Pew Poll: Obama Struggling With White Voters

Ronald Brownstein, National Journal, April 7, 2011

{snip}

In his 2008 election, Obama ran well only among two groups of whites–young people and white women with at least a four year college education, two groups that are generally receptive to government activism. In the 2010 GOP landslide, those groups stuck with Democrats relatively more loyally than the rest of the white electorate, but the party’s support tumbled even among them.

{snip}

{snip} On the one hand, Obama will benefit from a wave of diversity that has increased the minority share of the population in every state since 2000, according to recently released results from the 2010 Census.

{snip} In the 2010 mid-term election, according to the Edison exit poll, just 37 percent of whites backed Democrats in House races, while 60 percent supported Republicans-the highest share of the white vote Republicans have won in a House election in the history of modern polling. Obama’s approval rating among all whites in the Pew survey stands at a similar 38 percent.

{snip}

Obama’s best group in the white electorate remains well-educated women, who tend toward more liberal positions on social issues as well as greater receptivity to government activism. In the new poll, 56 percent of college-educated white women said they approved of Obama’s performance. That’s a slight improvement from the 52 percent of such women who voted for him in 2008, according to the Edison Research exit poll. It’s also a big improvement from the 43 percent of college-plus white women who backed Democratic House candidates in 2010. {snip}

The rest of the white electorate remains deeply cool to Obama, the Pew survey found. Just 38 percent of college-educated white men said they approve of the president. That’s down from the 42 percent of the vote he won from those men in 2008, and only a slight improvement from the miniscule 35 percent House Democrats won with them in 2010.

Obama’s approval rating in the Pew survey stood at just 34 percent among white women without a college education–the so-called waitress moms. Democrats have often had high hopes for capturing those economically-strained, culturally-conservative women, but the new result only underscores their consistent Republican tilt: Obama won just 41 percent of them in 2008, and House Democrats just 34 percent of them in 2010.

The toughest group for Obama remains white men without a college-education–the blue-collar workers who constituted the foundation of the Democratic electoral coalition from 1932 to 1968. Just 35 percent of them said they approve of his performance in the Pew poll. That’s below even the 39 percent of them Obama carried in 2008, though slightly above the Democrats’ microscopic 32 percent showing with them in 2010, according to the exit poll. All of these results suggest that the gap between Obama’s support among college-educated white women and non-college white men–which stood at a formidable 13 percentage points in 2008–might easily widen even further in 2012.

{snip} In the Pew survey, Obama’s approval rating among white seniors stands at just 38 percent; he draws just 35 percent approval from those aged 50-64 and 40 percent from those 30-49. Generally, that’s slightly, but not markedly, below his support from those groups in 2008.

Perhaps the most ominous trend for Obama in the Pew survey is that just 41 percent of whites under 30 said they approved of his performance; in 2008, he won 54 percent of those younger whites. In the 2010 exit poll, Democrats’ support among those whites sagged to 45 percent, but even that remained much higher than their backing among older whites.

Almost as troubling for Obama is his showing among Hispanics in the poll. Just 54 percent of Hispanics in the Pew survey said they approved of his performance, a finding that echoes the results in recent Gallup polls. Given Obama’s persistent difficulties in the white community, he can’t afford much softening among Hispanics, who gave him two-thirds of their votes last time and represent a steadily growing share of the population in key swing states from Nevada and Colorado to North Carolina and Virginia, and even Iowa and New Hampshire.

{snip}

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  • Question Diversity

    The cautionary tale here for Republicans is that disapproval for Obama among non-college educated whites and young whites is not necessarily the same thing as approval for Republicans, or an automatic vote for the Republican that comes out of the 2012 Primaries and Caucuses.

    What I am about to say might be a bit obtuse, and definitely not having anything to do with race, but one reason Obama’s popularity decline among whites under 30 has to do with technology issues, especially copywrong extremism, and Obama being basically a shill for the RIAA and MPAA, in spite of campaign promises indicating otherwise in 2008.

  • Guard the White Privilege

    Take a look at the comments on the original article- AmRen Revenge!

  • q

    “35 percent of blue-collar whites actually think he is doing a good job.”

