Matchup polls are pretty much useless this far ahead of an election, but Ron Brownstein points out something genuinely interesting about the internals of recent polls that match Barack Obama against Mitt Romney: Obama’s support is almost precisely the same among various subgroups as it was in 2008. He seems to be very successfully reassembling the coalition that powered him to victory four years ago:
On the broadest measure, Pew found Obama attracting 44 percent of whites (compared to 43 percent in 2008) and 79 percent of non-whites (compared to 80 percent in 2008). In the Pew survey, Obama attracted 49 percent of whites with at least a four year college degree (compared to 47 percent against McCain) and 41 percent of whites without one (compared to 40 percent in 2008).
Looking at ideology, the reversion to 2008 is almost exact. Against Romney, Pew finds Obama attracting 89 percent of liberals, 20 percent of conservatives (each exactly his share against McCain), and 61 percent of moderates (compared to 60 percent in 2008.) On partisanship, the story is similar: against Romney, Pew finds Obama attracting 9 percent of Republicans (exactly his 2008 share), 51 percent of independents (compared to 52 percent last time) and 94 percent of Democrats (up from 89 percent in 2008). In the Pew survey, Obama wins 46 percent of white independents (compared to the 47 percent he drew against McCain).
This comes via Ed Kilgore, who notes that “it’s getting easier to imagine an Obama victory, not just as a general, abstract possibility, but in terms of the flesh and bone of an actual majority coalition of voters.”