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Welcome To John Zogby's webiste
John Zogby, founder of the "Zogby Poll" and the Zogby companies, is an internationally respected pollster, opinion leader and best-selling author.
For three decades, the Zogby companies have produced polls with an unparalleled record of accuracy, reliability and insight. An early pioneer in the practice of online polling, Zogby's interactiv methodology is a leader in the industry.
ZOGBY: Demographics and The Election of 2012 - Age and Race
By: John Zogby
This will be the first in a series of posts about the significant demographic groups that will play a critical role in the election of 2012. These numbers are drawn from aggregating six polls taken by JZ Analytics since January 2012. I have combined the data to represent a total sample of 4500 likely voters.
The Private Generation 1926-1945
This is not your grandfather's senior citizen - not those with memories of the Great Depression and inspired by FDR. This is the most conservative of all age groups. While my polling shows all voters favoring the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district over the Republican candidate 40% to 37%, The Privates tilt for the Republican 56% to only 27%. Only 28% grant President Obama a positive job rating.
Many factors spell out why they are conservative, but the demographics are clear: while 74% of all likely voters are white , 88% of Privates are white. Only 1% are Hispanic, 8% are African American, and .5% are Asian Pacific. The Privates clearly represent an America that demographically no longer exists.
The Woodstockers, 1946-1964
If the Private Generation is leading the way in redefining the age of "encore living", Woodstockers are not ready to give it up. This is the first cohort where one million will reach the age of 100 and are determined to make the rest of their lives really count. Woodstockers will revolutionize both non-governmental agencies and workplace with skills and experience.
Four in five (80%) are white, only 5% are Hispanic and 10% African American, just 2% Asian Pacific. Woodstockers have one foot planted in two different cultures: origins in an older America and parents of America's First Global Citizens, American's twenty-somethings, who they have enabled and imparted. By 43% to 40%, they prefer Governor Mitt Romney over President Obama, however they are more likely to be Democrats (39%) than Republicans (34%).
The Nikes (1965-1978)
This age cohort came into its own in a world where everything was falling apart all at once. And the burden was on them, from a young age, to rely on themselves, to make something happen, to "just do it". This is the Nike Generation. They do not like government and they are libertarian. While they tend to be slightly more Democrat in their party identification than Republican (37% to 33%), by a factor of almost two to one (43% to 24%) they are more likely to call themselves "conservative" than "liberal". But the essence of their conservatism is not to be intrusive fundamentalists; rather it is to not have anyone or anything (government, politicians , religion, corporation, the Boy Scouts, whatever) tread on them and their rights. Nikes are on the cusp of the new America: 73% are white - about the national average of national likely voters -- 13% are Hispanic, 9% are African American and 3% are Asian Pacific. They are just old enough to look into the mirror and see the "us" of the future. They also are more likely to be Democrats 38% to 33%, but prefer Mr. Obama 45% to Mr. Romney's 38%.
The First Globals (1979-1993)
It is easy to see why First Globals are different. Only 61% identify themselves as white in our surveys - 13 points fewer than the national as a whole-- 17% are Hispanic, 15% are African American, and 6% Asian Pacific. They are the age group most likely to have a passport (58%) - 7 points higher than Nikes, 21 points higher than Woodstockers, and 11 points higher than Privates. They are far more likely than any of the others to call themselves "liberal" (38%) - that is 14 points more than Nikes, 19 points more than Woodstockers, and 24 points more than Privates. And they look to be the most reliably Democrat - 44% -- while only 26% say they are Republican.
The terrorist attacks against the U.S. in 2001 did not turn this group inward. Rather it piqued their interest in other people. Through technology they had already been living in a world exposing them to global brands, fashion, and music. They were the beneficiaries of attendance in multi-cultural schools. They were more likely to play soccer than Little League. How do we go to war against people who listen to the same music and dress the same way? They are the least likely of any age cohort to feel that American culture is inherently superior to the cultures of Latin America, the Arab World, Asia, and Africa. And they elected a president in 2008 who they had told me in late 2004 (when he was merely a state senator and a U.S. Senator-elect) "looks just like us".
ZOGBY: President Obama's weekly report card (June 25 - July 1)
By: John Zogby
"Fellow Times Readers: This one may be injurious to your health! This was a historic week for President Obama.
