There may not be a state that summarizes Barack Obama's decline in popularity with white voters as well as New Hampshire. What we're consistently finding across the country is that Obama's numbers for reelection with African Americans and Hispanics are similar to what they were in 2008 but that he's declined a good deal with white voters. New Hampshire's population is 94% white and Obama won the state by 10 points in 2008 but he now has upside down approval numbers and trails Mitt Romney in a head to head for reelection. His numbers in the Granite State speak to the trouble he may have next year in state where he doesn't have a large core of minority voters to count on to break his fall with whites.
Obama's New Hampshire approval rating is 46%, with 49% disapproving of him. When PPP last looked at the state in April voters were split right down the middle on him at 46% approval and disapproval. His decline since then has come with independents. Where previously he was on narrowly positive ground with them at 46/43, now they split against him 39/53. As is the case most everywhere Democrats (83%) are nearly unanimous in their approval of him while Republicans (85%) are just as unified in their disapproval.
Obama trails Romney 46-44, largely because of a 46-35 deficit with independents. New Hampshire is emblematic of how much more electable Romney is looking than the rest of the GOP field right now- Obama leads all the other Republicans by pretty healthy margins. He has a 7 point lead over both Michele Bachmann (49-42) and Tim Pawlenty (48-41), as well as a 10 point advantage on Herman Cain at 49-39 and a 15 point one over Sarah Palin (53-38).
Obama leads the non-Romney Republicans because even if he's not popular he's at least more well liked by voters in the state than any of them are. Bachmann (-7 at 39/46), Cain (-12 at 25/37), Pawlenty (-13 at 27/40), and Palin (-31 at 31/62) all have pretty poor favorability numbers. Only Romney manages positive ones, albeit by the narrow spread of 43/42.
Obama has to hope the Republicans nominate someone other than Romney...and he also needs to get his troubles with white voters turned around.
This analysis is also available on our blog:
A press release and full crosstabs are attached-