Obama’s Appeal to Working Class Whites Might Make the Difference in this Election
As the 2012 presidential election closes in, we can all see that the race is close. President Obama has maintained his coalition from 2008, but it’s questionable that he has a broad enough appeal to get back into the White House. The economy has been the leading point of contention, and the primary reason that some voters have chosen not to support the president this time around.
“He has lost support to some degree across the board with the exception of Hispanics and African Americans,” Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, told AFP.
”The question of whether the different parts of his 2008 coalition turn out at the same rates they did four years ago is vital and one that nobody knows the answer to at this point.”
Over 95 percent of all African Americans voted for Obama in 2008, with record turnout. But the president also dominated with the Hispanic vote, landing 67 percent of the bloc. Over two thirds of all voters under the age of 30 supported President Obama. They also served as his base of volunteers that took to the streets to get him elected. The president also had 56 percent of all female voters.
Mitt Romney appeals to white voters and the wealthy. But some are not sure if he’s the kind of Republican who can get people excited.
“He’s not depending solely on an ideological base or a conservative Christian base at all to get him to the point where he is neck-and-neck with the president,” said Keeter.
While Romney is leading across the nation, the president is leading in swing states. It turns out that the president’s political firewall consists of states that are predominantly white, such as Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin. The biggest battle is for the state of Ohio, which has the most electoral votes, and political ads are running 24 hours a day.
“This time there’s clearly in Ohio a decline in enthusiasm for the president among these groups,” political expert John Green, from the University of Akron, told AFP.
A factor in Ohio is that the president bailed out the auto industry and Romney wanted the companies to go bankrupt. Most of the president’s ads have portrayed Romney as a manifestation of corporate greed. In the 2008 election, the president did not lead among working class whites, giving up an 18 percent deficit to his opponent. He is working hard this time to get those voters for this election.
“I don’t know if that’s the actual strategy of the campaign but the evidence certainly fits that pattern,” said Green.