"Few presidents can claim to have passed major reform legislation and this one will make it into seventh-grade social-studies textbooks. In fact, if we look at the past 100 years, there have been only nine years that have been categorized as major reform years: 1912-1913, 1933-1936, and 1964-1965. It is not a question of whether we like or dislike the legislation, it is that issues were addressed and passed. Firestorms spread in all those years, as they did following President Reagan's budget and the Supreme Court ratification of the election of George W. Bush. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is one of those singular events.
"Of course, there is now an election and the voters will get to decide if this is what they want or not. Thus far, the highest intensity has been with the opposition. It will now be Mr. Obama's opportunity (or burden) to create a high level of intensity in support of what has been done by his administration, a majority of Congress, and a decision by the Supreme Court. This will be a dramatic issue in a very dramatic election. But for now, this week, the president is winning."
Last week's grade: B
By: John Zogby
Speaker of the House John Boehner last week issued a memo to GOP members to "not gloat" should the Supreme Court issue its ruling striking down all or parts of President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act. It was good advice, I suppose at the time, but perhaps not in the way that Speaker Boehner meant it. The GOP appears adept at only talking to its Republican base - i.e. the choir, those who get it, those who abhor Mr. Obama. When it comes to addressing middle America, there is something missing. And, clearly, the Speaker was totally unprepared for the Supreme Court decision upholding the law.
This all reveals a danger when elected officials talk to only their base. They miss what the other half of Americans are saying.
Regardless of the controversial aspects of what is being referred to as Obamacare, and despite criticism of the President for moving the legislation forward instead of dealing more directly with job loss in the recession in 2009, the simple fact is that the President had an electorate mandate to fix the health care problem. During the 2008 campaign, health care was generally cited as the second or third most important issue. And among those who listed health care as a top issue, the major concerns were cost, availability, and quality for all. We seem to forget that lack of adequate (or any coverage) and the cost of care were the single most reasons for status anxiety in the United States - bankruptcy, falling out of middle class status, neglecting to take care of chronic health issues.
So the President addressed the issue. He did so in the mode of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he conjured up the New Deal, a patchwork of ideas that didn't find any real coherence until later on: "I am not sure what we are going to do (to meet the challenges of the Depression) but we have to try something".
I think that Mr. Obama has achieved historical (if somewhat damaged) legislation, but he has been particularly inept in selling it to the public. There are real stories out there of real people in the real middle class, or overtime-working poor, who do not have access to health insurance. And unlike the cries heard during one GOP primary debate, the real American consensus is not to "let him die". We do care about the uninsured and we do know that we are all paying for whatever care they currently receive.
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the individual mandate under Congress' authority to levy taxes now allows the President to do what he has not done before this: go out and tell real stories of Americans with chronic illnesses who could not get proper health insurance or who avoided adequate care because they could not pay. To tell the stories about twenty-somethings who are having a very difficult time starting a career but who are now provided the safety net of coverage under their parent's policies until age 26. It will also place a special burden on Governor Romney and the GOP to explain why their plan is better for the American people. After all, that is what real campaigns are all about.
The Supreme Court today upheld more than the ACA - it upheld our system of government and placed the debate where it now belongs: before the American people. In the meantime, millions of Americans will expect health coverage.
New Poll by John Zogby Finds 70% of Likely Voters
Would Support Legislation to Raise the Minimum Wage
By: John Zogby
A whopping seven out of ten likely voters agree that they would support legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.38 an hour, a level which would tie the wage to inflation, going back to 1968, according to a JZ Analytics online poll of 1,149 likely voters. The poll was conducted June 15-18 among 1,149 likely voters and has a margin-of-sampling error of +/-3 percentage points.
Fifty-seven percent of Democrats strongly support this proposal, with 84% supporting it overall. Just 23% of Republicans are in strong support, although another 31% somewhat support the proposed change. There is a gender gap here with women, 43%, somewhat more likely than are men, 39%, to strongly support the move. Additionally, Hispanics, 52% and African Americans, 67% are much more likely to be in strong support of the proposal.
Seventy-one percent of the First Global generation (those between the ages of 18-23) are in support, with 38% strongly supporting the measure. Among older respondents, aged 30-49, half strongly support the measure with another 24% somewhat in support.
Pollster John Zogby says: "Not only do Americans worry about losing ground themselves but they also do worry about their fellow Americans who are working and not getting a decent wage."
*Methodology JZ Analytics conducted an online survey from June 15-18 of 1149 likely voters in the US. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1149 is +/- 3.0 percentage points.
