Earlier this week, yesterday I guess, the days sort of run together this deep into the week, a Harvard survey lit things up with evidence that young Americans are turning away from Barack Obama and don’t have much interest in Obamacare. Young voters were and remain key to Obama keeping his 51% coalition together. Just 29% of them intend to sign up for Obamacare, a small fraction of the young needed to make the law’s math get even close to working out.
Today there are two more polls showing Obama’s growing weaknesses with two more demographics he desperately needs.
Polling provided to National Journal by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that white women have soured considerably on the law, especially in the month since its botched rollout. The skepticism runs especially deep among blue-collar women, sometimes known as “waitress moms,” whose deeply pessimistic attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act should riddle Democratic candidates with anxiety.
Certainly, the law’s unpopularity gives Republicans a tool to counter the Democratic claim of a GOP “war on women”—something Republicans failed miserably at in 2012. But more significantly, it demonstrates that Democrats will have to fight just to retain core elements of their constituency. With 2014’s most important campaigns already lying in hostile territory like Alaska, Arkansas, and South Dakota, it’s a battle many of these candidates can ill afford.
Specifically, 40% of white women have a “very unfavorable” view of the law, which is a jump of 10 points over a month ago. We get to half when we add “somewhat unfavorable. Democrats usually do well with white women. Now the gender gap is closing.
Democrats must have a large slice of the Hispanic vote if they are to remain a viable national party. They can’t compete without taking a big majority of that fast-growing group. But Gallup says that Obama is rapidly losing ground with them, too. His job approval number among Hispanics has fallen 23%, from 75% to 52%, over the last year. Granted, he’s still at a bare majority, but the trend is decidedly against him. It explains why he is swinging so desperately from the Obamacare disaster to trying to ram an immigration bill through Congress. It’s one of the few cards, along with agitating to increase the minimum wage, that he has that might appeal to all three of these constituencies that he is losing. He’s holding a pair of two’s and junk, but it’s the hand he dealt himself, so he’ll play it and try to convince Republicans that he’s holding a full house.
Yeah, far too many Republicans will fall for his bluff.