Obama Losing Support Among White Voters Without College Degree

We’ve seen this story before as Nate Cohn analyzes Obama’s fall in approval in the latest Pew Research poll:

Today’s Pew Research poll paints a clear picture of the Obama defectors. They’re almost exclusively white voters without a college degree. Obama’s standing among minorities, college educated whites, and affluent whites has actually improved since the final Pew Research poll before last November’s presidential election. Instead, Obama’s support among white working-class voters has taken a huge hit, opening an unprecedented 41 point education gap among white voters. Incredibly, the poll now even shows Obama with a stronger approval rating among affluent whites than downscale whites—something that’s never happened for a Democrat in a presidential election.

White working-class votes without a college degree. It is the same group which Obama had the most trouble with in the Democratic primaries. This doesn’t leave much hope for Republicans who hope to capitalize on this in the 2016 presidential election. Obama’s most likely successor, Hillary Clinton, has done better with these groups, and not surprisingly has a comfortable lead over the potential Republican candidates she was polled against.

Until 2016, Obama’s current problems among less-educated low-information white voters is a classic example of Republicans managing to get people to vote against their self-interest, and might be a dangerous sign for 2014. It makes even less sense for working-class voters to consider voting Republican than the more affluent and more educated voters who have backed Obama. There are two reasons for this phenomenon. Obviously low-information voters with less education are easier to fool. Then there’s race.