CENGAs and A Plea for Private Equity Now
By: John Zogby
I have been researching and writing about our First Global Generation for most of this past decade. Americans born after 1979 fit the bill and I have said that HERE, HERE and HERE. These citizens of the planet Earth are just slightly less numerous than the Baby Boomer Generation (whom I call Woodstockers in my book.)
But today I am worried about a growing subset of First Globals - the CENGAs, i.e. college educated and not going anywhere. This nearly four year recession and general slowdown has taken its toll. I remember well the twenty-somethings who used to visit or write me looking not for a job at my company but the quickest path to becoming chief operating officer. Gone is a lot of that cockiness and it isn't simply that I miss it, I am thinking about all of the wasted human capital. These kids are well trained, enthusiastic, quick to solve problems and eager to network with fellow globals worldwide. They bring so much to the table: they are not steeped in my cohort's modus operandi of solving problems big and small: i.e. move it up the ladder and at some point it will just go away. They use their networks , grow them, nurture them, and believe in them. And they have made believers out of me.
But today they need help. Today, right away. The economy is missing them; management is missing them; the next great creative economy is being stalled in its formation because no candidate for president, neither political party, no church, no nothing are using their uncanny skills and energy.
At the same time, we are being offered choices between extreme austerity and tax cuts on one side and a huge outlay of government for stimulus and infrastructure on the other side. (Remember the election of 2000 when one candidate was giving "back" a projected $10 trillion surplus and the other was finding a way to spend as much of it as possible? That all went the way of the "projected " surplus.
But here is the reality: there is plenty of capital, approximately $2 trillion in private cash, that is just sitting there. And there are CENGAs who need to get started, who need to develop and hone their entrepreneurial skills so survive and thrive in the gig economy. So I see plenty of need combined with plenty of money.
So here is my proposal:
1. A Presidential Summit Among Corporate and Wall Street Leaders - only one agenda item. How much is it worth to you to develop America's highly talented next work force? He needs to extract promises from these leaders for actual amounts of money to be investment. The alternative? They watch their money stagnate and both the economy and human capital languish.
2. The Creation of America's First Global Citizens Fund - a huge fund is created to be managed by private equity and NGO professionals
3. The First Globals Network - President Obama is a genius at using networks and social media. In Africa and Asia, microloans are awarded and governed by village committees. Let First Global Citizens review proposals for new business and technical training loans. Good proposals that will allow young people to become business, social capital, or independent contractors will be reviewed, awarded and tweaked by this large social network. Awards can be small and mid-sized , in the form of cash or extensions on student loans. Paybacks can be made in cash or forgiveness on student loans.
All of this done by private equity and generated by presidential leadership. Add to that full support from both the Democrats and GOP because we all pledge allegiance to private equity. Besides, the stakes are too high. We need to all address our CENGA problem to prevent it from a longer term crisis.
What noted pollster John Zogby terms the "CENGA generation" might just shape the conversation around the 2012 presidential race. CENGA is shorthand for "College Educated, Not Going Anywhere," and according to Zogby, these voters no longer see government as a problem solver.
"Who is going to talk to them and who is going to make the promise to them that their America will not only be better, but their America will be better in shorter order?" Zogby asked.
Zogby gave the keynote speech Monday at C&E's Art of Political Campaigning conference-"The 2012 Presidential Campaign: A View from the Right Brain and the Left Brain."
Neither the campaign of President Obama nor that of his Republican challenger Mitt Romney is messaging properly to the CEGNA generation-a group of voters Zogby considers a subset of the "First Globals" he identified during the 2008 cycle. Four years ago, these voters were optimistic about the future of the country and predisposed to support the Democrat. Now, it's a group that's largely disengaged from this fall's presidential contest.
"[These are] right-brain arguments that will appeal to the heart and the mind and the soul of voters who haven't quite made up their minds yet," Zogby said.
What's missing, he argued, is a willingness to make real investments in the new economy-investments in entrepreneurship that could offer the CENGA generation a reason for hope.
"I have so overstepped my bounds as a pollster by having ideas. Call this my Neil Munro moment," Zogby joked-a reference to The Daily Caller reporter who interrupted a President Obama news conference last week. "I'm so out of line."
New JZ Analytics Poll With Commentary by John Zogby
Obama Has Four Point Lead Over Romney, 47-43%
Lead remains at 13% among women and 90% among African Americans
President Barack Obama ekes out a slim 4-point lead over main GOP challenger former Governor Mitt Romney, according to a new JZ Analytics Online Poll conducted over the past weekend. The poll was conducted June 15-18 among 1149 likely voters and has a margin-of-sampling error of +/-3 percentage points.