    This is a really disturbing stat, because it reveals how out-of-touch and ignorant so many whites are.

    If the do-gooders and fools aren’t responsible for re-electing this anti-white miscreant, then it will be due to those too ignorant and stupid to vote.

  • Tim in Indiana

    On the one hand, Obama will benefit from a wave of diversity that has increased the minority share of the population in every state since 2000, according to recently released results from the 2010 Census.

    Notice how matter-of-factly this is always reported in the MSM–as if it’s the most natural thing in the world for one race of people to be demographically replaced by another race of people in their own country.

    In any event, I wouldn’t rule out a re-election for Obama just yet. You can count on the MSM to carry out a massive propaganda guilt trip around election time about how TERRIBLE and indicative of “racism” it would be for the nation’s “first black president” not to be elected to a second term!! We already saw the MSM’s bias during the last election.

  • sbuffalonative

    1) McCain/Palin was a lousy ticket.

    2) Bush fatigue.

    3) Hope that someone new, a black man, would do things differently and make America ‘better’ (It was worth a shot).

    I do believe there was a feeling of hope among voters after the Bush years. With two seemingly endless wars and Bush’s fumbling in office, anyone other than a Republican looked like a great choice.

    Reality has set in. President Obama wasn’t the ‘magic negro’. Now even he is getting us involved in over seas military actions (something 99% of his supports likely never believed he would do).

    Unless he can end the wars and bring the troops home and do something he can claim credit for in turning around the economy, he’s just as bad as anyone else.

    If the Republican can find an intelligent, credible, charismatic candidate, they might have a chance to win.

    I doubt it. Republicans will likely ‘play it safe’ and pick some recalcitrant troglodyte (like Newt Gingrich) as their nominee.

    Sorry to say but Republican retreads will have a difficult time winning but a new face with intellegence and charisma would make it an equal fight.

  • Wayne Engle

    So the Anointed One’s strongest support among Whites comes from “well-educated” women, huh? Make that “well-brainwashed.” And considering that he only won 43 percent of us in 2008, and has not exactly been a resounding success as president, why would Democrats think he would do better than that next year?

    We’re still 65 percent of the population (if you cook the numbers as the Census Bureau does by counting Hispanics who are White as “Hispanic” instead of White), and we tend to be more apt to vote than the minorities who the Democrats count on, I think I see a “one and done” for Obama.

  • mike from canada

    Am i to understand that 97% of white people support either of the 2 parties? I find that rather hard to believe. here in Canada last election half the people stayed home. A decisive 50% no vote to all politicians.

  • TomSwift

    Personally I don’t think he’s any worse than the other presidents we’ve had.

    Think of the issues that are important to you. Opposing immigration is one of the few political issues that unites the people who post here. If I remember correctly, more illegals have been deported under Obama than under any president since Eisenhower. If he seriously began rounding them up I’d vote for him without a second thought.

  • AWG (Average White Guy)

    I would guess those Whites who support Obama are either leftists or generational Democrats.

    Consider that if America were exclusively White, or if only Whites could vote, Obama would not have been elected. Our nation is ALREADY controlled by non-Whites.

  • Economist

    @Guard the White Privilege

    You’re right, the comments section is priceless! Many of those comments could easily have been posted on Amren.com. I hope all of you have noticed that Amren.com’s Alexa traffic is now ranked 16,309 in the US, up from about the 100,000th place less than a year ago.

  • Anonymous

    Polls are usually padded or skewed so that left-wing issues look more popular than they really are and they can steer people in a certain direction. If you went by polls then the vast majority of Americans think same sex marriage is just fine and that most Whites had black friends. Obama’s support among Whites is probably lower than they’re letting on about.

  • John Engelman

    3 — q wrote at 7:46 PM on April 8:

    “35 percent of blue-collar whites actually think he is doing a good job.”

    This is a really disturbing stat, because it reveals how out-of-touch and ignorant so many whites are.

    ——

    They probably remember that they were better off when Bill Clinton was president. As their pay checks bought less during the Bush administration they resented being told by Republican commentators that the economy was booming, and that that demonstrated that “tax cuts [for the rich] work.”

  • Alexandra

    I think sbuffalonative hit the nail on the head.

    I think people were sick of Bush and didn’t want Bush Lite (McCain). Understandable.

    But people need to vote for something instead of against someone. That’s why I voted for Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party) in 2008. I voted for someone who would uphold the Constitution, which has been pretty well trashed by the duopoly (Democrat and Republican).

    I don’t buy into the line that “third party candidates split the conservative vote.” Consider that there’s no difference between D and R except the packaging. People got on Obama for being anti-gun (rightfully so) but it didn’t seem to register that Juan McAmnesty is a gun-grabber–he was given an F- by the Gun Owners of America.

  • Greg

    To Tom:

    Obama’s “deportation” of illegals is a sideshow. Illegals still come in at record numbers, one only has to look at South Texas, California, and other parts of the SW to see that.

    He opposed Arizona’s immigration bill, citing “Federal” jurisdiction in the matter. Of course, he isn’t pushing for a border fence or ICE raids, so I doubt he is using his position to push for tougher immigration enforcement at the Federal level.

    He appointed Big Sis to run the Justice Dept. She has done nothing but harass honest, innocent American airline travelers while allowing illegals to race across the border.

    The only positive for Obama is that he hasn’t tried to pass amnesty. This is only because Bush got his butt handed to him when he tried, and Obama would rather spend his political capital passing health care legislation and bombing Libyans.

  • Anonymous

    Who ARE these “well-educated white women” who are always touted as among the strongest white supporters of Obama, and of government intervention in general? I fall into this demographic, yet my values are as far from this as the west is from the east. I feel vaguely embarrassed every time I read something like this.

    Why are my sisters such easy marks? Is it somehow related to motherhood, to a desire to nurture the young? Being a mother has definitely made me yearn for a time, not so long ago, when all of society’s institutions conspired to support and uphold the family and the wellbeing of children, rather than to tear them down, as they do today.

    But becoming a parent, a person that another helpless little human depends on so completely, makes one realize as nothing else does that “the buck stops here”. *I* am responsible for my daughter, I am the one she relies on – not the church, the school, the “village”, and certainly not any government institution. It would be welcome if they supported my efforts to raise an honorable, self-supporting individual, but I am the final authority, and I would run to the ends of the earth to protect her from any sort of government “interference”. I think that’s why parenthood makes most people more conservative. Nothing like having kids to focus the mind!

  • Anonymous

    The big question is who is going to run against Obama in 2012? I tend the think the people in the spotlight are our elite’s favorite picks while those with less coverage or media blackouts are the ones they want people to ignore. Frankly I’m sick of seeing those tired old candidates being paraded in front of us like Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rudy Gulianni. I don’t mind a woman but forget Sarah Palin. She’s awful and gives the impression of being someone easily manipulated. I want someone on the traditional right who’ll bring our troops home and wipe out the Federal Government and transfer the vast majority of civil service positions to the private sector where it will create lots of jobs. I want someone who’ll attack affirmative action, cut immigration and rebuild our manufacturing base. Obama is weak and the Republicans should be able to beat him easily if the right candidate comes along. However, if it’s the same old same then we’re looking at a second term because I’ll certainly stay home or vote third party if the candidate is Bush II.

  • WR the elder

    #16 Anonymous – I agree with you. Obama is a lousy President but we can pretty much count on the Republicans giving us some horrible Bush clone for a candidate and thus ensuring that Obama wins again. The only advantage of a white Republican like Bush is that you could criticize him without being called a racist.

  • Anonymous

    These numbers don’t mean anything. Despite all of his negatives, Obama will probably win re-election by a comfortable margin. Most of these “disaffected whites” who voted for him last time will vote for him again for exactly the same reasons they voted for him the first time: white guilt, fuzzy-headed liberalism, “the lesser of two evils,” etc., etc. It won’t matter that he broke all his promises and turned out to be worse than Bush. White Obama voters won’t remember that stuff, anyway. He’ll change his campaign slogan from “CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN” to something like “TOGETHER WE THRIVE” and they’ll vote him back into office for another four years of economic collapse, naked body scanners, “humanitarian wars” and endless blather from the likes of Harry Reid, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi. As for the Republicans, they’ll spew a lot of hot air about the “Big Tent,” run another stiff, and end up going down in flames. Guaranteed.

  • joe

    Obama will probably win re-election knowing that so many ignorant white voters are going to vote for him. His soft, non-threatening way he talks disarms many voters who look for personality. Educated men/women – doesn’t mean they’re smart. Many have had the common sense educated out of them. Obama knows he will get a lot of white votes, plus >90% black and >75% Hispanic, and >60% Asian votes. If that doesn’t work, cheating at the polls is nothing new to democrats.

    It’s scary knowing he’ll probably be re-elected, but people have to really hurt in order to wake up. The masses are still sleeping. Even after this stupid budget deal that of course was a democratic victory, it’s obvious that republicans are flat footed and the masses are still sleeping. All I can really say is “the poor future generations will really pay the price”.

  • Lauren

    The polls, apparently, can no longer be trusted.

    I find it impossible to believe that so many people approve of Obama’s performance. The polls seem to have been converted into yet another vector for propaganda.

  • Travis L

    “35 percent of blue-collar white actually think he is doing a good job.”

    – Yep, and I bet every single one of them is either 1) a card-carrying Union member, 2)under 30 and buying into the ‘MTV says Obama is cool’ meme, or 3) a combination of those two.

  • olewhitelady

    As to the matter of Obama’s support among well-educated women: mind that this doesn’t mean that MOST of this demographic support him. It may be one of his strongest areas of support in a field where he has only moderate support in total. The MSM will twist facts in all possible ways to make him look good.

    And as to polls to determine whether a Prez is doing well: many Americans don’t follow politics and have no idea how any executive or legislator is doing. In poll responses, they may be thinking only of something the Prez is doing at present–like warring on an Arab country, which Repubs might approve of even more than Dems.

    And I’ll say it again: all the GOP has to do to get most of the Hispanic vote is to run a Spanish-surnamed candidate as VP. It can be a white man like Cuban-American Marco Rubio as well as a mestizo from the SW.

  • Anonymous

    8 — TomSwift wrote at 1:09 AM on April 9:

    Personally I don’t think he’s any worse than the other presidents we’ve had.

    Think of the issues that are important to you. Opposing immigration is one of the few political issues that unites the people who post here. If I remember correctly, more illegals have been deported under Obama than under any president since Eisenhower. If he seriously began rounding them up I’d vote for him without a second thought.

    —————————————————————

    Please give us some proof of this. Obama has DEPORTED more illegals than anyone??? Where is that fact? Obama is pushing for amnesty ALL the time! Haven’t you read the many articles on here about that one?

  • Question Diversity

    Tom, Greg, et al.:

    Don’t forget about the semantics of “deportation.” Usually, when one is said to be “deported,” it does not mean that one is physically and forcibly returned to one’s native country. It means that a Federal immigration ALJ judge has signed a piece of paper asking you to go home. Any correlation between that and you actually going home is purely coincidental. Obama might say that he’s “increased deportations,” (though I really have not heard him brag about that), but if true, all it means is that he’s leaning on friendly ALJ immigration judges to sign more pieces of paper to make him look good.

    Read the comment from Margaret here on AR:

    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2009/05/socal_counties.php#comments

  • ehunt

    Obama’s best group in the white electorate remains well-educated women, who tend toward more liberal positions on social issues as well as greater receptivity to government activism.

    Plenty of this type around here..ie. suburban Maryland. I would

    contest the “well educated” descriptor. These women are

    not well educated at all, they know no real history, no

    philosophy, nothing about literature or books beyond the Oprah

    Book of the Month Club. But they all possess a dumbed down degree

    from one of the big indocrtination centers..and no matter what

    happens in the real world..they never ever question those

    root assumptions. Received ideas that were injected into their otherwise vacant

    heads way back in Sophmore Womens Studies. Hillary of course

    is the perfect example of this..here is a 60 something woman that

    hasnt had a new idea since 1969. Anyway these types abound in the DC area..you can see them in their massive SUVs with a Save the Planet sticker, or an Obama sticker as they drive their

    kids throught the iron gates of Georgetown Prep..miles away from

    the living hell of SouthEast or Baltimore..where the real consequences of their liberal idiocy has played out. But hey..they feel good about themselves and that is all that matters.

  • Anonymous

    “The masses are still sleeping.”

    If the masses are still sleeping after everything that’s happened during the last couple of decades, I’d have to say that the masses are in a terminal coma. I wouldn’t count on them waking up at all regardless of what happens.

  • john

    If anybody had any doubts regarding the worth of a college “education,” these poll results certainly should confirm them.

  • Anonymous

    22 — olewhitelady wrote at 8:58 AM on April 10:

    “And I’ll say it again: all the GOP has to do to get most of the Hispanic vote is to run a Spanish-surnamed candidate as VP. It can be a white man like Cuban-American Marco Rubio as well as a mestizo from the SW.”

    And I’ll say this again: The fake conservative liberal plants on the right will never give up until the conservative movement is saturated with as much diversity as the left. Whether they’re creating media sensations out of black tokens like Colin Powell, cheerleading some unknown mediocre Presidential hopeful like Herman Cain or touting people like Joseph Cao (who thankfully was flushed in the last election) as the future of the Republican Party, the end game is still the same.

  • Veritas

    I am stunned that anyone from any demographic (except blacks) would think that Obama is doing a good job. By any measure, that man is inept, incompetent, and a failure at everything. The economy is a mess; he shoves bills down the throat of the American people with absolutely no regard for what the people want; his obsequious attempts to win friends in the muslim world have only earned him derision and contempt; we’re drowning in debt and he only makes it worse. On top of that, he is not accountable to anything. The man promised the most open administration in history, but has spent (depending on who you read) hundreds of thousands of dollars having lawyers fight to keep all of his past records under lock and key, yet he knows his friends in the media will go to bat for him no matter what he does.

    I never paid much attention to the whole “birther” thing, but the more I read about his past, I’m convinced the man has something to hide. If the people in this country are blind enough to elect him to another four years, we are doomed.

  • Anonymous

    I think the stats for the ’08 election were something like 52% for Obama and maybe 45% for McCain ? Odd how that works out to be about the same for those here during WW2 (126 million) , the ones whose roots are in Colonial and Frontier America or assimilated into that group and the ones who came here after WW2 (roughly 180 million) who did not assimilate so well but expects America to assimilate into what they want it to be . I am sure it is more complicated than what it appears on the surface but still——- . It just makes you wonder .

    And of course as more immigrants inundate the U.S. daily and are given the right to vote , among other entitlements , they all know the password is ” vote liberal democrat,” soon those whose roots are in that America that no longer really exist will find themselves strangers in their own land .

  • voiceofstl

    Q wrote

    “35 percent of blue-collar whites actually think he is doing a good job.”

    This is a really disturbing stat, because it reveals how out-of-touch and ignorant so many whites are.

    I amazed by the number of blue collar whites I have met that are so far to the right one would suspect they have sheets in their closet. But for some absurd reason they vote democrat. Because “they are for the working man”.

  • Diversity = Adversity

    They polled just over a thousand people. Where are they conducting these polls? Certainly nowhere near me!

    I never get polled outside of the internet! I wonder what hand picked group these posters are pretending to accurately portray the opinion of?

    E

  • Seek

    ehunt:

    Believe me, I know the type. I’ve dated a few, in fact, though thankfully my wife was not among them. They have no real ideas, just “enlightened” impulses that occasionally resemble ideas. Women’s primary value, I’m afraid, lies in an ability to have sex and bear children. “Deep conversation” is secondary, if even that. I routinely put my Ph.D. to better use elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    “If the people in this country are blind enough to elect him to another four years, we are doomed.”

    They ARE blind enough; they WILL re-elect him; and, yes, we ARE doomed. I hope I’m wrong, but don’t forget that Bush was re-elected AFTER it was obvious that he’d lied about weapons of mass destruction. Obama could destroy the entire country and start a nuclear war with China and Russia and half the American population would still vote for him. Mencken didn’t call them the “Boobery” for nothing.