In addition to his big lead among women — Obama won that demographic by 13 points in 2008 — the president is moving to secure other key elements of his winning coalition. As he did four years ago, he has overwhelming support from African Americans — 90 percent back his reelection effort — and he has a big lead among those ages 18 to 29. As ever, one issue will be how many of these young adults register to vote and turn out.
Obama continues to trail Romney by a big margin among white voters without college degrees, and he loses white men with college degrees by double digits, 57 to 39 percent. He counters with a big lead over Romney among white women who have a college degree or more education.
Obama has argued that the economy is recovering, if slowly, but pessimism remains pervasive nearly four years after the economic collapse. An overwhelming majority of Americans — 76 percent — say the economy is still in recession, an assessment that is shared across partisan, ideological, racial, income and gender lines.
Moreover, as many Americans say their local economy is not even starting to get better as say the situation is improving.
The cost of gas continues to sting: More than six in 10 call rising pump prices a financial hardship, with a similar proportion disapproving of how Obama is handling the matter. Although fewer blame the Obama administration for gas prices than single out U.S. oil companies or other oil-producing countries, the issue adds to Romney’s opening to mount an economic challenge to Obama in the fall campaign.
So far, Romney has not convinced Americans that he better understands the economic problems they are facing; Obama has a 12-point lead on this question. As in January, more Americans consider unfairness in the economic system a bigger problem than over-regulation interfering with growth and prosperity.
This poll was conducted April 5 to 8 among a random national sample of 1,103 adults. Results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Polling manager Peyton M. Craighill and polling analyst Scott Clement contributed to this report.