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Conventions 2012 / CONVENTIONS 2012

Pollsters Cite Obama Demographic Weaknesses

photo of Stacy Kaper
September 4, 2012

White seniors, young people, white non-college educated women, and diminished enthusiasm are among President Obama’s biggest election vulnerabilities, Democratic pollsters said on Tuesday.

  • “The president lost white seniors four years ago,” said Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, speaking at a National Journal/The Atlantic/CBS News event at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. “The real question is, we have to make up for seniors with our youth vote, and when you are not sure about how high the youth turnout is going to be, that makes the senior vote even more important."
  • Women also will be a deciding factor, particularly whites who lack college educations and who are worried about their personal household financial situation. And Lake said Obama faces an enthusiasm gap, which could hurt his support from those who voted for him in 2008.
  • John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Research, a pollster for Obama in 2008, said that Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina are key states for Obama and Democrats. "The Democratic Party has to move beyond being a kind of a Northeast, Midwest party," he said.


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