As the acrimonious debt-ceiling debate has sputtered to a stalemate, President Obama's overall job approval rating has slipped below 40 percent for the first time. And Republicans aren't the only ones fuming. Strong support among liberal Democrats for Obama's record on jobs has plummeted from 53 percent to 31 percent. And Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont liberal, said this week that "it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition" to sharpen his focus before the next general election. Is the Left souring on Obama?

Yes. Liberals always turn on their presidents: Liberal Democrats "tend to go after their own presidents in primaries," says Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice, "or stay home when they don’t like something their party does." Then, when their guy loses, they spend the next few years complaining about how conservatives are taking over the courts and abusing power. Sounds like it's happening again.
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Yes. Obama should quit sucking up to centrists: The far Left Sanders is "one of the most outspoken defenders of universal health care, same-sex marriage, and environmentalism," says Aubrey Vaughan at News Busters. When he's jumping ship, you know Obama's in trouble. The president's base is crumbling because he sounds like a centrist trying to win over independents — but he lost middle-of-the-road voters a long ago, by failing to deliver on the economy and jobs.
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No. In the end, liberals will be there for Obama: There's nothing new or surprising about "liberal elite defections from the Obama camp," says Ed Kilgore at Salon. "First off the grid were those angered by TARP and the coddling of miscreant CEOs." Then more became disgruntled when Obama failed to reverse George W. Bush's treatment of terrorist suspects, bowed to the health lobby, and "caved" on scrapping the Bush tax cuts. But Obama needn't worry too much — liberals all "know in their hearts they will be voting for him in 2012."
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