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More voters believe Obama’s views are “extreme”

by | Jul 5, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

You can (and NRL News Today sure has) look at the daily ebb and flow of surveys and gain some important insights into how the nation sees pro-abortion President Barack Obama and pro-life former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But they need to be supplemented by the bedrock facts of political life—the ones that show no sign of changing—to get a full orbed profile of the presidential race.

For example, from very early on in Obama’s administration, the public has considered Obama more liberal than it is. I remember one Gallup poll in particular where respondents were offered a five-point scale “with 1 being very liberal and 5 being very conservative. Americans’ mean score on this scale is 3.3, meaning the average American is slightly to the right of center ideologically,” according to Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones.

“A majority of Americans, 57%, perceive Obama to be liberal, with 23% describing his views as moderate and 15% as conservative,” Jones wrote.

Today Rasmussen reports that for the second month in a row the number of likely voters “who think President Obama’s views are extreme has edged up”—to 47%. Only 31% consider Romney’s views as extreme.

Naturally much of the responses fall along predictable Democratic/Republican lines. But there is this interesting nuance. Rasmussen notes that “[W]hile 80% of Republicans feel Obama’s views are extreme, only 52% of Democrats say the same of Romney’s. Voters not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided when it comes to Obama’s political views.”

And the “likeability” gap continues to diminish. Supporters of President Obama have long hung their hats on Obama’s big margin as a reason to believe he will fare well in the fall, regardless of everything else.

Obama’s favorable opinion was at 53% last September. It’s now at 55%, according to the CNN/ORC poll, an increase of two points.

Last November Romney’s favorable ratings were at 39%. It is now 48%. The gap has shrunk 14 points to 7.

In addition, worth noting is that President Obama’s unfavorable ratings are higher: 44% to 42% for Romney.

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Categories: Obama