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Mitt Romney's first direct appeal to urban black voters may not have gone over as well as he hoped, but a new poll out Friday suggests that the presumptive GOP nominee isn't having the same trouble when it comes to white voters, particularly when he's talking about the economy.
The Washington Post-ABC News survey suggests a pretty stark racial divide on the question of which candidate would do more to advance a respondent's economic interests. Fifty percent of white voters named Romney as the man for that job, compared to 37 percent who picked President Obama. The Republican's advantage was even larger—58 percent to 32 percent—among middle-class whites who said they are struggling to maintain their current financial position.
The breakdown among struggling middle-class whites stands out, in large part, because Obama actually holds a six-point (50-44) advantage on the question of who would do more to advance the interests of the middle class generally. Seventy-one percent of non-white voters said Obama would do the most to help their individual economic interests, to only 22 percent who thought Romney would. Among middle-class non-white voters Obama bested Romney by better than 3 to 1.
About half of the people polled described themselves as middle class, white and non-white voters alike. Thirty-five percent of white voters and 36 percent of non-white adults said someone in their household had been laid off in the past few years.
As the Post points out, the poll results emphasize the Democratic Party’s difficulty in attracting white voters, especially those within a lower economic class or without college degrees.