The PJ Tatler

Is Obama Facing a Mass Defection of His 2008 Support?

Yes, say the folks at the Fix. President Obama will get nowhere near the 52+% that he picked up four years ago. His winning coalition has cracked.

Among the most likely to defect are the usual suspects: Republicans and conservatives who crossed over to vote for Obama in 2008, along with white evangelicals and white men without college degrees. Obama already struggled with these groups, so no surprise here.

What’s perhaps most striking is who the rest of Obama’s defectors are. While much of the focus has been on how Obama has turned off white men, his defectors run the gamut.

Obama is losing 16 percent of white non-evangelical Protestants who previously supported him to Romney, but also 19 percent of white Catholics. While he has lost 21 percent of his non-college-educated white men, he has also lost 17 percent of white male college graduates and 18 percent of women who didn’t attain four-year degrees. And Obama has lost between 11 percent and 14 percent of supporters in all three age groups: under 40 years old, 40-64, and 65-plus.

One of those defectors is former OH Democratic Rep. James Stanton. He supported Obama four years ago, but supports Mitt Romney this time. Another of those is former Rep. Artur Davis. He was Candidate Obama’s campaign co-chair, now he’s a Republican campaigning for Mitt Romney. Another of those is Jamie Dimon.

But hey, at least Obama has Marathon Mike Bloomberg and Jon “Where’d that billion go?” Corzine. I’m sure Bob “Keep it down in there!” Mendendez is still on board too. Yay?

Looking at a number like that — 13% of Obama’s coalition going over to Romney — it looks less and less likely that Obama can find a path to victory. Sure, he’s holding onto some of his core, but he had to do that. And he had to waste most of his campaign trying to motivate them to vote, time that he could not spend trying to fool his defectors into coming back into the fold.

It may be coincidental, but along with the 13% of Obama’s coalition that is defecting, Obama has lost roughly 20% of the newspapers that supported him last time. Swing state newspapers have been especially tough on him, with the six in Iowa and the Las Vegas Review-Journal delivering timely barrages, and sharp criticism, as we get closer to the election.