The Average White Guy Vote

Salena Zito, Real Clear Politics, May 13, 2012

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The problem for President Barack Obama and down-ticket Democrats on November’s ballot is that average white guys aren’t just found in West Virginia; they’re in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states, too, and they can tip this fall’s election.

According to Gallup’s latest battleground numbers, Obama’s main electoral strengths are with voters who are nonwhite, nonreligious, single or postgraduates. Republican Mitt Romney’s strength is with white voters, particularly men, those who are religious, and those who are 30 or older.

Romney leads Obama with white male and female voters and does significantly better among men, 59 percent to 32 percent.

Among white women, Romney leads by nine points, 50 percent to 41 percent.

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Some Democrats like to portray the GOP as a party of white, middle-class, married Christian men. Interestingly, the president, who ran as someone who would unite the nation, has disconnected with the next largest plurality in the electorate behind women—white guys, men who once were the backbone of the Democratic Party.

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They did vote for him in 2008—but the polls suggest they are not coming back this time.

The loss of the average white guy is why you see President Obama devoting so much effort on trying to encourage the college-educated young to vote, said Mark Rozell, political-science professor at George Mason University. “He needs to offset substantial losses among predominantly white, non-college-educated men who are a big component of those left behind by the struggling economy,” Rozell explained.

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