from polling data, you are only seeing what the presenter wants you to see. They get paid to sell stories.

Seems ridiculous to have to point that our here, but we have our own share of folks who see treachery and conspiracy everywhere.

To me, this is exactly on par with the claim that 97% of the science community is convinced of AGW. It simply cannot be. Use reason. The only story here is that the presenter wants to float a lie out there. One or more of various motives could be in play, but who cares.

connertown on December 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

14% of Republicans disapprove of Obama because … he’s not liberal enough?

There are the Arlen Specter types out there.

Stoic Patriot on December 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

9% of Republicans voted for Obama.

Boehner has actually been fairly brilliant in dealing with an intransigent Senate. From 2011 to 2013 he took the approach of flooding the Senate with conservative bills but the Senate ignored them and Reid never allowed them to come up for a vote. They died on his table when that session of Congress expired. About this time last year, he had three things coming to a head at once: Bush tax cuts expiring, debt reaching the ceiling, and expiration of the budget C/R. He managed to “sequence” and in so doing locked in the Bush tax cuts permanently for a bit over 98% of the American people.

He also surprised the Democrats by accepting their “sequester” proposal for 2013. The sequester was designed to be punitive. As time went on, it was to take more and more money out of things the Republican base would get agitated about. Last year’s $85 billion resulted in basically a complete shutdown of Army training for combat units in the US. By last month we were down to only 2 combat ready brigades in the entire Army and units in Afghanistan no longer having the training to conduct offensive military operations. But 2014 was going to be a disaster. Another $109 billion in cuts were going to be taken out, 100% of it coming from the military. Had this bill not been passed last week, we were looking at practically the entire military being shut down from a training perspective.

The House was faced with two bad options: 1. keep the sequester, lose another $109 billion out of the active military thereby gutting it, letting tens of thousands more service members go early, and possibly be down to 0 combat ready units by the end of the year or take the “deal”. The worst part of “the deal” was a reduction in retirement COLA for working age retirees. Unlike federal pensions, military can draw their pension immediately after 20 years service. Federal employees must wait until 62 or take a 5% cut each year before 62 they retire. Average military retirement age is 42. Also, the cuts were not to take effect until 2015, meaning that if the Republicans can gain the Senate in 2014, that provision can be stripped from the FY 2016 budget which will be done in 2015. The Senate did make that easier by further delaying that COLA reduction until 2016.

So as it stands right now, the House was able to retain a large portion of the sequester cuts with a potential future cut in retirement COLA taking effect in 2016 that can be reversed if they can get Harry Reid out of his seat as Majority Leader in 2014. Meanwhile the low information voters on the right who simply parrot what they hear on some site or another go ranting over the COLA change without really understanding how bad it would have been NOT to pass this bill. Both the right and the left had their own set of “low information voters” who are emotional and don’t think things through logically. This deal sucked but the alternative sucked worse.

crosspatch on December 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

IndieDogg on December 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

The task is to define progressives as what they are… Statists. Marxists. Communists.

Don’t call them Liberals. Call them what they are and let them define themselves.

Key West Reader on December 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Did they poll the H/A authors?

bw222 on December 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I lie on polls. I can’t be the only one.

Ronnie on December 22, 2013 at 3:41 AM

This is simply classical liberal-progressive propaganda (now’s that for terminological clarity, by the way?) .

Take vague terminology laden with various semantics, foist it upon unwitting or perhaps unknowing poll participants, increase the vagueness by crafting questions designed to solicit a specific response and then contort the results to produce a politically designed result which is sold to “low-information” voters and plastered on blogs run by party acolytes.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Marcus Traianus on December 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM