The Washington Post noted this week that most recent polls show Mitt Romney "winning the white vote by more than any GOP presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan" in 1984. But Reuters is looking hard for the bright side, focusing on a tiny subset to explore how "McCain voters defecting to Obama are older white males."
Cheerleading Gabriel Debenedetti touted how “Roughly 5 percent of respondents in Reuters/Ipsos polls said they chose the Republican contender in 2008 and will switch to Obama in 2012" and “The McCain-to-Obama switchers are 55 percent male, and 34 percent of them are 55 or older.”
Then he admitted, parenthetically, that “(Overall, Obama trails Romney 34 percent to 52 percent among white men over 50.)”
The story concluded "The defectors to Obama remain a smaller subset of respondents than those who voted for him in 2008 and now support Romney. The Reuters/Ipsos polling shows 10 percent of voters plan to cross the aisle in that direction." So why do the story on the smaller subset?
Perhaps because Reuters wants to load its story with Romney-bashing. The reporter asked "Who are these defectors?"
"Right now if I had to choose it would be Obama, because he's more personable," said William Holliday, a 58-year-old retiree from Convis Township, Michigan. "Romney has changed his position so many damn times, you don't know what he thinks at all. But they're both liars."
Holliday said that in general he leans Republican. "I did vote for McCain four years ago in spite of the fact he picked Palin. Because I thought that was a cheap trick he pulled there." He worries that if Romney is elected he will put "Cheney and Rumsfeld back in there to run the show."
Does this sound like a McCain voter? Did he think McCain hated Cheney and Rumsfeld? Then there's the tax return/47 percent media line to repeat:
Jeffrey Baker, 56, a retiree in Strong, Maine, thinks Romney's refusal to release his taxes disqualifies him. "If you can't be honest from the start, I don't want you in the Oval Office," he said. Romney, whose personal worth has been estimated at roughly $250 million, has faced criticism from Democrats for not releasing enough years' worth of his tax returns.
"Four years ago I voted for John McCain because I thought he was more experienced, and I thought we needed someone with some military background," Baker said. "Mitt Romney - I don't believe he has the experience that's needed. He's a businessman, he knows how to make money. That's all well and good, but we've got people to worry about."
Baker is unhappy with the entire campaign. "There's nothing going on. No information, no nothing," he said. "Everybody says they're going to do this, they're going to do that. But nobody says how they're going to do it."
He's basing his vote on a general sense that "Obama is more for the whole country than Romney is," alluding to the leaked video. "Romney, that's his honest feelings. He doesn't really care about the 47 percent."
The anti-Mormon commentary comes from one Jeff Waltrip:
Jeff Waltrip, 56, is a retired electrician and retail worker who has voted Republican all his life. But in his view Obama "has done a good job with what he was left with, and I truly believe that allowing Mitt Romney in there is going to make the world a whole lot worse than it is now." Waltrip said he liked the Republican ticket in 2008 because McCain is a veteran and because Sarah Palin "made me laugh."
...Waltrip also believes Romney is out of touch with lower-income Americans, and he mistrusts the candidate's religious convictions.
"I've always felt like the Mormon Church was more of a cult," Waltrip said. "I'm sort of afraid that his interests are going to be strictly for the Mormon Church."
Did you notice all three are retired and under 60? Doesn't that sound like a union-hall story?