The monthly Pew survey on the presidential contest released yesterday provides some simple and useful data on an underlying reality that is easy to forget in all the trauma of the last three years and all the talk about “the electorate” or “the people” deciding this or that about Barack Obama or his opponents: voters are currently breaking down pretty much as they did in 2008.
In the context of a contest in which Obama is shown as leading Romney by four points (among registered voters), as compared with his seven-point win over John McCain, here are the changes in Obama’s margin from 2008 among basic demographic groups: Men: -5; Women: Even; 18-29: -6; 30-44: -2; 45-64: Even; Over 65: +2; White: -3; Black: +2; Hispanic: +4; >100k: +4; 50-100k: Even; <50k: -13; Republicans: -2; Democrats: +7; Independents: -14.
Among white voters, Obama’s big glaring losses as compared to 2008 are with those earning less than $50,000 (-12) and independents (-18).
Instability among independents is entirely predictable; there’s been a nine-point swing among indies (against Obama) in Pew’s data just in the last month. And the deterioriation of his support among lower-income white voters has been the subject of endless debate.
All in all, the partisan patterns established in 2008 have proved to be impressively durable during the Obama administration.
Feed the Political AnimalDonate
Washington Monthly depends on donations from readers like you.