Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A group Obama's having trouble with

Barack Obama's approval rating in North Carolina hit its lowest level since he took office this month, and one group that he's seen a particularly steep decline with is conservative white Democrats.

They were integral to his victory in the state last year. Many registered Democrats who frequently would have voted Republican at the federal level because of the national party's views on social issues stuck with Obama because of overriding concern about the economy. But as the number of folks in that demographic listing the economy as their top issue has declined- with a corresponding increase in ones naming moral and family values- his approval ratings have gone down.

In February and March conservative white Democrats split almost evenly in their appraisals of Obama's performance, with 38-39% saying they liked the job he's doing, and 41% dissenting. In February 54% of voters in that group said the economy was their top issue with just 14% naming moral and family values.

Fast forward to June and Obama's level of disapproval with that group has climbed from 41% to 55%. Over that same period the economy dropped to 48% as their top issue, while the number of folks listing moral and family values nearly doubled to 26%.

The increase in states legalizing gay marriage seems to have shifted the priorities among at least some white conservative Democrats from the economy back to social issues- and if that remains the case it's going to be a lot harder for Obama to hold onto their support moving forward.

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