The new poll maintains the gender gap, with Obama continuing his 13 point lead among women (50%-37%). In other findings, the President garners 90% support among African Americans (to Romney's 5%), an increase to 67% among Hispanics (to Romney's 29%), 53% of moderates (to Romney's 32%), and 64% of 18-29 year olds (to Romney's 32%).
In other findings President Obama maintained his 46% job approval rating, with 51% disapproving of his performance. Only 41%, the same as our polls in early March and April, feel the President deserves re-election, and 29% say the U.S. is headed in the right direction, while 57% say things are on the wrong track.
In the Congressional generic ballot, 41% say they intend to vote the Democratic candidate in their district, while 37% will vote for the Republican.
Pollster John Zogby: Among the demographics I'm following most closely the president now leads: 67-29 among Hispanics, 90-5 among African Americans, 64 to 32 among 18-29 year olds, and 53-32 among moderates.
All of these put the President within striking distance of the percentages he won in 2008 but he obviously has not closed the deal. His re-elect at 41% is troublesome for him.
Another important finding, albeit a very small subgroup, is that 68% of Jewish voters give him a positive job rating. The fact that independents now slightly favor Obama over Romney is a big turn.
*Methodology JZ Analytics conducted an online survey from June 15-18 of 1149 likely voters in the US. Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time .Using information based on census data, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1149 is +/- 3.0 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
"The past two weeks were D and F. The bleeding has been stopped for now. The president has given a fairly strong (but hardly definitive or game-changing) speech on the economy. Mitt Romney has ridiculed but hardly responded in kind.
The key demographics are - Romney needs white votes (but there may indeed be fewer white voters if Hispanics, blacks and Asian Americans vote in large numbers, as we expect). President Obama's big problem is with disillusioned young voters, getting only 46 percent of their vote today; he won with 66 percent in 2008. The key subset among young voters is what I call CENGA - (college-educated not going anywhere. They are almost despondent.
This recession has gone on too long and they need a start in life. They could hurt Mr. Obama a lot, especially if they do not vote. But do they need tax cuts? Relief on capital gains? An end to losing health insurance because of a pre-existing condition? Neither side stakes its claim on the CENGA and they will be the group I watch closest.
Meanwhile, huge victory for Mr. Obama on Hispanics and the Dream initiative. Also, regardless of the state of polarization in D.C., Americans still like Mr. Obama and respect the commander in chief, certainly not less when he is giving a speech.
"Note to Neil Munro: I am just a pollster and you are just a reporter. Show some respect. Some of Mr. Obama's higher grade goes to you."
Zogby: New voters: Smart dead-enders
The Washington Examiner - Paul Bedard's Washington Secrets
The recession's tightening grip on the economy and job creation has given birth to a new kind of voter. But analyst John Zogby, who has coined many more upbeat voter names, has captured in his new voting group a very depressing reality.
"The new group are college-educated, not going anywhere people, CENGAs," he told Secrets. "They share a lack of confidence in Washington."
If you are a First Global born between 1979 and 1993 John Zogby wants to hear your story. Please email him at email@example.com also we are creating a special influencers panel of First Globals- follow John on twitter to receive updates and learn more. @thejohnzogby
CENGAs are likely living back with mom and dad, so-called "boomerangs," who can't find a well-paying job despite their college degrees. And even those with jobs are being crushed by college student loan debt.
What's depressing, said Zogby, is that this is the same group who in 2008 and even 2010 expressed high hopes for their future and country. "Two years ago they were our First Global Generation with high expectations for their lives and careers. Today, a significant subset is disappointed almost despondent. Will they even vote? How will they even get started. Will they be Globals again?"
The pollster and longtime political analyst said that CENGAs are becoming more libertarian and aren't likely to vote Republican. He said that they are not interested in the GOP message of tax cuts and tax breaks, lean toward the Occupy movement's anti-business agenda and do not support tough anti-abortion efforts.
It is a group that Barack Obama won in 2008 but appears disinterested in the upcoming election in part because they don't feel he has made good on his hope agenda and, more basically, because the economy hasn't benefited them.
Zogby said that he has had first-hand experience with the change in attitude among CENGAs. "It used to be that they would ask how long it would take before becoming COO of my company," he said of job interviews with CENGAs, who are in their young 20s. "Now they just want a job."
Zogby has coined other popular names for influential voting groups such as "Walmart voters," the "investor class," and "first globals."
