With the recent debt ceiling "compromise," more and more people are growing increasingly vocal about how the President is dooming himself by alienating his left base that helped get him elected. The NYT is even joining in the fray, warning Obama about the rift he's creating. While there's no doubt that the left isn't pleased with the President and they view recent events as more of a capitulation than a compromise, it doesn't mean he needs to worry about losing their support.
The Republican field of potential challengers is the farthest right it has been in decades. All of the candidates, except Hunstman, publicly admonished lawmakers for the deal. The GOP candidates have been relentlessly courting the Tea Party vote by going as far right as they can, even when those sentiments are against the views of the majority of the country. All of this is happening in the background while the foreground is represented by Republican lawmakers playing chicken with our country's credit rating, limiting collective bargaining in states, and defunding Planned Parenthood in others.
These things will mobilize Democrats plenty, even if they're somewhat disappointed in Obama. Democratic voters have now seen what a Republican Presidency and/or Senate majority could look like, and that will be all the motivation they will need to fight in 2012.
Even with these uniting factors among them, there's always the chance that the left base could fall into disrepair or fail at driving home their message to more moderate voters. However, that sentiment is ignoring the fact that the top of the ticket in 2012 is perhaps the best campaigner, organizer, and messenger in recent electoral history. If people are wanting to be organized and inspired, then Obama is the one who will do it. Even with low approval ratings and all of these distractions, he has already started shattering fundraising records. Just imagine what he'll do when campaigning becomes his primary focus and he has a bankroll to start driving home this message to voters around the country.
Even if they don't formally approve of the job he's doing, Democrats will be out there canvassing, fundraising, and voting for Obama. I believe the President and his team are well aware of this fact and will continue letting the Tea Party alienate the rest of the country and the GOP start to tear at the seams. No doubt about it, 2012 is going to be a true fight for both parties, but to think that the President's base won't turn out for him is a failure to understand all of the other factors in play.