Yes, I'd be willing to bet that if we sat down and studied legislative records there are at least 50 congressmen to the left of Obama. Probably more.
A system called DW-Nominate, developed by a group of six political scientists, rates each member of Congress on a scale from negative 1 (very liberal on economic issues) to positive 1 (very conservative) based on their roll-call votes. The system also creates a score for each president based on cases in which the outcome he desired from a vote in Congress was clearly articulated.
According to the system, the score for the average Democrat in the 111th Congress was -0.382 (negative 0.382), although there was a fairly significant range, from very liberal Democrats like Dennis J. Kucinich (-0.612) and Barbara Lee (-0.743) to moderates like Heath Shuler (-0.100) and Ben Nelson (-0.030).
Mr. Obama’s score of -0.399 was very close to the average, splitting the difference between his party’s liberal and moderate wings. He typically leaves some room to his left. On initiatives ranging from health care to financial regulation, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as well as many liberal bloggers, thinkers and activists, have complained that his positions concede too much to the Republicans. But Mr. Obama’s positions also generally draw some complaints from moderate, Blue Dog Democrats, and do not always win their votes.
Mr. Obama’s positions are also broadly in line with the median Democratic voter. According to polling conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, 70 percent of Democrats think Mr. Obama’s positions are “about right”, and those who disagreed were about as likely to say he was too conservative (12 percent) as too liberal (14 percent).