Zogby: Disillusioned young voters dropping out
The Washington Examiner - Paul Bedard's Washington Secrets
Nearly four years after enthusiastic younger voters poured into polling booths to help push Barack Obama over the finish line and into the Oval Office, their hope has turned to fear and pollster John Zogby says that they are ready to give up on politics.
"I truly am worried about today's twenty-somethings," he frets. "They are our global generation and I have seen them move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment. We can't afford to lose them," he adds.
Zogby previewed his remarks to the League of Women Voters 50th anniversary convention Monday night with Secrets. His worry: that younger voters will stop voting.
He is calling on the League of Women Voters to help stop that trend by engaging younger voters, especially women. "You are needed more than ever," he says of the group. "I see from your mission that you 'encourage' and I think we all need to move into crisis mode and use the word 'engage'. Especially young women."
A fan of youth-friendly social media, Zogby suggests a game plan to target first-time voters. "They should receive a voter registration form with their high school diploma or GED certificate. You need to build up your Twitter and Facebook friendship list."
While an old institution, Zogby says that the League can still inspire. "I know the demographics of LWV -- no different from those of so many organizations. And I know that your core of activists in communities is dwindling or remaining static. There are new ways to engage people -- and new topics. Young people care about new democracies and women entrepreneurs. Your website and information has to be a source of this vital and inspiring information," he says.
Despite growing apathy, he adds that younger Americans "want to be involved in their world, they want to help others progress while they post the kind of experience that will help them move to their next project in the gig economy. LWV doesn't need a new vision or a new MO, it needs to adjust the way it engages young people on their own turf."
"Of course there could be weeks that are worse for a President, but this was a very very bad one. While President Obama twisted his words a bit and clumsily ended up by saying "the private sector is doing fine", he really had to backtrack moments later so as to not appear that he was out of touch with reality. He and his administration remain under fire for allegedly leaking highly classified information about secret technologies aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program. Voters in Wisconsin sent him a mixed message by not recalling their controversial GOP governor, turning over state senate control to Democrats, and saying they prefer Obama over Romney in November. But key groups that Mr. Obama must count on to win, namely 18-29 year olds, gave him a double whammy: 25% fewer young people turned out to vote last Tuesday and they declared they had little use for unions. I am beginning to hear from both prominent and mainstream Democrats that they "feel his team is arrogant", that "he is not a leader", and they are "tired of hearing his voice." He still is basically tied with Romney, but so was Jimmy Carter tied with the "unacceptable" and "dangerous" Ronald Reagan going into the weekend before the 1980 election -- the one that Carter lost. Mr. Obama has not lost but he has some serious 'splainin' to do as to why Americans are really better off with him remaining in office. That will be harder and harder to do if some former supporters are tired of hearing his voice in June."
Grade -- F (this is why he needs a mentor like Bill Clinton)
Zogby: Ann Romney 'Tremendous Asset' for Women's Vote
By: Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter - newsmax.com
Pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax that while Mitt Romney is struggling to win the women's vote, his wife Ann is a "tremendous asset" to his campaign
Recent polls show Romney gaining on Obama in popularity among women.
Assessing how the Republican candidate will likely fare with female voters, Zogby says in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview: "When we look at the women's vote what we're looking at is married women, who tend to be a bedrock conservative group that the GOP has counted on.
"Then there are younger women, mainly single women, that were bedrock for Barack Obama. He is doing extremely well among single women. We had indications that like other young voters, younger single women weren't even going to vote. The contraception issue helped to change that.
"For a while Obama was leading among married women, but now things seem to be heading more normal as Mitt Romney shows a public face and a side to women that's much more appealing than, say, a Rick Santorum. And I'll tell you what that side is, it's Ann Romney.
"She freely chose to be a mom. She is choosing to speak on behalf of working women, particularly among a lot of single moms out there and moms who are in the work force and struggling.
"Even though she is a very wealthy woman, what she is saying is I really care about you. I'm a woman. I raised a family. I know at least partially what it is like. This is something that Mitt has not been very good at doing himself.
"She is a tremendous asset to his campaign, no question about it."
Zogby: Obama Facing 'Serious Crack' in His Youth Base
By: Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter - newsmax.com
Respected pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax that the younger voters who massively supported Barack Obama in 2008 could now be a "serious crack" in his base going into the November election.
