Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters nationwide view former President Barack Obama as politically liberal. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that just 10% believe he is politically moderate, 8% view him as conservative.
This comes at a time when many Democratic Party activists and presidential candidates believe that Obama was too centrist and moderate in his politics. The party’s activists and presidential candidates have moved further to the left politically since Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential campaign. Some, including Obama, have publicly worried that the party is moving too far to the left.
Among all Democratic voters, 51% consider themselves politically liberal. Those voters are getting a lot of attention in the presidential campaign. However, 38% of Democrats are politically moderate and 11% are conservative. Looking ahead to the general election in 2020, liberals outside of the Democratic party are a distinct minority. Just 26% of Independent voters are politically liberal along with 7% of Republican voters.
The only other Democratic president since 1980, Bill Clinton, is seen as politically liberal by 59% of voters. Many of his policies are now rejected as too conservative by the current leaders of the Democratic party. In fact, support for some of those policies has created problems for former Vice President Joe Biden.
On the Republican side, former president George W. Bush is seen as politically conservative by 58%, moderate by 11%, and liberal by 13%. Both his father, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan are seen as conservative by 60%.
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The national survey of 1,004 Registered Voters was conducted September 3-4, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).