President Barack Obama created a diverse coalition of supporters to win the White House in 2008. During his presidency, he has occasionally taken positions that were unpopular with the very people who elected him to office.
Here's a look at how the president' re-election campaign will focus on three key voter demographic groups to build a winning strategy:
* Affluent voters -- The president has been petitioning Congress to pass the "Buffett Rule," which would require wealthier Americans to pay more in taxes than some of their lesser paid employees. If passed, that law would target a group that Obama won in 2008. In that election, he gained 52 percent of the affluent vote, up 17 points from John Kerry's best four years earlier, according to a National Journal report. A current Quinnipiac poll shows him six points behind GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the current election cycle. That has not impacted Obama's ability to raise campaign cash -- he is well on his way to raising $1 billion for the current election. It could result in problems in states like Colorado where that demographic represents eight percent of the voters. Obama wrestled it away from Republicans in 2008 by capturing the wealthy vote. Romney is currently polling better in Colorado.
* Young voters -- A poll conducted last week by Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University showed that only 34 percent of young Americans (age 18-24) said they were satisfied with Obama's performance, Christian Science Monitor reported. However, a conflicting Pew Research poll taken at the same time by showed 61 percent of voters (age 18-29) supported the president. An area of common reference between the two polls was the tremendous drop in young white voter support for Obama. Both surveys showed the president holding a slight eight percent lead over Romney last week. The president's current push to reform student loan repayment procedures is specifically targeted to these demographic groups who are attending college or are recent graduates and beginning to repay their loans.
* Ethnic voters -- As The Jersey Journal opined last week, the role of Hispanic voters in the next election can realistically only impact one state: Florida. All other states with a significant Hispanic population are comfortably either Democrat or, in the case of Texas, Republican. Obama has carefully maneuvered around immigration reform thus far and, should he begin outward support of the DREAM Act, he could risk alienating supporters in Florida.
Dan McGinnis is a freelance writer, published author and former newspaper publisher. He has been a candidate, campaign manager and press secretary for state and local political campaigns for more than 30 years.
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama