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Obama's Last Line of Defense Obama's Last Line of Defense

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Obama's Last Line of Defense

The new round of national and state surveys this week generally showing President Obama clinging to a tenuous advantage over Republican Mitt Romney reinforce the conclusion that socially liberal, upscale white women may stand as the president's indispensable line of defense in his struggle for reelection.

Both the national ABC/Washington Post survey released earlier this week, and the NBC/Marist Polls released Thursday in the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida show Obama retaining preponderant support among minority voters who were critical to his 2008 victory. Conversely, in almost all of the surveys, Obama faces a consistent pattern of erosion from his already meager 2008 levels of support among whites without a college education.

In both the national and battleground polls, college-educated white voters loom as a more conflicted and contested group-with Obama generally struggling among the men, but maintaining his support among the women better than many Democratic candidates did in the 2010 GOP Congressional landslide. Combined with Obama's minority support, that was enough to keep him ahead of Romney in all four of these national and state surveys-though not quite enough in any case to push the president past the 50 percent marker that allows incumbents to sleep better. "I think those women are pretty solid," says Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who is advising a pro-Obama Super PAC.  "Of all the things that keep me up at night, they are at the bottom of the list."

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