As suspect poll after suspect poll tells us this is a “close race”, keep these facts in mind: Barack Obama is NOT winning ANY group he lost in 2008. He is NOT doing better with any group he won or even improving with any group(s) he lost in 2008.
Polls asking “registered” voters for whom they will vote actually don’t mean much because history tells us more than 1/3 won’t show up to vote anyway.
Nevertheless, such polls do have some value in that they can provide a peek at the enthusiasm to actually go to the polls these “potential” voters have.
The most recent Gallup survey of registered voters shows us where Barack Obama’s three main voting blocs, young 18-to-29 year olds, Hispanics, and African-Americans are on the question of “enthusiasm.”
While Obama is soundly beating Mitt Romney among the 18-to-29 year old group 58/34 and 61/29 among Hispanics, the “I will definitely vote” sentiment of both groups is lower than it was in 2008. More than this, these numbers are a 10 point improvement among Young voters and a 4 point improvement among Hispanics. Both are nice starting points for Romney even before the “enthusiasm factor” comes into play.
As things are shaping up, the big lead Obama has among Young voters won’t mean much as it is wiped out by their grandparents (65 and over) who support Romney 54/39 and plan to vote at an 86% rate. That huge 25-point enthusiasm gap will more than cancel out the young voters’ Obama sentiment.
As to non-Hispanic white voters versus Hispanic voters, the 82 /66 enthusiasm gap will nullify the value of the Latino vote for Obama. All whites except the very young voted for McCain in solid numbers and can be expected to vote in larger numbers for Romney.
The African-American vote was so high in 2008 (95% with 65% turnout for Obama), it never had any place to go but down. Even the most optimistic statewide polls show Obama a minimum of 3 points below his peak; and the New York Times, by citing and explaining an EPIC-MRA poll, has acknowledged the likelihood of a turnout drop of 2 points from 12% to 10%. That alone spells trouble for Obama without considering the basic “No new wins, new improvements” 2008 to 2012 axiom.
We have to keep fighting, but we have the wind at our backs.
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Photo credit: terrellaftermath
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