Blue-Collar Voters Elude Presidential Hopeful Romney

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is finding it tough to connect with lower-income voters in his own party, a record that bodes poorly for success in a potential general election contest with President Barack Obama.

A stream of memorable gaffes on the topic of wealth - Romney is one of the richest men ever to seek the presidency - has cast the former venture capital executive as out of touch with the concerns of working Americans.

Lower-income Republicans are more likely to vote on social issues like opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, where Santorum scores highly.

Ultimately, most Republican primary voters who opted for Santorum or former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich are likely to unite behind Romney in the spirit of partisanship, if he becomes the candidate.

But independents, whose support tilts the balance, arguably do not have the same type of "anyone but Obama" mentality of many Republicans.

"Romney is going to need some working-class votes in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa and other states to win a general election," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

"As long as the economy is where it's at, he has a chance to win. But he needs to keep his message on the economy simple. Mitt has literally got to roll up his perfectly tailored sleeves and say, ‘I'll work hard for you."

Read more from Ros Krasny at Reuters  


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published this page in In The News 2012-03-08 20:00:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy