In 2008, 43 percent of white voters cast their presidential ballots for Sen. Barack Obama. That was more than he needed to win. Today, according to the most recent FOX News poll, 35 percent of white voters say that they support President Obama’s re-election. This is what makes the 2012 presidential election too close to call.
The overriding fear of Team Obama is that the president’s support among white voters will collapse. The math is simple. If Romney gets 65 percent of the white vote (which will likely comprise — at least — 72 percent of the electorate) then he gets 48 percent of the total vote. From there, Romney need only get 20 percent of all non-white voters to win by a comfortable margin.
The 2008 presidential election featured Mr. Obama at the height of his political appeal. Black turnout, youth turnout, liberal turnout surged accordingly, padding his victory margin by as much as two full percentage points. His margin was further padded by the lethargy of conservative voters, who were lukewarm to Sen. John McCain.
This time around, the enthusiasm for President Obama among younger voters, black voters and liberal voters has dimmed appreciably. Conservative voters, despite their misgivings about Gov. Romney, are no longer lethargic. They’re fired up and ready to go. Wisconsin added fuel to their fire.