Zogby says his most recent polls show Obama essentially tied with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Analyzing the presidential race among several demographic groups, he says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV: "Obama right now in his favor is doing very well among
Latinos and is likely to do very well among Latino voters. They not only were critical to him in 2008, but we're expecting two million more Latino voters in 2012. It's not likely that Republicans are going to do well with Latino voters under any circumstances.
Resentment Fuels Recall Outcome & Will Again in November
Backlash Against Public Employees
By: John Zogby
Economic hard times breed resentments that played out in yesterday's Wisconsin recall election. A vote for Republican Gov. Scott Walker was a vote against public employee unions and what many see as their indulgent pension and health care benefits. A vote for Democrat Tom Barrett was a vote against the one percent that continues to get wealthier while most of the remaining 99% stagnate.
Walker was the winner with a somewhat more convincing margin than anticipated. Walker's win is not the final word on this conflict of resentments, but is still instructive. We still have an election in November where those resentments, along with other factors, will be tested with more at stake.
For now, we can say the greater resentment in the U.S. is not the "one percent vs. 99%" but the "new haves" (i.e. government employees) vs. the "new have-nots." Consistently, I see 36% of all adults living in households where someone is working at a job that pays less than a previous job. This figure was at 14% in 1991 and has grown steadily since, even during boom years.
Public employees are the last stronghold of organized labor. Their wages have not fallen. Most average folks' health care costs have risen dramatically (or been lost) and their 401K retirements (if they have one) have been buffeted by stock prices and limited employer contributions. Public employee health care plans are more robust and they have defined benefit pensions, meaning the employer must make up for market losses with increased contributions.
The employer is the taxpayer, especially of municipal property taxes. Remarkably, teachers, police and firefighters who were once seen as role models can be depicted as parasites living the good life on the dime of hard-pressed taxpayers. The disparities may be exaggerated, and the left says the problem isn't overpaid public employees, but instead under-compensated private sector workers. They call it a race to the bottom.
However, average people do resent other average (albeit better off) people perhaps more than they resent the rich, even in an era of unprecedented concentrations of wealth at the top. I'd give two reasons: proximity and the power of money to drive a message in the media age.
Most people never share the same space with a multi-millionaire, but the teacher, firefighter and cop could live next door. Unlike income taxes which have not risen during the recession, property taxes have. Those bills and news about struggling municipalities and schools forced into programs cuts and layoffs are everyday stories.
The day of reckoning has come for public employee unions. California voters in San Jose and San Diego passed cuts to retirement benefits for city workers. Look for that to happen elsewhere. On the other coast, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has behaved more like a Republican than a Democrat by talking a hard stance with public employee unions. That is one reason why he is very popular and talked about as a 2016 Presidential nominee.
Walker had another advantage yesterday: money. His own campaign and that of allied super PACs reportedly outspent Barrett's forces by seven to one. That alone is sufficient explanation why an incumbent wins 55% of the vote in any election. Unions too benefit from the Citizens United decision that unleashed unlimited private money, but an ever weakening labor movement can't come close to matching the spending from conservative billionaires. The Wisconsin spending disparity should give pause to those, including myself, who see Barack Obama as the favorite to be re-elected.
Obama and Mitt Romney will be the main event in this struggle of resentments. How that plays out can't be simply deciphered from the Wisconsin result. Exit polls showed Obama defeating Romney there, as many voters who opposed a recall of Walker (some because they saw recall as an improper electoral tool) still want Obama re-elected.
Neither man stepped headlong into the Wisconsin dispute, unless you consider a last minute tweet from Obama a real action. Both men feared association with a loss. Nonetheless, both have are positioned in the resentment conflict. Romney has stayed in line with Tea Party beliefs and his own wealth identifies him with the one percent.
Obama has never embraced the Occupy Wall Street movement beyond his call for restoring higher tax rates on millionaires and stock market reforms. He has hardly been the big spending liberal that conservatives have so effectively depicted him as. The rate of government spending under Obama has been less than each of his predecessors back to and including Ronald Reagan.
Obama hopes both his record and his rhetoric position him in the middle without turning off his liberal base. Once that base is secure and the convention is done, Obama must build a majority coalition. He needs to better defend his significant legislation and scare independent voters that Republicans will roll back progress. He can still effectively play the deficit reduction card through recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles committee he created and make clear he will address those in his second term.
To win, Obama can't appear to be taking sides in the resentment war, but would instead be the conciliator. That will be tricky. Romney will not be as confrontational as Walker, but hopes resentment against government and its employees and unlimited spending will work for him as well as it did for Walker.
What Romney Needs to Be Elected
By: John Zogby
Yesterday, I looked at how turnout from core Democratic constituencies could make or break Barack Obama's hopes for re-election. The premise is that in a highly polarized electorate, maximizing votes from usually supportive demographic groups will be more important than convincing the small number of truly undecided voters.
Obama or Mitt Romney can lose more than a million votes with decreases of as little as one percent of the total turnout from a core constituency. So let's look at Romney and the GOP base. These are not predictions, but instead are projections based on polling and possible turnout levels. While the groups I'll look at are well defined, there is overlap between them. Finally, these are national vote projections, and not the state totals that will decide the election. An analysis of battleground polls will come later on.
Right now, Romney and Obama are basically tied in the average of all polls. My Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll has them within one percentage point.
To win, Romney must maximize votes from whites and conservatives.
In 2008, 133 million votes were cast. That is a reasonable projection for this election, and the basis for my analysis. Then, whites made up 76% of all voters, or 101 million. John McCain took 55% of whites, or 55.5 million votes. Since whites comprise a majority of voters, they are much more than a sub-group. But whites are nonetheless a core Republican constituency.
A higher percentage of white voters equates to a greater number of votes for Romney. It could also mean fewer for Obama since a rise in the white share of all votes can also be caused by a decrease in non-white voters. Polling now has Romney getting about the same percentage of the white vote as McCain received. Should white turnout drop to 74%, Romney would lose as many as three million votes. If whites comprise more than 76% (as they did in 2010 when the GOP routed the Democrats), Romney will likely be elected.
Conservatives are a more specific target group, and the one Romney desperately needs to maximize. Conservatives of all stripes made up 34% of voters in 2008. In 2008, McCain won among conservatives, 78%-20%, with 35 million votes. Now, conservatives favor Romney over Obama, 77%-10%, with 13% undecided. Obama is very unlikely to get more than a percent or two of those uncommitted conservatives, leaving room to grow for Romney.
But will they vote in numbers needed for Romney to win? Many of those folks on the right not yet committed to Romney are Evangelicals. With them, Romney leads, 60%-26%, with 14% undecided. His shift from being pro-choice to pro-life on abortion causes suspicion. So may Romney's faith: Mormonism. People may not reveal those kinds of biases in polls, but the high number of undecided Evangelicals raises questions whether Romney's Mormonism is a factor. It may be more telling that Romney talks very little about his religion, even though by all accounts he is deeply committed to his faith.
The GOP base is both Romney's strength and potential weakness. Conservatives, who have always been reliable voters, are even more motivated at the prospect of defeating Obama. There are more conservatives than liberals, and they are usually more likely to vote than the young, Hispanic and African-American Democratic constituencies. To date, Romney has been all in with every facet of social and fiscal conservative beliefs.
But that prevents him from effectively pitching moderate voters, who increasingly vote Democrat. Example: How do you win the votes of suburban women when they can't be sure where you stand about contraception?
This dynamic of needing to maximize party ideologue voters and winning a majority of the few truly undecided is the needle both campaigns need to thread. That makes both party conventions (which are held later than usual this year) especially important. Romney's task is more difficult. He doesn't have the same level of trust from his base as Obama does from his, so he must use the convention to solidify that trust. At the same time, Romney must also allay fears that he would take the nation farther to the right than undecided voters would want to see it go.
If Romney can do both, he can become the next President.
What Obama Needs to Be Re-Elected
By: John Zogby
As we get closer to Election Day, the unaffiliated and undecided sliver of the electorate will be scrutinized ad naseum. Estimates of $1 billion may be spent on advertising, much of it trying to convince less than 10% of voters that Barack Obamaor Mitt Romney will be the worse choice for President.
But in our hyper-polarized electorate, the more decisive factor will be turn out from voters who would be expected to choose one party over the other. We already see both Obama and Romney concentrating on their respective base voters. That's why Obama has come out for same-sex marriage and hammered Republicans about holding down interest rates on student loans. Meanwhile, Romney has yet to make any overt moves to the middle for fear of losing support from conservatives. As you will read below, small percentage decreases in turnout of base voters can account for millions of votes.
Romney and Obama are tied in the national average of polls, so every vote will matter. My Washington Times/JZ Analytics polling has the two within one point. While it's way too soon to make predictions about outcome or turnout, we can develop some models of turnout from various core groups, and how each may impact the outcome. These projections will be my benchmark for further analysis moving toward Election Day. For now, I'll stay with the national popular vote and not individual states. That will come later as I do more Washington Times/JZ Analytics polling. It's also important to note the overlap among voting groups I will be looking at, which will be greater between some groups than others.
