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Obama Hits Historic Low With Working White Men

From the National Journal:

Obama Sinks to Historic Lows Among Blue-Collar Men

By Ronald Brownstein
July 11, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.

The new Quinnipiac University and ABC/Washington Post national surveys out this week converge on one key conclusion: as the election nears, President Obama is sinking to historic lows among the group most consistently hostile to him.

Throughout his career on the national stage, Obama has struggled among white men without a college education. But in these latest surveys, he has fallen to a level of support among them lower than any Democratic nominee has attracted in any election since 1980, according to an upcoming National Journal analysis of exit polls from presidential elections.

Though pollsters at each organization caution that the margins of error are substantial when looking at subgroups such as this, each poll shows erosion within that margin of error for Obama with these working-class white men. The new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama attracting just 29 percent of non-college white men, down from 32 percent in their most recent national survey in April, according to figures provided by Douglas Schwartz, April Radocchio and Ralph Hansen of Quinnipiac. The ABC/Washington Post survey found Obama drawing just 28 percent of non-college white men, down from 34 percent in their May survey, according to figures provided by ABC Pollster Gary Langer. Romney drew 56 percent of the non-college white men in Quinnipiac and 65 percent in the ABC/Washington Post survey.

Gee, why would people who actually work hard for a living be opposed to a President who does everything he can to redistribute their earnings to people who don’t work?

No one expects Obama to win these blue-collar men, who are now among the most reliably Republican segments of the electorate.

Isn’t Obama the President of the entire country? Even blue collar workers? How come everyone knows that Obama does not have a chance with them? What has he done?

But even so, these numbers, if sustained through Election Day, would represent a modern nadir for Democrats. Since 1980, the worst performance for any Democratic nominee among these working-class white men was the 31 percent Walter Mondale managed against Ronald Reagan in 1984; the meager 39 percent Obama drew in 2008 was actually the party’s best showing over that period.

So it can’t be blamed on racism.

These new surveys show Obama that these non-college white men represent Obama’s largest source of decline in the white electorate since 2008.

So they have learned their lesson.

Still, Obama is also facing weak numbers among working-class white women. The Quinnipiac Poll shows him drawing just 37 percent of white women without a college education, and the ABC/Post poll puts him at 40 percent with those women. In each poll that’s up five percentage points from his showing in the most recent national survey, a change within the margin of error. But even so, Obama’s performance in the new polls shows the continued Democratic struggles with those "waitress moms" that Bill Clinton and then Al Gore targeted successfully (Clinton won 48 percent of their vote in 1996 and Gore 45 percent in 2000). Obama appears on track to do no better, and possibly slightly worse, than the modest 41 percent he won with those women in 2008, which was itself essentially unchanged from John Kerry’s weak 40 percent showing in 2004.

And, lest we forget, Hillary Clinton carried working class women through most of the 2008 primaries.

Such a poor performance among working-class whites would enormously complicate Obama’s hopes in older Rust Belt states where they predominate, including Ohio, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin (and to a slightly lesser extent Pennsylvania). But in several of those states, recent polls (like Quinnipiac’s most recent Ohio and Pennsylvania surveys) show Obama running slightly better with non-college whites than he’s run nationally, which has allowed him to maintain a lead.

By now, the reasons for Obama’s struggles with working-class whites are familiar. Many are culturally-conservative; more are deeply skeptical of government (including his health care plan); and most are struggling in the sustained economic downturn. Polls also consistently show many working-class whites are deeply uneasy about the propulsive racial and ethnic changes that Obama uniquely embodies

You see, it’s racism after all.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, July 12th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Obama Hits Historic Low With Working White Men”

  1. ilzito guacamolito says:

    Maybe his poor showing with college uneducated men and women is why Obama wants taxpayers to foot the bill for everyone getting a degree so they can wise up.

    * * *

    ~ Gee, why would people who actually work hard for a living be opposed to a President who does everything he can to redistribute their earnings to people who don’t work? ~

    You’ve got that right. Racism my keester…

  2. AcornsRNutz says:

    Well, he did right us off. Though it may be historically a democrat demographic, there is a conservative streak in them yet. Working men, union or not, tend to personally disapprove of social welfare programs. I think he doesn’t much care about this shift, though he should. He figures the union line toers will vote for him and the rest wouldn’t have anyway. Those are the bitter clinging redneck ones he hates so much. I mean, this guy is only views people as a voter demographic and no more. Why didn’t he show up at the NAACP? Not because he was afraid of tough questions about black unemployment, those wouldn’t have come up. It was because he feels he can count on them being in the bag. HE can literally snub his nose at the people he claims to be the first real champion for in the white house. Sad thing is he’ll get away with it. But then again, as Rush said, if 5% of black voters that were going to vote obama change their mind as a result, he could again be in big trouble.

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