Interesting observation from First Read:

We said it at the time: As the GM bailout goes, so goes the Obama presidency. It was the bailout everyone in America could understand, and it wasn’t popular. In our June 2009 NBC/WSJ poll, the American automaker had an awful 18%-47% fav/unfav. A year later, however, the Obama administration believes it has a good story to tell. And today, the president is going to tell that story. Later this morning, he heads to Michigan, where he will tour a Chrysler and then a GM plant. After that, he’ll make remarks about the auto industry at 1:40 pm ET. There are real signs that the American auto industry has a pulse. What's helped besides the government’s intervention? Well, the Toyota debacle for one thing. But GM has also embarked on quite the image campaign. And in our May 2010 NBC/WSJ poll, guess what GM’s fav/unfav was? 37%-27% Quite the turnaround.

It's also worth considering that this isn't purely a national issue. The people who care about GM and the domestic auto industry are overwhelmingly the same people who identify with it and believe it can and should be saved.