WASHINGTON (AP) — Whites and women are a re-election problem for President Barack Obama. Younger voters and liberals, too, but to a lesser extent.
All are important Democratic constituencies that helped him win the White House in 2008 and whose support he’ll need to keep it next year.
- Women no longer are a bright spot for Obama.
At the 100-day mark of his presidency, they gave him significantly higher approval ratings than did men, 68 percent to 60 percent. That’s since fallen dramatically.
In the latest AP-GfK survey, less than half of all women and less than half of all men approve of the job Obama is doing. Just 50 percent of women said Obama deserves re-election.
Still, women are more likely than men to see Obama as empathetic or a strong leader, and they give him sharply higher positive ratings on his handling of the economy. Forty-three3 percent of women approve, compared with 29 percent of men.
- Younger voters and liberals are showing doubts about him, too.
Obama won younger voters in 2008 by a bigger margin than Democrat Bill Clinton in his victories in 1992 and 1996. But younger Democrats are no more apt to say the president deserves re-election than are older Democrats. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats under age 45 say Obama is not a strong leader, compared with 11 percent in June.
While a majority of liberals continue to say they view Obama as a strong leader, the strength of those opinions dropped sharply this summer. The share of liberals who say “strong leader” describes Obama “very well” has fallen from 53 percent to 29 percent in the aftermath of the debt-ceiling debate.
“Sometimes he needs to put his foot down and not be the nice guy,” said Democrat Kathleen Salak, 44, of Omaha, Neb.
The most recent AP-GfK poll was conducted Aug. 18-22 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,000 adults nationwide and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.