Democrats Losing Younger People, Independents, Whites

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 06:12 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Democratic 2014 electoral prospects are hampered by the party's losing ground among whites, those under 34, and independent voters, Andrew Kohut, founding director of the Pew Research Center, wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Surveys show that the public thinks Republicans have fewer solutions on healthcare than Democrats, and only a four-point lead on handling the economy. Moreover, the Republican Party has a 59 percent unfavorable rating – and the tea party is almost twice as unpopular today as it was in 2010.

Nevertheless, polls show the GOP stands a better chance of coming out ahead in the midterm elections, Kohut wrote.

While Republican voters are more enthusiastic about their party and exhibit a higher voter participation rate, Democrats, with a 48 percent unfavorable rating, are losing support among key demographic groups.

Independent voters lean Republican by 44 percent to 38 percent. President Barack Obama failed to carry the independent vote in the 2012 presidential elections, Kohut wrote in a commentary.

About 80 percent of the midterm electorate is expected to be white, Kohut wrote. Democrats trail Republicans in white support 53 percent to 38 percent.

Democrats are also losing backing among millennials. Identification with the Democrats now stands at 50 percent – down from 58 percent in 2009.

Obama's unpopularity "is probably the greatest problem for Democrats this year," Kohut wrote.

With a 44 percent approval rating, his standing could prove a hindrance to Democratic candidates. In 2006, Republicans lost Congress when President George W. Bush's approval slipped to roughly that same 44 percent level.

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