Moms Who Supported Obama In '08 Unsure About 2012
Excerpts from The Associated Press:
“Cheryl Abbarno was the most excited she's ever been about a presidential election when Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2008, but she isn't sure she'll vote for him again.
"‘It's discouraging to me that he's not doing what he said he's going to do. When he was campaigning, it was change, change, change, and I don't see any change,’ she said.
“Abbarno is a Walmart mom — women with children under 18 at home who shop at the discount superstore…Their No. 1 concern is the economy. They're split fairly evenly by party affiliation, but more important, they are persuadable voters who will decide late in the election cycle whether they'll support Obama or the eventual Republican nominee.
“A poll released shows 43 percent of Walmart moms approve of Obama's job performance while 54 percent disapprove. That compares to 46 percent of all voters that approve of Obama and 49 percent who disapprove. Yet 57 percent of the moms said they are still hopeful about the president compared to 42 percent who have given up on him.
“During the focus groups in Florida, New Hampshire and Iowa, the Walmart moms repeatedly named the economy as the most important issue in the election. Nearly all said they've had to make sacrifices, including opening new credit cards for the no-interest promotions, cutting back on meals out and other activities and cancelling cable television. One woman said she and her son had to move in with her parents. Another told her kids that Santa is poor this year. Many either had gone through layoffs or had husbands who lost jobs. While other jobs were found, often times it was for less money.
“While not blaming Obama, many feel like he hasn't shown strong enough leadership to build consensus in Congress on how to help middle-class families.
“‘These voters have clearly lost their passion for President Obama and there's a sense that he's kind of lost his passion as well. Some of these voters might vote for him again, but boy, there's no enthusiasm,’ Newhouse said. ‘It does mean these voters are still up for grabs for the 2012 election.’
"‘With the economy such that it is and with these voters that are swing to begin with, it is going to be difficult for the president’…"
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Hard Economic Times Rob Young Voters Of 'Hope'
Excerpts from The National Journal:
“As President Obama dusts off his 2008 theme of ‘hope’ in anticipation of his reelection campaign, he has a problem to get around: Among young voters, one of his most crucial constituencies, hope is, like, so yesterday.
“A new report published jointly by Demos, a liberal think tank, and Young Invincibles, an advocacy group for young adults, highlights the dramatic effects of the Great Recession on the country’s youngest workers. ‘The State of Young America’ says that the economic slowdown has battered Americans ages 18 to 34, both in terms of their current employment prospects and their hopes for tomorrow.
“Of the unemployed young adults surveyed, less than half – 48 percent – expressed optimism about finding a job within the next six months. Respondents with jobs had a related problem: With employment in short supply, their wages are suffering. Fifty-six percent of the 872 people surveyed said that their yearly incomes fall under $30,000.
“Just 22 percent of those surveyed said they expected their generation to be better off than their parents’ generation. Almost half said they expect to be worse off, a shocking number in a country where the promise of a better tomorrow is one of the cornerstones of the national mythology.
The obvious economic implications of the report represent a political problem for Obama, who leaned heavily on the youth vote in 2008 but has backslid sharply among the demographic, as he has nearly across the board. According to exit polls, Obama won two-thirds of the 18 to 29 vote in 2008.
“At National Journal’s Election Preview event…Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin said that of all the puzzles facing Obama’s campaign in the coming year, replicating ‘the lopsidedness of the youth vote’ in 2008 might be the hardest to solve. ‘Young people had an excitement about President Obama, and about the change that they hoped would occur under him, that simply doesn’t exist anymore’…”
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