In 2008, 133 million votes were cast for President. Since the total vote rarely goes down and the turnout for Obama was so high among new voters four years ago, projecting a turnout of 133 million again is reasonable.
In this piece , I'll examine the key groups Obama must turn out to win. Tomorrow, I'll look at how support and turnout from the GOP base will impact Romney.
For Obama, vital targets are Hispanics, African-Americans, the Creative Class and most critically voters ages 18-29.
In 2008, Hispanics made up 9% of the electorate, and Obama won 69% for eight million votes. Now, he is taking 61% of Hispanic voters, which would be 7.3 million votes. Some suggest Republican policies on immigration may push Hispanic turnout to 11% of the vote, which based on Obama's current polling would total 8.9 million. But with Hispanics hit hard by the economy, their percentage of the vote could drop as low as 8%, or 6.5 million votes for Obama. From high to low is a difference of 2.4 million votes for Obama, more than enough to swing the entire election.
African-Americans are a more stable electorate because they have a longer history of voting and a strong loyalty to Obama. They were 11% of all voters in 2008, and that will likely repeat this year. Obama won 95% of African-Americans then, and polls have him at 91% now, or 13.3 million votes based on the 2008 turnout. If the African-American total of all voters drops from 2008, Obama loses approximately 1.2 million votes for each percentage point decrease.
The final Democratic base cohort is that economist and social scientist Richard Florida dubbed the Creative Class. For this purpose, I'll define them as mostly white, earning more than $75,000 and college educated. Their exact vote is tougher to quantify, but important enough to weigh. In 2008, the Creative Class accounted for 26% of the electorate and gave Obama 61% (about 21 million votes.) Now, Obama is polling at 55% (18 million votes.) For every percentage point drop of the total vote from the Creative Class, Obama loses nearly three million votes.
Voters ages 18-29 are Obama's most volatile core group. They set a record in 2008 by accounting for 19% of the vote, of which Obama won 67% (about 16.9 million.) Obama now polls at 46%-40% of those 18-29 (still enough to lead Romney.) Based on the 2008 turnout and today's polls, Obama would suffer a fatal loss of more than five million votes. It gets worse for Obama if, as may well happen, their turnout drops to 17% (10.4 million Obama votes) or to 16% (9.8 million Obama votes.) Obama cannot sustain a loss of seven million from under 30 voters and win this election.
Obama has one other worry with young voters: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. While overall Johnson may take more votes from Romney, that may not be true with young voters. When you want to change the system and not just the politicians, as some young voters do, casting a third party vote is not throwing it away. This age group has libertarian leanings. Johnson may score on college campuses, and not just because he would legalize marijuana.
"Number two, he had 95 percent of the African-American vote in 2008. He will get that again.
"The creative class, 35 million strong who work in the world of ideas and who helped tilt a lot of formerly red states blue, they are turned off by issues like contraception and some of the elements of social conservatism that came out during the Republican debates.
"The fly in the ointment for Barack Obama is young people, 18 to 29 years old. He won massively among that group. This is a completely different group this time around. [There has been] three and a half, almost four years of recession for this group, a lot of hopeless. Watch a battleground play out in the fall, not between Romney and Obama on college campuses but between Obama and Gary Johnson, the libertarian, who I think speaks to a lot of frustration of young people.
"Johnson could be a threat to Obama's campaign.
"The young vote represents a serious crack" in Obama's base. "He really needs to put all those four groups back together, and young people are that one group.
"He got 67 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds in 2008. I have him polling around 45, 46 percent of that group. It's going to be very hard for him to win. Every young person that does not turn out to vote for Obama or votes for Gary Johnson is a problem for Obama."
Asked what will be the deciding factor in the presidential election, Zogby responds: "The economy of course is extremely important. The price of gasoline is by most accounts off the table. If it shoots back up it's troubling.
"The real issue is going to be anxiety over the economy, not just where the numbers are but what people feel the numbers might be - a European crisis, an emerging market crisis, something globally that could have an impact on us.
"At the same time a real issue is going to be moderates versus social conservatives. A real problem Mitt Romney has is that 16 percent of evangelical Christians are undecided, and a third of those undecided evangelicals tell us they will never vote for a Mormon. "I don't know what n