A new survey of Obama voters by Survey USA found that by a margin of 82%-18% they are more likely to support him again in 2012 if he raises taxes on the rich.
The good news for Obama is that 66% of those who voted for him in 2008 approve of his handling of the economy compared to 27% who disapprove. Sixty three percent of those who disapprove are doing so because they believe that Obama has been too willing to compromise with Republicans. The president’s voters made it very clear what they want. Eighty one percent of those who voted for Obama said that they want to see the president lay out a broad jobs plan next week. Only 16% wanted him to focus on smaller measures.
What Obama voters don’t want is any kind of deal that would cut government programs in exchange for GOP support of his jobs plan. Forty one percent of respondents said that they would be less likely support his reelection campaign if Obama cuts government programs, and 21% said that they would be more likely to support him in 2012. Thirty two percent said that it made no difference in their support if the president cut government programs. Over 2/3 of Obama voters (67%) said that they would be less likely to support him in 2012 if he cuts Social Security or Medicare.
It is clear what Obama voters want. They want entitlements left alone, and they want a big jobs plan that doesn’t compromise with the GOP. It looks like his voters are willing to stick by him as long as he goes big, and leaves entitlements out of the discussion.
Barring a big jobs plan, there is one more thing that Obama can do to keep his 2008 supporters solidly in his camp.
President Obama can raise taxes on the rich. By a whopping margin of 82%-5%, Obama voters said that they would be more likely to support the president in 2012 if he raised taxes on the rich and closed the corporate loopholes. This support was across the board. 82% of men and 81% of women said that taxing the rich would make them more likely to support the president in 2012. By age, 84% of those 35-49, 85% of those 50-64, and 87% of seniors said that that taxing the rich would boost their support for Obama. (The percentage of support for tax increases on the wealthy seems to grow with age, because many of these people know that raising revenue works. They have seen it work before).
Support for taxing the rich is higher among those who are more likely to actually have resources. Eighty six percent of Obama supporters who are over age 50 are more likely to support the president if he raises taxes on the rich compared to 79% of those under 50. White Obama supporters (86%) are more likely to favor taxing the rich than Hispanics (78%), Blacks (76%), and Asians (71%). The more conservative the Obama voter, the more likely they are to attach supporting Obama in 2012 to taxing the rich. Eighty seven percent of Obama voters who consider themselves very conservative favor increasing taxes on the wealthy, as do 86% of conservative Obama voters. Eighty four percent of liberals would be more likely to support Obama if he increased taxes on the rich, as would 78% of moderates.
Increasing taxes on the wealthy is an issue that is a big winner for President Obama, and the best thing that he could do to boost the morale of those who voted for him in 2008 is to make getting the rich to pay their fair share his battle cry for 2012. Washington is so trapped in an inertia of non-governing that Obama has absolutely nothing to lose by going big on this jobs plan. Republicans are going to block it anyway, so the president should make his plan, and the inevitable Republicans obstruction of it, a major message of his 2012 campaign.
The issue of increasing taxes on the wealthy is an easy winner for Obama. No matter who the Republican nominee is, they are going to publicly oppose increasing taxes on the wealthy. If Obama makes the fair share argument the center of his 2012 campaign, his voters will come out in droves, and Independents will again support this president.
If Obama makes the Republican nominee’s campaign about defending the rich while the rest of us suffer, he will win reelection. The GOP’s screams of class warfare will be muted by an agenda that seeks to kill Medicare to save the tax cuts for the rich. In other words, it is tough to accuse the other side of class warfare when you are practicing it yourself.
President Obama’s supporters are yearning for him to take the fight to the GOP on increasing taxes on the wealthy, and I have a hunch that is exactly what they are going to get from President Obama between now and November 2012.
Image: Godless Liberal Homo