Two New York Times reporters have scoured the landscape and find some hopeful signs for President Obama's reelection in 2012. Let's leave aside for a while the polls which consistently show the Republicans in trouble, in spite of cable coverage and declarations of confidence. No one likes Congress these days, but get into the weeds and find that in pretty much every case it's Republican members of Congress for whom the lowest approval ratings are reserved.
While Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have slid across the board as unemployment remains high, what buoys Democrats are the changing demographics of formerly Republican states like Colorado, where Democrats won a close Senate race in 2010, as well as Virginia and North Carolina.
With growing cities and suburbs, they are populated by increasing numbers of educated and higher-income independents, young voters, Hispanics and African-Americans, many of them alienated by Republicans’ Tea Party agenda.
“The country is changing. In every election cycle, every year, every day, this country becomes more ethnically diverse. And that has an impact on the kind of coalition that you need to put together to win.” He added, “The truth is, Obama needs fewer white voters in 2012 than he did in 2008.” [That's from Terry Nelson, a Republican campaign adviser.]
Except for Indiana, a long shot, Obama advisers say the president will be favored or competitive everywhere he won before, including Ohio. But polls underscore how tough a task he will have with independents in the industrial belt ...
The latest nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll this month showed that 51 percent of independents with household incomes below $50,000 disapproved of Mr. Obama’s performance, as did 57 percent of those with incomes of $50,000 to $100,000. But independents with household incomes above $100,000 approved of his job performance by 50 percent to 43 percent.