Democrats have a liberal problem

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

The pressure on Obama to deliver for this liberal base will be powerful. Already, top left-wing groups are pressuring him not to buckle on a grand bargain that includes any entitlement cuts.

And if Obama wins, he will be dealing with a House Democratic caucus more liberal than he is. The past four years have decimated the once-strong bloc of conservative Southern Democrats, leaving behind a caucus more liberal than ever. By POLITICO’s count, there will likely be roughly 14 conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats in the next Congress, down from 50-plus only a few years ago.