Democrats hope their 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton, will be able to recreate the “Obama Coalition” with strong support from the African American, Latino, college-educated, women, and independent voters that propelled Barack Obama to the White House in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, kept him there in 2012. In a General Election match-up, how does Mrs. Clinton stack up against Mr. Obama so far with these key groups?
In 2008 against Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama won 95% of African Americans, 67% of Latinos, 66% of 18-29 year olds, 56% of women, 52% of Independents, and 50% of college-graduates. The only group with which he improved when he ran against Mitt Romney in 2012 was Latinos, receiving 71% of the vote (+4 from 2008). His performance among the other “Obama Coalition” voter groups declined. He won 93% of the African Americans (-2); 60% of 18-29 year-olds (-6); 55% of women (-1); 45% of Independents (-7); and 47% of college-graduates (-3).
Mrs. Clinton does not reach Mr. Obama’s 2012 levels with these groups now. According to a recent LA Times/USC poll, Mrs. Clinton wins only 82% of African Americans, 56% of Latinos, 51% of women, 51% of college-graduates, and only 35% of Independent voters – a group Mr. Trump has been running even or ahead of Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton has almost eighty days to solidify her support with these key demographic groups, but she has a long way to go to match Mr. Obama’s performance.