Obama's coalition that elected him in 2008 is fraying. A New York Times poll shows supporters from groups that voted for Obama have switched their allegiance to the GOP:
Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.
If women choose Republicans over Democrats in House races on Tuesday, it will be the first time they have done so since exit polls began tracking the breakdown in 1982.
The poll provides a pre-Election Day glimpse of a nation so politically disquieted and disappointed in its current trajectory that 57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience. More than a quarter of them said they were even willing to back a candidate who holds some views that "seem extreme."
On the issue most driving the campaign, the economy, Republicans have erased the traditional advantage held by Democrats as the party seen as better able to create jobs; the parties are now even on that measure. By a wide margin, Republicans continue to be seen as the party better able to reduce the federal budget deficit.
Women breaking for Republicans? That would be a remarkable event that would radically alter the landscape for 2012. We're seeing suburban women who abandoned the GOP in 2006 come back to the fold -a move that will have consequences for many senate races in states like PA, NV, IL, and FL. And the flow of independent voters toward the GOP has been much discussed this entire campaign season.
Will the Republicans have women to thank if the wave turns into a tsunami?