The verbatim responses to our last Civitas Poll have some revealing sides. We’ll soon publish a much fuller account of these poll responses, and you can see for yourself what NC voters are thinking. (Our poll has Romney in the lead 47-45.)
One thing struck me in the actual words of voters: the unflinching support for President Obama from his backers. The economic doldrums, the scandals, etc., don’t seem to have fazed them. There’s been some discussion over whether President Obama is slipping in popularity, possibly even among African-American voters. But a look at some actual responses from our May poll may be revealing.
My impression – and it’s just an impression – is that Obama’s supporters are so completely on his side that nothing is going to change it.
For instance, a middle-aged woman from Wilson County told our poll: “He has done a great job considering the job he had to face.”
Many people would say that if that is a great job, thank goodness he didn’t do a so-so one. But Obama’s supporters stick by him. It seems to help if they can blame someone else.
“I really like Barack Obama, and I think he is doing a really good job,” a woman from Rockingham County said. “I think that if the Republicans will leave him alone and let him do his job, I think he’ll do it. He is trying real hard now, but the Republicans just wore him to death. I don’t like finger pointing. The Republicans are just rotten to the core.”
Some seem to feel that, like a student with a late term paper, he can do well if given an extension. One Randolph County resident said, “Obama has done everything that he can for our country, and I feel like Americans need to give him a chance to finish what he has started before they can judge.”
Republicans like to decry the Obama administration’s spending, but some voters don’t mind. “The housing act that Obama proposed and passed kept me from losing my home,” one Wake County woman said.
Some pundits like to say that class warfare never works in the U.S. Well, Democratic politicos may be thinking that there’s always a first time. A man from Stanly County said he preferred the president because, “Romney’s never worked in his life. I like Obama. He’s trying.”
Or, as a woman from Gaston County put it, “I’m not voting for Romney because he is so rich, he would never know what people like me have to go through.”
There is some discussion about racial aspects of the voting. But the above responses are from both black and white voters.
Some conservatives have speculated that Obama may be losing support. That may be so by November. But he continues to have spirited defenders of both races and all ages across North Carolina. Nothing seems to shake them; that includes the facts.
Republicans shouldn’t grow complacent about the president’s political troubles. He has some rock-solid supporters out there, and class resentments are if anything thriving this year.