Tag Archives: women

Women, Youth and Hispanics = President Obama

The Winston Group identifies key areas where the Romney campaign came up short in November:

There were three key groups that were problematic for Romney: women, younger voters, and Hispanics.

  • Women made up the majority of the electorate (53%) and Romney lost them by 11, 44-55. That was slightly better than McCain, who lost by 13, 43-56, but worse than Bush, who lost them by the slim margin of 48-51. In contrast, House Republicans in 2010 carried women by 1, 49-48.

  • Younger voters increased their turnout again this year. In 2004 they were 17% of the electorate; in 2008 they were 18%, and in this election they were 19%. Romney lost them by 23 points, 37-60, which was an improvement over McCain, who lost them by 34. However, Bush did much better in 2004, losing young voters only by 9.

  • Hispanics have also increased as a percentage of the electorate, going from 8% in 2004 to 9% in 2008, and 10% in this election. Romney lost them by the very large margin of 44, 27-71. In 2008, McCain lost Hispanics by 36, 31-67. In contrast, Bush lost Hispanics by just 9, 44-53. Additionally, House Republicans in 2010 did much better than either Romney or McCain, losing Hispanics by 22, 38-60.

Conclusion:

Despite an electorate that thought the economy was not doing well under Obama, Romney and many Republicans were unable to effectively win the economic argument. This was the case even though many of the policies Romney supported were viewed favorably by the electorate. But the bottom line was that Romney could not counter the Obama narrative that he wanted to go back to the policies that got the country in trouble in the first place. This was largely due to his campaign’s strategic decision to try to make the election solely a referendum on Obama. As a result, there was little clear rationale for a Romney presidency, other than that he would not be Obama. That was not enough to win, as the electorate was looking for solutions and an explanation of how each candidate would govern.

Obama achieved 93.5% of [the vote] he got in 2008. While there are still some additional votes to be added, at this point, Obama got about 4.5 million fewer votes this year than in 2008. Those voters did not vote for Obama this time, but they did not move to Romney either. They were a huge pool of voters that were obviously unhappy with Obama but did not have a reason to vote for his opponent. The inability to identify and reach these disillusioned voters was a significant problem for the Republican campaign.

What’s the Matter With Ohio?

OHIO UPDATE: CNN/ORC will be releasing a poll of likely Ohio voters at 4PM EST

Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times report some great details on the Romney Ohio campaign operation and why the problem may not be the candidate but the message.  Tons of “read between the line” moments in the write-up:

[A]s the race for the White House takes on a new air of volatility after President Obama’s off-kilter debate performance last week — a poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center on Monday suggested that Mr. Romney had wiped out the president’s lead among voters nationally — Mr. Romney is displaying new vigor in his fight for Ohio. The state, along with Florida, Iowa and Virginia, is now at the heart of his strategy for the remaining 28 days of the campaign.

Ground game and voter registration

Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are both visiting Ohio on Tuesday, the final day of voter registration here …

Romney commitment

… but Mr. Romney is sticking around for one of his most intensive bursts of campaigning yet. His increased presence is a response to pleas from state Republican leaders to invest more time and attention in the regions where he needs to turn out voters.

It’s the message not the candidate

For the first time, Mr. Romney is personally making his case in a new television ad, saying, “Ohio families can’t afford four more years like the last four.” The message, while hardly novel, is welcome among Republicans who have watched with frustration as Mr. Obama’s campaign has dominated airwaves for weeks with a tailor-made operation in Ohio. Mr. Romney’s problems here have included the Obama campaign’s success at defining him to many voters over the summer as an out-of-touch corporate raider, as well as a state economy that has been more vibrant than the country’s over all. With both the state and national unemployment rates now below 8 percent, Mr. Romney may have less opportunity than he did earlier this year to convince voters when he asks them in his new ad, “The question Ohio families are asking is ‘Who can bring back the jobs?’ ”

Ad wars

The president’s campaign has overwhelmed Mr. Romney until now in television advertising. In Youngstown, Mr. Romney and his allied groups ran virtually no advertisements through much of September, as Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies showed their ads more than 1,100 times, according to data compiled by the media monitoring firm Kantar Media/CMAG. Mr. Romney has now increased his advertising in smaller markets across the state, including Youngstown, Zanesville and Lima. He is scheduled to travel the state on Tuesday and Wednesday with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey at his side, hoping to keep enthusiasm high among Republicans who have been showing up in greater numbers at volunteer centers across the state this week.

Targeting women

Republican strategists in Ohio said Mr. Romney needed to increase his support among women, particularly in suburban areas. Requests from state Republicans for a television commercial featuring Ann Romney have not yet been approved by the campaign headquarters in Boston.

This is huge.  Basically the people that know Ohio aren’t being listened to.  This is bad, bad, bad.  The best managers hire smart people and then listen to them.  Rob Portman is supposed to be Mr. Ohio so if he is one of the advocates for this type of ad Mitt Romney needs to step in and unclog the bottleneck in “Boston” (i.e. some campaign bureaucrat clogging up the system).

Geographic focus

But Mr. Romney is now trying to focus his appeal to specific voters in each corner of Ohio, with a focus on coal production in the southeast, conservative values in the southwest and a bipartisan pitch in the suburbs of Cleveland. In that area, George V. Voinovich, a former senator and governor, declares in a new radio ad, “Mitt Romney will bring us together and end the divisiveness we have seen in Washington.”

Poor Jobs Report Creates Opportunity for Romney With African-Americans

No, Romney will not win this demographic nor will any Republican any time soon.  But what a Republican can do is erode the overwhelming support Democrats receive and specifically the astounding 95% support President Obama achieved in 2008.  The Romney campaign is already capitalizing on the disproportionate unemployment impact on Hispanics and the RNC has a web video emphasizing the unemployment impact on various groups like African-Americans while Obama and his elitists worry about his job:

Now we see that Friday’s jobs report disproportionately impacted African-Americans as well:

Last Friday’s unemployment news crashed the stock market and upended the presidential race…Nationally, unemployment in May rose from 8.1 percent to 8.2. This is bad, especially considering how much time has passed since our economic troubles began…Lost in [all] the…news that African-American unemployment, already significantly above general levels, rose by much more. As The Root reports, for African-Americans, however, the news was much, much worse. Unemployment among Blacks rose from 13.0 percent to 13.6 percent. This is serious news for a population that is already under great economic strain, but it is in line with some trends we’ve been following here.

This creates an undeniable opportunity should the Romney campaign choose to capitalize:

The decline of the blue social model is a challenge to the survival and dignity of the Black middle class. Heavily invested in government employment and well represented in organizations like the Postal Service, African Americans are vulnerable to changes in the structure of government and the cutbacks now rippling through traditionally stable employers like the USPS.

We are already seeing reduced support for Obama within the African-American community:

Obama is winning the African-American vote by gargantuan proportions: 90 percent to 5 percent in the first half of the survey and 88 percent to 6 percent in the second, not far off his 2008 showing (95 percent to 4 percent).

The opportunity is there for Romney but it won’t be easy. George Bush made concerted campaign efforts to court African-Americans despite the often hostile reception from activists within the African-American community.  This yielded 11% of the their vote nationally in 2004 (and 16% in Ohio), far better than McCain’s dismal 4% in 2008. Those Bush totals in 2004 and Obama’s incredibly 95% in 2008 swung all-important states like Ohio for each candidate.  With that state being ground zero for this year’s election, it would behoove the Romney campaign to get on this.

Demographic Watch: Everyone (and None are Good for Obama … Really)

While nearly every post in this blog will be about the Battleground States, when I see something uniquely impacting the election outcome  or on slow Battleground state news days (like today), it’s helpful to see what’s going on underneath some of the national poll numbers. The incomparable Charlie Cook digs down deep into six full weeks of Gallup tracking data and unearths more than a few takeaways that should send shivers down the spines of the over-confident campaign in the Windy City:

Gallup has now finished its first six full weeks of tracking surveys for the 2012 presidential campaign, interviewing 20,565 registered voters. Yes, you guessed it: President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied, 46 percent to 46 percent.  On the surface, the race looks tight. But voter enthusiasm numbers are a headache for the president’s reelection team (emphasis added). This week, Gallup released six full weeks of results. The first half of these were interviews between April 11 and May 6; the second half were from May 7 through May 27.

2008 versus 2012

Although polling was consistent between genders across the two time frames sampled (Romney +8 among men, Obama +7/8 among women), things begin to unravel for the President when you compare these results to his 2008 margins.:

[I]n 2008, the exit polls showed that Obama edged Sen. John McCain by 1 point among men, 49 percent to 48 percent. Among women, he beat McCain by a whopping 13 points, 56 percent to 43 percent.

This is a -9 point swing with men and a -5/6 point swing among women. Those are horrific margin erosions to the President’s re-elect chances.

Independents split down the middle; Romney edged Obama by 1 point in the front half, 43 percent to 42 percent, and by 2 points in the second, 43 percent to 41 percent… [In] 2008 Obama carried the independent vote by 8 percentage points, 52 percent to 44 percent, and the overall election by 7 points.

A -9/10 point swing among Independents. Ouch!

African Americans too?  Yep

Obama is winning the African-American vote by gargantuan proportions: 90 percent to 5 percent in the first half of the survey and 88 percent to 6 percent in the second, not far off his 2008 showing (95 percent to 4 percent).

Wait, “not far”?  I love Charlie Cook but come on. This is a -6 point swing among African Americans.  That is HUGE.

Continue reading

Romney Unleashes Diverse Surrogates in Battleground States

A candidate cannot be in all places at all times and it is important to have a stable of articulate supporters to amplify the campaign’s message to various audiences. Considering the narrow Battleground state focus and an even more narrow swath of persuadable voters in those states, it is increasingly important to inspire and employ surrogates who can bring a unique appeal to those targeted voters. Mitt Romney is wasting no time rolling out a line-up of heavy-hitters to carry his message:

Mitt Romney is mobilizing a fast-growing network of surrogates to help make his case with voters as his campaign begins to exert greater control over the GOP messaging operation. He is relying on a diverse cast of politicians, business leaders, athletes and celebrities to court key groups of voters, including social conservatives, Hispanics and suburban women.

National names include:

  • Sen. John Thune (S.D.)
  • Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty
  • Former ambassador John Bolton
  • Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu.

[A]ides are trying to build a more disciplined surrogate operation, distributing talking points to politicians and pundits whom they call upon to spread his message. Romney aides are now picking guests to appear on the Sunday political talk shows and holding Saturday conference calls to rehearse answers to likely questions, according to a campaign adviser. Other surrogates are booked for targeted television, radio and newspaper interviews to help build support among demographic groups with which Romney has struggled.

Women:
[T]he candidate’s wife, Ann, [looks] to be his most powerful surrogate and [aides] are developing a robust schedule of solo visits for her to help close the gender gap with Obama. they are considering having her campaign in nursing homes, schools and medical research facilities in suburban areas outside Philadelphia, Denver, Milwaukee and Charlotte, as well as in Northern Virginia and along Florida’s I-4 corridor. Other female surrogates are making similar pitches, including:

  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)

Continue reading