In 2008, Barack Obama persuaded liberals, independents, and even some conservatives to come to his side. His winning coalition cut across all demographic lines and spoke of a realignment of the country’s voters. Liberal pundits celebrated and proclaimed the beginning of a new liberal era built on this seemingly unbreakable new coalition.
Four years later, that coalition is already chipped, and disintegrating quickly. Yahoo News reports:
A survey of registered voters conducted July 23-29 found that 92 percent of Americans who voted for McCain in 2008 plan to vote for Romney this fall and just 5 percent have switched sides to support Obama. But among Obama’s 2008 supporters, just 86 percent are planning to do so again and 9 percent are switching their support to Romney.
Overall 11 percent of voters who say they cast ballots for Obama or McCain are supporting the other party’s candidate.
To some extent, this is to be expected. Obama had a tenuous coalition in the first place. The big question, however, is whether this enthusiasm gap will be enough to make a different in the outcome.