President Obama may be losing support among white voters, according to a new Pew Research poll. In 2008, Obama mainly ran well 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, the National Journal
points out in a story Thursday. And in 2010 GOP landslide, those groups stuck with Democrats relatively more loyally than the rest of the white electorate.
But that support is falling. Figures provided to National Journal by Pew from the new survey suggests that Obama has recaptured ground Democrats lost with well-educated white women in 2010. Still, he is still struggling with every other segment of the white electorate, including younger voters.
These results underscore the basic dynamic looming over the 2012 presidential race, the Journal suggests.
Obama's best group in the white electorate remains well-educated women, who tend toward more liberal positions on social issues. They also are more receptive to government activism. In the new poll, 56 percent of college-educated white women said they approved of Obama's performance.
The poll, which surveyed 1,507 adults from March 30 to April 3, put Obama's overall approval rating at 47 percent with 45 percent disapproving. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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.
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.
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