At the Bipartisan Policy Center Wednesday, demographic expert Ruy Teixeira laid out a persuasive case that demographics are destiny for President Obama. Given the growth in the minority vote and a decline in the blue-collar white working class vote, he argued Obama is the favorite for re-election - even given a slow-growing economy. But a newly-released FOX News poll, complemented with the latest Gallup weekly tracking numbers, suggest an alternate scenario - that Obama's approval ratings with white voters have dropped so badly that even a surge in minority turnout and enthusiasm towards Obama wouldn't be enough to win him a second term.
The poll, released Thursday, shows Obama with a brutal 34 percent job approval rating with white voters. That's not necessarily an outlier: Gallup's latest weekly track found his job approval rating at 36 percent with white voters. (For context, Democrats still managed to win 37 percent of the white vote in the 2010 midterms, even as they lost a historic 63 House seats that year.) And his approval with nonwhites - at 71 percent in Gallup, 65 percent in the Fox survey - is far from the 80 percent he tallied in the 2008 general election.
Polling data are only a snapshot in time, and there have been other surveys (like the ABC/Washington Post poll, released earlier this week) showing better outcomes for Obama. But what all these numbers suggest is that things have the potential to get worse for the president. And needless to say, with the Rosen flap and weaker-than-expected jobs data, this hasn't been a good week for the president.