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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The New Majority

Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg joins those who believe GOP populism appeals to an increasingly narrow base:

In this poll, for example, when asked if homosexuality should be accepted or discouraged by society, moderates and liberals agree that it is a way of life that should be accepted by society by 65- and 33-point margins respectively, compared to conservatives who believe it should be discouraged by 32 points. When asked if our security depends on building strong ties with other nations or on our own military strength, both liberals and moderates agree with multilateralism by double-digit margins, while conservatives disagree. On values and on issues, moderates — with one large exception — swing toward liberals.

The exception is that moderates remain far more skeptical about government — and government spending — than liberals do. 

Like I Said …

Republican women and Democratic women just don’t mix. The Washington Post:

In the new poll, it is underlying political attitudes that appear to dominate, just as they do in ratings of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Eighty-five percent of Republicans view Palin favorably, and nearly nine in 10 approve of her selection as Sen. John McCain‘s running mate. Among Democrats, 24 percent view her favorably and 57 percent disapprove of her selection.

Enviro Blowback

Some softness in the willingness of Americans to call themselves environmentalists I don’t think has anything to do with a sudden desire on their part to go chopping down redwoods. But it probably is a reaction to the environmental movement’s constant naysaying. When you have people from that side of the fence inveighing against wind farms and solar projects, it’s gotten a little out of hand.

1980 Redux

More evidence that the Obama campaign is seeing this election as 1980 in reverse:

“Democrats should take a deep breath and realize that there are a group of voters who won’t make up their mind about a candidate until deep in the fall,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager. “And there are 18 states that are battlegrounds for a reason, and they’ll be decided by 2 to 4 points. I don’t care about national polls.”

Others, though, have the whiff of panic about them.