Via Elyse Siegel
Findings released in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggest that the Republican Party is very much a Southern regional white party in terms of the demographics of its supporters.
MSNBC relays the numbers:
The GOP has a HUGE generic-ballot edge in the South (52%-31%), but it doesn't lead anywhere else. In the Northeast, Dems have a 55%-30% edge; in the Midwest, they lead 49%-38%; and in the West, it's 44%-43%.
MSNBC notes that many of the races in which Republicans stand to make electoral gains are taking place in the South "where you have whiter and older voters," or in congressional districts with Southern-like constituencies.
Earlier this year, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele raised eyebrows when he suggested the GOP for decades has pursued a "'Southern Strategy' that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South."
Speaking at DePaul University, Steele -- the first African-American to chair the RNC -- told a group of students that African-Americans "don't have a reason" to vote for Republican candidates.*** Two other things to keep an eye on:
In our poll, Obama’s job-approval rating (47%) is higher than his personal rating (46%). Now it's just one point, but is it possible that as the president becomes more political on the campaign trail, his personal ratings take a hit? But with the GOP’s favorable score dropping (from 30% in June to 24% now), are those attacks working? Also, for the first in the survey, the Tea Party has a net-negative fav/unfav rating (30%-34%). Are the Democratic attacks working here, too?