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      Poll Result: 55% Favor “Someone New” for President, 38% Think Obama “Deserves to Be Re-Elected”

      A recent poll by the usually-reliable Zogby International firm shows a strong majority of Americans, 55%, thinking “It’s time for someone new” for President, creating a significant opening if the Republicans find a credible challenger. Just 72% of Democrats said President Obama “deserves to be re-elected” while only four percent of Republicans agreed. Below is an excerpt from the poll, which was conducted April 1-4, 2011:

      Do you think President Obama deserves to be re-elected or do you think it is time for someone new?

      At the same time, a Gallup Poll found Obama’s approval ratings dipping from 73% to 54% among Latinos and from 93% to 85% among African Americans. [New York Times, April 8, 2011]

      Taken together, the surveys appear show an unmistakable decline in Obama’s base from 2008-2009. A New York Times/CBS poll measures the progressive trend in public opinion. Asked which programs they would cut if necessary, 55% of all voters favored cutting the military, only 21% cutting Medicare, and 13% for cutting Social Security. Only 8% of all favored cuts in education spending, and just 21% cutting aid to the unemployed and poor. Opposition to Afghanistan is running at 86% among Democrats and a signficant majority of all voters. Will Obama give voice to a progressive populism? [New York Times, January 21, 2011]

      It seems unlikely. The Times describes the president’s political advisers as attempting to “recapture the middle” by the following strategy: “The president’s advisers argued that the broad coalition of supporters who gave Mr. Obama 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes in 2008 never completely matched up with the Democratic base.” Their conclusion? “That liberals will ultimately get behind him as the best alternative.” [New York Times, April 9, 2011] Sounds like taking progressive voters for granted...

      But there is no sign as yet that the base will turn out for Obama in the same numbers as 2008. Perhaps the Republican ticket will rouse them. But even if he matches the same turnout, which is in question, Obama will not be able to generate the enthusiasm, volunteers, door knocking power and small contributions as he did in 2008. Every day that he openly runs to “recapture the middle” he risks losing support on his left.

      If the president appears to break his promise to withdraw from Iraq, if he plans to stay in Afghanistan and Pakistan through 2014 or beyond, the broad peace vote is likely to diminish if not wither in 2012.

      To cope with defections from the African-American community, the president and White House are actively courting Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. How will he align with Latino voters in the Southwest? Or the labor work in states with Republican governors and runaway shops? Or the liberal peace vote nationally? The Congressional Progressive Caucus may be a possibility, but the terms of such an alliance for 2012 have not been seriously discussed.

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      Reader Comments (5)

      Whether Obama gets us out of Iraq or not, whether he vacates Afghanistan or not, I am one of those who will not vote for Obama or any that the Republicans have to offer. Not only has Obama already proved how easy it is for him to go back on his word to the point that I can no longer trust his speech, but my greatest reason is that I refuse to vote for a person who commits criminal acts. Is not the way Obama approves of the torture of Bradley Manning a crime not only by our laws but by international law; and what about the torture he condones in our secret sites around the world and our friendly allies we ship suspected prisoners to. If no one is on the ticket besides Obama and unreal Republicans then I will boycott the election. If there is someone else, a Green Party candidate or a Bernie Sanders type, I will vote for him or her. But in conscience I cannot vote for one who condones criminal acts, to say nothing about not directing the DOJ to pursue the criminals on Wall Street. Well, that does remind me of something Obama said that he did enact - he said that re. convicting any criminal activity in the Bush administration, he was just going to look forward, not backward.

      April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill Nerin

      As far as I'm concerned, I voted for Obama on the Working Families Party line, but wouldn't do so again unless the President does a 180 degree turn. He's not just middle-of-the-road, but reactionary. Either he changes completely or I'll follow Bill Nerin and vote Green. We need Nader or somebody like him!

      April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRon Christensen

      As a liberal Democrat and peacenik, I too am frustrated and impatient with Obama's positions on war and other liberal causes. I think, however, that people of our ilk need to stop and take a deep breath. If we abstain from voting or vote for a marginal candidate, we are simply giving the next election to the Right Wing whose platforms center on polarizing social issues and militarism. Obama is not A+, but he is better than any Republican candidate in this hemisphere.

      April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Scott

      Sadly for us on the left, voting for Obama in 2012 will be analogous to cleaning your toilet or picking up after your pooch; we don't want to do it, we will hold our noses while doing so, but the alternative (especially with a Republican controlled Senate, which it will be) is much, much messier.

      Or, we can mount a primary challenge. Maybe we should do the 2008 primary all over again?

      April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Moyer

      Obama's presidency demonstrates political change is not driven by the desires of any single political leader. Rather, change is driven by the cumulative action or inaction of America's people. We put to much faith in electing leaders and expecting them to act with courage, honesty and compassion in the absence of our immediate presence and involvement. The rich and powerful, on the other hand, understand that the real levers of change must be constantly tended and influenced. They employ an army of lobbyists, spin doctors and experts to exert their influence on a daily basis in every decision made by political, social, judicial, and cultural leaders in American society. The antidote to the tactics of the power elite starts with two simple steps. First, the great majority of America must embrace and incorporate in our daily actions the realization that our best interests are not, nor ever will be, consistent with the interests of the power elite. And second, America's people are not responsible for the crimes and wrong doing that the power elite perpetuates on the planet and people. Once we do that, we free ourselves to vote for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation, who will act with integrity, honesty and conviction to work with the American people to solve our problems and attain the benefits of a just, sustainable and compassion America. I reject any notion that I am responsible if a fascist is elected president in America as a result of the frauds, manipulations and contrivances of the power elite. I will not support a candidate because they are "the least worse choice." It is my responsibility as an American to only vote for candidates that demonstrate by action their opposition to oppression and to hold public officials continually accountable for the integrity of their actions.

      April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter McNamee

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