Please Don’t Forget White Women, Obama

Let's face it: The president's first 2012 debate performance shows that he forgot a key voting bloc.

President Obama shakes hands in Pittsburgh. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

And the videotape that surfaced in which Romney wrote off 47 percent of Americans as Obama-loving, government-dependent slackers was hogging the media airways and not helping the Republican’s standings. An NBC poll had 55 percent turned off to the quarter-billionaire candidate.

The president was also trending upward in his most vulnerable area — 57 percent of Americans said they believed the economy was getting better.

The downer in Denver changed all that. Romney waged a full-frontal attack on the president with zingers and what comedian Stephen Colbert describes as “truthiness.”

Romney’s performance was studied and confident. You could see it in his body language. You could see it in his face. You could hear it in his voice.

Obama’s was not. The president appeared to be wishing he were out celebrating his 20th-wedding anniversary with Michelle rather than wasting time with Mitt. Obama gave a weak and meek defense of the Dodd-Frank Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He fumbled as he feebly called out Romney on his claim that he wasn’t going to raise taxes on the middle class. He let Romney get away with other flip-flops and distortions. He could have taken the discussion over to contraception and abortion, concerns of particular concern to the women in his base. He didn’t.

He failed to speak directly to the one voting bloc that can single-handedly assure his re-election: white women.

With 94 percent of African Americans in the president’s camp and less than 1 percent for Mitt, and with Hispanics favoring Obama 70 percent to 20 percent for Romney, the Republican’s path to victory is short and narrow.

White men, the majority of whom have been voting in favor of Republicans since the Nixon era, weren’t loving Romney but have been hating Obama.