Looking ahead to electoral strategy for 2012...
In an interesting New Republic piece, William Galston analyzes President Obama's prospects for re-election, as well as his potential campaign strategy. Galston observes that the President must win over Ohio voters via a different strategy, for example, than Colorado voters.
As Galston sees it, lost manufacturing jobs play a big part in the politics of states like Ohio:
The Midwest is home to large numbers of white working-class voters, who accounted for nearly 40 percent of all voters nationwide in 2008. Obama has never done very well with this group, losing them by 2 to 1 against Hillary Clinton in the primaries and by 58 percent to 40 percent against McCain in the general election. And they turned against Democratic candidates in the vast majority of 2010 House and Senate races.
As a recent Washington Post/Kaiser/Harvard survey reveals, white working-class voters are even more disaffected today. They are gloomy about the present and think it will be a long time before the economy recovers. They fear that the job market of the future will have little use for workers with their level of education and skills. Only 14 percent say that the president’s economic policies are working, and a large majority think that his administration isn’t doing enough to look after their economic interests. Remarkably, when asked which party better understands the people’s economic priorities, they give the Republicans a 14-point edge. Moreover, white working-class voters have long tended toward conservatism on social issues, nationalism in foreign policy, and hawkishness on defense.
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