Here is a line of questioning I emailed a handful of friends and family spread across the nation, some in battleground states, who I know voted for Obama in 2008 and who I assumed were planning on voting for him again:

Are there any circumstances you can imagine that would cause you to vote against Obama and vote for Romney instead?

Is there anything Obama could do or say?  For example, how about a negative change in your personal job situation or if the unemployment rate reached 14%?

Anything at all that would move you to change your vote away from Obama?

For the record, the demographics of this group are as follows:

All are in their 30’ and married; some have children.

They are all white, college-educated, and gainfully employed.

Here are the answers I received via email.

Answer #1

To answer the questions, no, there is nothing Obama could do to ever have me vote for Romney or any other Republican. EVER. I vote Democratic for the platform of women’s rights, pro-choice, the environment, the separation of church and state, which seems in jeopardy if Republicans have their way.

I do not trust Romney at all. He is a flip-flopper and says what he thinks his crowd wants to hear. There are more issues to being president than getting people jobs, and I am sick of that being the only focus. So, I would NEVER vote Republican.

Answer #2

Nope, there really is nothing that could get me to switch from Obama to Romney. I really don’t consider myself blindly loyal; I would support a moderate Republican over a weaker non-Obama Democratic candidate (like Huntsman for example), who is willing to be bi-partisan and have some damn common sense.

I just strongly dislike Romney and am nothing short of horrified at anyone supporting a constitutional amendment to TAKE AWAY people’s rights (especially for a party who supposedly wants minimal government intervention into society, that is a blatantly hypocritical thing to support), not to mention open and callous contempt for scientific fact and freedom of religion, along with a mean-spirited, childlike unwillingness to compromise and get things done in favor of a desire to unseat someone who has been trying to compromise in a bipartisan fashion.

Oh, and not to mention complete flip-flopping on most issues and distancing himself from his state’s obviously successful healthcare reform, which is magnified by an almost comical wonkish, old-money, out-of-touch elitist attitude dripping from nearly every word that comes out of his mouth.

The longer the Republicans try to cater to their extreme fringe right and support backwards, short-sighted, bigoted social policies, the more sensible moderates–BOTH Democrat and Republican–they’re going to alienate. It’s saddening that GOP campaigns feel like they have to garner the support of the most fanatical minority instead of listening to the majority of people in their own party who just want a little fiscal responsibility and to leave more things for the states to decide.

Not to open a political debate — Lord knows we’ve had enough of that — but I hope you will pass on that sentiment, which is shared by millions of sensible hardworking Americans, to your focus group.