Today, the media is swooning over Barack Obama’s supposedly huge lead in the state of Ohio. Politico is reporting that unnamed Mitt Romney advisers -- they’re always unnamed – say that President Obama has a far easier path to re-election than Mitt Romney does to election. “Their map has many more routes to victory,” Politico quotes a “top Republican official” stating.
What’s more, Politico quotes “two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign” saying that Ohio is leaning Obama in a heavy way, with Obama up near a ten-point lead. And Public Policy Polling, a Democrat-funded polling firm, says that Obama has a lead greater in Ohio than he won by in 2008.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden has been deployed as President Obama's proxy to blue collar swing voters. But while the Obama/Biden ticket appeals to blue collar women, they're having a much rougher time with blue collar men. And that may cost them come Election Day.
The great shortcoming of the Romney campaign has always been its failure to connect with blue collar voters. So far, the campaign has staked its entire blue collar outreach on the fact that Obama has done a poor job with the economy, which is true; Obama, meanwhile, has fought back by stating that his stimulus plans have targeted blue collar jobs, even if he hasn’t created enough of them. That’s why Obama focuses on his auto bailout, even though GM remains a disastrous investment for the taxpayer.
The second prong of the Obama campaign has been its outreach to female voters. The Obama campaign has staked its claim with women. A July poll in Ohio showed that 51-43, men preferred Romney to Obama; among women, Romney trailed Obama 52-40. Women were highly negative on Romney personally, with just 32 percent viewing him favorably, compared with 48 percent for Obama.
That’s what the entire Democratic National Convention was about: outreach to blue collar workers and women. There’s a reason the Democrats trotted out Michelle Obama and Sandra Fluke, Joe Biden and union bosses. They can’t win on their record or the economy; they can win by creating a sense that they’re friendlier to women and blue collar workers.
There is a major flaw in this strategy: blue collar white men. The true swing voters in states like Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado will be blue collar white men; the Obama campaign admits as much.
There are three aspects to blue collar white male voters that the Obama campaign should worry about.
First, Obama’s getting destroyed with that voting bloc; the latest polls show Romney with a 24 percent lead over Obama nationally among white male voters without a college degree.
Second, blue collar white males tend to be more religious than the general population, which means that Romney’s strategy of pointing out the Democratic platform fight on God will be effective.
Third, while Obama is doing well with blue collar white women, he’s not going to be able to hold that up over the long-term; he trails in some states and leads in others, but the trend is negative for him.
Interestingly enough, this battle among blue collar voters sets up a proxy war between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Both Biden and Ryan are Catholic; both Biden and Ryan are supposedly lunch-pail, or at least more lunch-pail than their running mates.
In order to win re-election, Barack Obama will have to drive up his share of blue collar males. In order to defeat Obama, Mitt Romney will have to drive up his share among blue collar females. The battle between bailouts and principle is on.