Resurgent Republic, a conservative research organization, released new findings today from its “Target Voter Series” on blue-collar Catholic voters. The respondents in their focus groups all voted for Obama in 2008 but are undecided on the presidential ballot today. The groups were drawn from Ohio and Pennsylvania, two battleground states that Barack Obama won in 2008 with around 48 percent of the Catholic vote. It is critical for Mitt Romney to achieve strong results with this voting bloc in 2012 in order to compete for these states. Resurgent Republic’s main findings were that:
Even considering their religious beliefs, these voters’ personal fiscal and pocketbook concerns overwhelmingly shape how they view the direction of the country and the health of the economy.
These voters are personally and severely affected by the economic downturn and their primary concern is their own economic well-being.
A female voter in Pittsburgh in their study perfectly encapsulated this sentiment regarding the economy: “Is the reduction of unemployment an accomplishment? Not when you know five people who are unemployed.”
Romney could win these voters in November with a focused economic message. They are rightfully afraid of the current direction of the economy: “My fear is that this is the new normal. You work hard and don’t get paid for it. You don’t get a raise.”