Losing the Well-To-Do

Charlie Cook believes the GOP’s hold on middle-class voters is slipping:

Republicans have lost an enormous amount of support among upscale voters, basically just breaking even among those with household incomes above $50,000 a year, a traditional GOP stronghold. Similarly, McCain’s losing to Obama among college graduates and voters who have attended some college underscores how much the GOP franchise is in trouble. My hunch is that the Republican Party’s focus on social, cultural, and religious issues — most notably, fights over embryonic-stem-cell research and Terri Schiavo — cost its candidates dearly among upscale voters.

While everything he says here is undoubtedly true, I suspect it’s also true that voters in the middle don’t base their decisions about who to vote for on the hot-button social issues as a first-order priority. They vote on bigger things like that economy. Dems in general had the advantage on that in this cycle and Obama in particular was offering a more mainstream, less doctrinaire and less radical set of policy prescriptions than McCain or the GOP.

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