2008 Obama voters now strongly for Romney

(Note: be sure to see a reader’s comment on what was motivating these former Obama supporters in 2008, and why they have switched.)

Here’s something that would seem to increase the possibility of an Obama defeat. Frank Luntz had one of his focus groups last night looking at the debate. It consisted largely of people who had voted for Obama last time and were now undecided. They overwhelmingly felt that Romney had been presidential and effective and had won the debate, and that Obama had offered no reason to re-elect him and had only been negative. That these strongly, even passionately, held views are coming from former Obama voters is pretty striking.

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Dave T. writes:

I was very surprised by the reactions of Luntz’s focus group, which brings to mind why it’s so difficult for people with more established political views, and who regularly follow the news cycle, to judge these “debates.” Typically, there’s enough back-and-forth between the candidates, with both of them scoring their share of debate points, that one could make a case for either candidate winning. However, at this stage in the campaign, the debates are more about low information voters who still haven’t firmly decided which candidate to support. I don’t know about the rest of the VFR commentariat, but I am no longer capable of putting myself in the shoes of such people. And that’s why we still won’t know who “won” last night’s debate until the next round of polling comes out.

LA replies:

That’s a very good point.

What is also striking is that these are undecided voters, which, as you point out, means that they are low-information voters, which we would normally associate with their being unintelligent. But in fact, as anyone can see who watched the clip, they are highly articulate and decisive in the way they express themselves. How, then, are they are still Undecideds? (Or rather they were Undecideds until last night’s debate; now they are overwhelmingly and strongly for Romney.)

Karl D. writes:

I watched that Luntz focus group, and it ticked me off. I came to realize that many of the whites who voted for Obama in 2008 did so out of white guilt and the herd mentality. I have witnessed this with a couple of people I know who voted for Obama and will now vote Romney. The sirens’ call of “the first black president” was a very strong factor with these people. They wanted to be part of that history and to be able to say that they voted for America’s first black president, buttressing their nondiscrimination creds. Add to that the herd atmosphere of “Hope and Change,” and it was too much for some to resist.

The one line I heard again and again in 2008 from these types was, “I figured I would just give him a chance.” As if he were a young guy just out of school looking for someone to give him an opportunity to make his bones. What real damage could he do? I have no patience or sympathy for people who think like that. But then again, I don’t suffer fools gladly in most situations.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 17, 2012 01:00 PM | Send

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