White voters: Barack Obama has a complicated relationship with white working-class voters.

Election Day Dispatches

Obama’s Complicated Relationship with White, Working Class Voters
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Nov. 6 2012 7:59 PM

Election Day Dispatches


Obama’s complicated relationship with white, working-class voters.

People wait in line for early voting in the parking lot of the Northland Park Center on Nov. 4 in Columbus, Ohio. Obama is doing better in Ohio among working-class voters than elsewhere.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

In the exit polls, there is an interesting indication of President Obama’s relationship with white working-class voters: it’s not good. He is losing them to Mitt Romney nationally by 17 points: Romney 57 percent to Obama’s 40 percent. But in Ohio, Obama is only losing white working-class voters to Romney by 2 points: 50 percent to 48 percent. Is that because of the auto bailout? Or because of the ads that painted Romney as the embodiment of all the economic forces that put white working-class voters in a pinch?

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

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