The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently found that more than half, 52%, of White voters now identify as Republican (39% Democrat, 8% Independent). That number has gone up six percent since 2008. Back then only 46% of White voters identified as Republican, versus 44% as Democrats.
The report also found that increasingly both young White voters and those who make less than $30,000 label themselves as Republican.
Young voters played a huge part in Obama’s 2008 victory.
But the party’s 7 percentage point advantage among whites under age 30 in 2008 has flipped to an 11 percentage point Republican advantage now, the poll found.
There was a big shift among whites making less then $30,000 per year, a group Christian said had favored Hillary Clinton early in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary fight, and so might be less strongly in favor of Obama.
In 2008, 37 percent of them said they were Republicans, and 52 percent identified as Democrats. Those numbers now are 47 percent Republican and 43 percent Democratic.
Although researchers didn’t find any evidence that President Obama’s race had anything to do with the rise in White voters turning Republican, I can’t help but think it has had something—even subconsciously—to do with it.
Some say the loss of White voters will make being reelected an uphill climb for the President come the 2012 elections.
The findings pose a challenge to Obama as he seeks re-election next year. Republicans made big gains in the U.S. Congress and state governments in the 2010 mid-term elections and are attempting to deny Obama a second term as president.
Another interesting finding from the Pew Research Center’s research found that Hispanic voters, arguably the most important demographic, are turning away from the Republican party. In 2008, nearly a third, 28%, of Hispanic voters identified as Republican. Today, that number is down to just 22%.