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An Obama Veto Of Keystone XL Could Be Pretty Unpopular

Aaron Blake, The Washington Post

It looks like Obama will quickly be forced into making one of his toughest veto decisions — at least when it comes to the court of public opinion.

President Obama is fond of telling Congress that it should pass things with the overwhelming support of the American people, including (among other things) comprehensive immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, and increasing gun background checks.

And yet, Obama could soon be in a position of vetoing something with a similar amount of support: the Keystone XL pipeline.

Poll after poll has shown support for Keystone is somewhere between very strong and overwhelming. A Pew Research Center survey this month showed support for the project at nearly two-to-one, 59 percent to 31 percent. And that was about the lowest level of support we’ve seen to date. Support has registered as high as two-thirds of Americans.

And as another recent Pew poll showed, it’s not just Republicans and independents driving support for the project. In fact, basically the only group that opposes it is the most liberal of Democrats.

According to Pew’s breakdown from June, three of the four Democratic-leaning groups — including religious Democrats, young Democrats and the most moderate Democratic leaners — all supported the project two-to-one.


 Which is a long way of saying that Obama would likely have very few supporters were he to wield his veto pen, as the White House suggests he will following votes by the House and Senate — which by all indications will approve the bill.

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