Three essential groups that formed part of Barack Obama’s voting coalition are slipping away from him, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll: women, young voters, and Latinos.
50% of female respondents disapproved of Obama, while 44% approved, a huge shift from 2012, when 55% approved and 44% disapproved. When Obama was inaugurated the second time in 2013, 60% of women approved of him. Traditionally, single women tend to vote more for Democrats while married women vote more for Republicans.
The poll reflected women’s discomfort with Obama’s handling of foreign affairs.
Only 37% approved of his actions, the lowest women have ever rated him. When asked why they distrusted Obama, women mentioned the ISIS beheadings and Obama going golfing immediately after stating his feelings about the beheading of journalist James Foley.
Among voters between the ages of 18-29, 43% approved of Obama, a startling 11% less than the 54% of them who approved of him in June. In 2012, 60% of those voters approved of him.
In the first half of 2013, a whopping 75% of Latinos approved of Obama; now that figure is down to 57%.
Suburban women, called “soccer moms” in the 1990s, “security moms” after 9/11, and “Wal-Mart moms” were targeted to be part of focus groups to see which way they would vote. On Tuesday night, focus groups comprised of suburban moms met in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Des Moines, Iowa. Both focus groups took place in states where crucial and close Senate races exist for 2014.
Neil Newhouse was the GOP pollster, while Margie Omero was the Democratic partner helping him run the groups. Newhouse pointed out that the suburban moms are primarily concerned about security issues now that ISIS is on the move. He said, “There was a sense that their personal safety and security was threatened,” adding that the ISIS threat “has these moms concerned, and these are women who don’t naturally gravitate to international issues.”
Omero agreed and added that the women were also worried about crime in their communities and riots after the trouble in Ferguson, Missouri. She said, “It was more pronounced than concerns about the economic downturn. There was a lot more concern about crime and international unrest than we’ve seen in the past.”
Newhouse and Omero wrote, “Regardless of their 2012 vote, moms’ opinions of Obama have dulled. At best, some feel sorry for him … While he may be a player in how moms perceive the dysfunction in Washington, they will not have President Obama directly in mind when casting their vote in November.”