January 24, 2012

Public Perceptions of President Obama’s Ideology

43 to 37

About four-in-ten (43%) Americans say that President Obama is a liberal, while 37% consider him to be “middle-of-the-road.” Just 13% describe him as conservative.

Perceptions about President Obama’s ideology are divided nationally and are strongly correlated with party affiliation. Overall, about four-in-ten (43%) say that Obama is liberal, while only somewhat fewer (37%) say that he is “middle of the road” ideologically. Far fewer (13%) people consider him to be conservative. This pattern is essentially unchanged since his presidency began in January 2009.

However, views of Obama’s political leanings differ greatly by party. Two-thirds of Republicans (67%) believe that Obama is liberal; only 30% of Democrats agree. A plurality of Democrats (46%) characterize Obama as middle of the road politically. Essentially equal numbers of independents see Obama as liberal or middle of the road (41% each), though 61% of Republican-leaning independents view Obama as a liberal. A majority of Democratic-leaning independents (53%) see Obama as middle of the road. Read More