Michael Barone, the eminent number-cruncher and political columnist at the Washington Examiner points out that Romney is doing better than any other recent Republican candidate in the upwardly-mobile suburbs. Looking closely at the results from Michigan, Barone says
The returns at this writing show that almost all of Romney’s statewide margin came from Oakland County, the relatively affluent suburban county just northwest of Detroit, which is the state’s second largest county and the one that cast the most votes in the Republican primary. Four years ago Romney carried the five-county metro Detroit area 45%-27% over John McCain; this time he carried it 45%-32% against Rick Santorum. His metro Detroit margin enabled him four years ago to convert a narrow Outstate 35%-32% margin to a convincing 39%-30% victory. His metro Detroit margin this time was enough to overcome a 42%-38% Santorum margin Outstate.
You see, the Republican party has been declining with voters in the upwardly mobile suburban rings around Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and other metro-areas for the past two decades. These voters have been turned off by the GOP’s focus on social issues. These suburbanites prefer a style of politics that is less combative than the conservative movement. And they experienced a great economic run under Bill Clinton. But Romney seems to be doing better in these areas than any Republican since Ronald Reagan. And he may have coattails.
Barone gives us two reasons for the surge with affluent whites.
1) Obama would raise top marginal tax rates to 44 per cent. Romney wants to bring them to 28 per cent.
2) Romney doesn’t have a Southern accent. That goes for Boehner too.
Seriously: his accent.
And why shouldn’t we believe him? Most other blocs of voters tend to vote for reasons that have to do with identity politics and cultural affiliation.
It just so happens that upwardly mobile suburban voters are most comfortable with a Yankee-accented politician who seems like the smartest guy at the Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Barone thinks these voters can “change the map” in the general election.
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