A new poll from Pew adds to the list of pollsters reporting good news for President Obama. It shows Obama leading Mitt Romney by eight points, 52-44, and Rick Santorum by 10 points.
But here are a few nuggets I found particularly interesting:
– Obama has a 21-point lead over both Romney and Santorum among women. The margin is 59-38 percent. Among men, Obama actually trails by five against Romney and three against Santorum. That’s a 26-point swing between men and women, and I don’t recall ever seeing a gender gap that large.
– In November, Romney had a 12-point lead in the Pew poll among independents. Today, Obama has a nine-point lead among that same group. That’s probably a function of the improving economy, and also testifies to the damage being done to Romney in the GOP primary. Republicans can hope that
if Romney seals the nomination, that may begin to change again, but we’ll see.
– I think a lot of Georgia readers are a little stunned at the level of support showing up in the national polls for Obama, and you see indications of that surprise in the comments section. The Pew poll helps to explain that phenomenon.
Among white voters, Obama leads or is tied against Romney in every every section of the country except one: The South, where he trails by 36 points, 29-65. Among white men nationally, Obama trails Romney by 24 points, 36-60. So if you’re a white Southern male who talks mainly to other white Southern males, you get a skewed sense of the national conversation.
An important word of caution: I was leery of posting that final note because of where it might lead, but I did so because I think the data are interesting and we’re adult enough to deal with it. It’s important not to jump to the conclusion that race alone drives those numbers, although it would be equally foolish to claim that it plays no role whatsoever.
The fact is, Democrats of any race tend to do poorly among white Southerners, just as Republicans do poorly among black voters. Obama merely intensifies both trends.
Let’s try to keep this respectful.
– Jay Bookman