White Working Class Could Make or Break Obama


For all the demographic changes shaking up America, there are still plenty of white working class voters out there, notes Ruy Teixeira in The New Republic. In fact, they, more than any other group, will likely decide Barack Obama's fate in 2012. The president has his work cut out for him. Working-class whites are in bad shape economically and gloomy about the future – and it's not as if Obama (or Democrats generally) did all that well with them before. In 2008, he lost the demographic by 18 points; two years later, Congressional Democrats lost them by a 30-point margin. Obama could live with repeating the first number, Teixeira thinks, but not the second. Even more challenging, working-class whites are especially numerous in battleground states that will decide the election, like Ohio, Florida, Nevada, and Colorado. None of this is lost on his Republican challengers; get ready for them to hammer Obama (probably quite effectively) as an out-of-touch elitist with no feel for the real concerns of ordinary Americans. Obama's best bet is to make the long-rumored "pivot" to jobs," writes Teixeira. "A deal on debt reduction, however desirable for other reasons, will be no substitute for better economic conditions, especially among this difficult demographic." It's true that Obama can lose the white working class by 20 some points and still win the election, Teixeira concedes. Problem is, even that's "looking like a real challenge."

'The White Working Class: The Group That Will Likely Decide Obama’s Fate' [The New Republic]

RS Politics Daily Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.