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Who likes Barack Obama -- and who doesn't -- in one table

Gallup breaks it down:


I'd just note that if you were profiling the people who typically turn out in midterm elections, you'd probably say something like "married, white, conservative Republicans above age 65."

By Ezra Klein  | October 4, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Midterms  
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as fascinating as this is (and it is), what it doesn't show is to what extent job disapproval is coming from the left.

for example, i'm a white male, 50-64, college graduate, married, all that, and if i were asked my opinion of obama by a pollster, i would have to say, in the limited terms we get to pick among, "disapprove," since there are no circumstances in which i'm going to approve of a centrist.

but that's disapproval from the left: i will rally round obama in the face of right-wing hatred.

as we saw from health-care polling, such disapproval from the left could easily amount to 10 points, which would change the impact of the table considerably....

Posted by: howard16 | October 4, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@howard16: Most of the disapproving liberal Democrats were disapproving of Obama when he took office.

Posted by: lol-lol | October 4, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Dream on Howard. Republicans said the same thing when Bush was in the 40's and we all know how that turned out. The biggest problem for the D's is the years of racial gerrymandering have kept their biggest supported (blacks, and to a lesser extent, hispanics) concentrated in non-competitive districts. 36% white approval is an absolute killer when the vast majority of competitive districts are overwhelmingly white. I've always said the turning of the tide on Obama was not health care but Skip Gates. There's a reason D's in purple districts are getting ulcers right now.

Posted by: sgaliger | October 4, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Where are "socialist", "communist", and "Kenyan anti-colonialist"?

Or at least "Muslim"?

Posted by: TheodoreLittleton | October 4, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

howard16, for Democrats the thing is that it's not Obama up for re-election, where some of that rallying might come into play. It's the Reps and Senators, and few of them are even as well-liked as Obama. That there is your enthusiasm gap, and I'll be shocked if it doesn't play out in the totally predictable way: Dems smothered in a lot of hurt.

Posted by: JonathanTE | October 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

ahhh! makes me feel young again!

Posted by: bdballard | October 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The fact that a Democrat has lost the Medicare crowd seems major.

Posted by: tomtildrum | October 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to start communicating their accomplishments! Pronto! Many people have short memories and have forgotten that just two years ago the Republicans got us into this mess. And what's their solution now?? Cut taxes on the wealthy and cut entitlements! Meanwhile, Huff post just reporting on record corporate profits this quarter and asking the question, "where's the trickle down!"

Posted by: Woodstockct | October 4, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

because several people seem to have misunderstood me, let me clarify a few points, of which the most important is that i am interested in the direct question - the favorability ratings of barack obama - and not in some extension, like how will the dems do this fall (i don't think the election is about obama anyhow: it's about unemployment rate vs. craziness rate, and which one bothers people more).

that said, if there's one thing i've learned in my 5+ decades, it's that i am not unique. if i disapprove of obama from the left, so do others.

now, maybe we are statistically insignificant, but the experience of the health-care debate, such as it was, is that disapproval is a very blunt sword, and we need to delve into the specifics of disapproval (which are rarely asked) to get an accurate picture.

the factor there was roughly 10% and all i noted is that if a similar factor exists here, it would be meaningful, especially wrt two demographic groups that others have already note: white folks and those over 65.

now maybe no such factor exists here or the factor exists but it's tiny: i didn't project the scale of the factor in question. i noted that we didn't have the data to know.

so i'm not dreaming, i'm not trying to explain the enthusiasm gap in this fall's elections, i'm not accepting that liberals in january, 2009, were "disapproving" of obama to the gallup organization: i'm noting that it would be nice to know how much of the disapproval comes from the left.

Posted by: howard16 | October 4, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ezra is a disgrace to journalism.

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | October 4, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Considering that those who disapprove of the job Obama is doing (most of the voters in the country) and, they see the midterms as a way of slowing/stopping his unpopular agenda, I only see death & destruction for Dems in Nov.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 4, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

illogic buster, you do realize that obama's overall approval rating in this poll is 45%? and you do understand that, therefore, "most" of the voters in the country do not disapprove?

Posted by: howard16 | October 4, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Is my family better off today than under Bush? Candidly, no, and I wonder how many in the 50% and above can honestly say they are better off.


Posted by: 2012frank | October 4, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

illogic buster, you do realize that obama's overall approval rating in this poll is 45%? and you do understand that, therefore, "most" of the voters in the country do not disapprove?

Posted by: howard16 | October 4, 2010 9:20 PM
You do realize that disapproving of Obama does not mean you approve of the Republicans, right?

I guess that is why only about 30% of the country approves of the Republicans in congress, and even less approve of the Tea Party.

On average, most Americans disprove of everyone in our government, but given the choice, they would rather have Obama and the Democrats then these Republican thieves.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 5, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

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