does the math.
It isn't pretty for the Incredibly Shrinking Obama.
Rove starts off with Obama's seven percentage point margin of victory over John McCain, which translates into a 9.5 million-vote advantage. Using Gallup, Pew, CNN/Opinion Research recent poll numbers, Rove shows Obama's incredible shrinking demographics.
(Updated polling notes are added in parenthesis/italics below the demographic Rove addresses.)
Gallup found in April that Republicans were five points more likely to vote than Democrats. More recent measures, including by the Pew Research Center in June, show Republican voters displaying more intense interest than Democrats. If 2008 stay-at-home Republicans vote, Mr. Obama's margin would shrink by more than one-third (to 6.1 million). Similarly, the 2.4 million veterans who voted in 2004 but did not in 2008 could turn out in 2012. Mr. McCain's winning margin among vets was 10 points.
Nor can Mr. Obama count on winning the support of 9% of Republicans—or roughly 3.7 million—as he did in 2008 (according to exit polls). If he instead wins the same 6% of Republicans as Sen. John Kerry did in 2004, then 1.25 million Obama Republicans would be subtracted from the president's column and added to Mr. Romney's. That would narrow Mr. Obama's popular-vote margin to 3.6 million.
According to the exit polls, Mr. Obama won independents by eight points in 2008 (52% vs. 44% for Mr. McCain). But the July 1 CNN/Opinion Research poll showed Mr. Romney winning independents by seven points, 49% to 42%. The June 24 Gallup poll found Mr. Romney up by one among independents, 43% to 42%. Independents will shift back and forth, but if they split 49% to 49% (with the rest going to minor candidates), then Mr. Obama's vote total would be shaved by 1.1 million and Mr. Romney's would grow by an equal amount, cutting the president's margin to 1.4 million.
(Updated Polling Note- As of yesterday, the numbers for Independents have more data, ABC News/Washington Post polling data now has Romney's advantage over Obama among Independents at 14 percent, and CNN/ORC also found that Romney is favored by 52 percent Independents on the economy, which polled as the number one priority issue.)
Voters 65 or Older:
Among voters age 65 years or older, Mr. Obama lagged behind Mr. McCain by eight points, 45% to 53%. That margin has doubled to 16 points (41% vs. 57%) in the July 1 CNN/Opinion Research. In the June 24 Gallup, the gap among seniors is 15 points, 39% to 54%. A big gap in November implies that Mr. Obama would lose some undetermined number of Democratic or independent seniors.
Middle Class Voters:
Mr. Obama also has a problem with middle-class voters. In the June 24 Gallup, he led among those making up to $36,000 a year by 51% to 39%, and he trailed among those making $36,000-$90,000 by 44% to 51%, both well behind his 2008 pace.
(Updated Polling Note- New Quinnipiac University and ABC/Washington Post national surveys out this week show Obama has hit historic lows among blue collar men, Romney is holding a double digit lead over Obama in that same demographic.)
African- American Voters:
If the turnout of African American voters this fall is just a half-point less than in the last election, Mr. Obama would lose roughly 700,000 votes. With black unemployment at 14.4%, that's a real possibility.
(Updated Polling Note- According to Gallup, Obama has already lost 4 percentage points among African Americans compared to his 2008 numbers. In 2008 Obama carried approximately 91 percent of the African-America vote and Gallup has him at 87 percent as of June 2012)
Mr. Obama captured Hispanics by 67% to 31% in 2008. But the June 24 NBC/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll found Latino "interest in this election remains far below 2008 levels." Even after Mr. Obama's June 15 decree exempting young illegal immigrants from deportation, his approval rating among Hispanics is down to 58%. In the June 25 Gallup poll, four in 10 Hispanic voters list unemployment and economic growth as their greatest concern. This is no surprise, since Latino unemployment is 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Another group vital to Mr. Obama's 2008 victory—young people—are now less enthusiastic about voting and about Mr. Obama. According to a June 24 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney among them by 23 points—11 points less than Mr. Obama's margin over Mr. McCain. If this holds up, it would cost Mr. Obama up to 1.25 million votes.
Barack Obama has lost percentage points in every demographic, including those where he is still favored as with African Americans, Hispanics and youth, leaving him with a net negative vote advantage.
Hence headlines like today from The Hill, "New Urgency For Team Obama."