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44% Say Obama’s Views Are Mainstream, 44% Say Extreme

Thursday, September 08, 2011

As President Obama prepares to address the nation on creating jobs, voters are divided on whether his views are best described as being mainstream or extreme. Voters also give mixed opinions about the Republicans vying for his job.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 44% say it is more accurate to describe Obama’s views as being mainstream while the same number (44%) say his views are extreme. Another 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Voters are also divided on the current Republican frontrunner, Texas Governor Rick Perry. While 36% say Perry’s views can be best described as being mainstream, 36% consider him extreme. Another 28% are undecided. Perry is on top in recent polls of the GOP race, but none have yet been conducted since he participated in his first debate last night.

On balance, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is seen as closer to the mainstream than either President Obama or the GOP frontrunner. Currently, 48% who categorize Romney’s views as mainstream while just 26% say extreme and another 26% are not sure. Those numbers have shifted little from last year.

Half of voters (51%) describe Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s views as extreme, while just 27% say she is mainstream. Another 22% are undecided.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is seen as the most extreme of the top tier GOP candidates, with 52% who regard his views that way. Only 17% describe Paul’s views as mainstream, while 32% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 6-7, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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