The media's spent a lot of energy the last couple weeks on the specter of a challenge to Barack Obama from the left for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2012. Here's a curveball- there are actually more Democratic primary voters in Ohio and Wisconsin who would like a more conservative nominee than Obama in 2012 than there are ones who would like someone more liberal.
Mind you there aren't many Democrats who want Obama deposed anyway- 70% in Wisconsin and 67% in Ohio would like him to be the nominee for a second term. But most of those who would like a different face want one to Obama's right- in Ohio 15% would like a more conservative nominee to only 7% who want someone more liberal and in Wisconsin 14% would like a more conservative nominee to 9% who want someone more liberal.
Even if liberal Democrats are unhappy with Obama on the tax deal- and our polls earlier this week in these states showed they are- it's not having too big an impact on their overall reviews of him. 93% in Wisconsin approve of the job Obama's doing compared to 80% of moderate Democrats and 63% of conservative ones. Ohio liberals are more unhappy with Obama- his approval with them is 76%, lower than his 78% with moderate ones. His standing with conservative Democrats in Ohio is all the way down at 43%.
Conservative Democrats are ultimately a bigger threat to Obama's reelection prospects than liberal ones. They don't necessarily make a lot of noise about it when they're unhappy- they just go out and vote for Republicans. Liberals on the other hand really have nowhere to go- they can stay at home or vote for Ralph Nader but ultimately that's just going to get them someone who makes them a lot more unhappy than Obama. It's not a pleasant reality, but in our two party system that's just the way it goes- conservatives definitely have more leverage than liberals within the Democratic coalition and that's why they so often get their way despite their smaller numbers.
Full results here