President Obama racing for Nascar vote, losing ground

By: KKCO - Email
By: KKCO - Email

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNN)-- When it comes to voters, Nascar could be a serious problem for President Obama come November. Charlotte, N.C. is home to the Nascar Hall of Fame. This is the epicenter for the hard-driving, engine-revving sport. While Nascar consists of a whole lot of left turns, the typical Nascar voter steers to the right.

"Nascar has traditionally been little bit more Republican, but North Carolina is very much a swing state," said Winston Kelley, head of the Nascar hall of fame and a Nascar radio commentator.

"I am kind of a little disappointed. He came in with the big fanfare and a lot of hope and promises. I don't think he fulfilled a lot of those hopes and dreams that he was talking about. I think he let a lot of people down," said Stephen Elliott, an Atlanta resident who recently visited Charlotte.

But the Obama campaign isn't banking on voters like Elliott. They've long been considered out of reach for the Democratic party, and in the last four years, he's lost even more ground.

"The President is facing significant decline, especially with those blue-collar, white men. They have been the toughest audience for him right from the outset. But the numbers are getting really bad, possibly the lowest we've seen for any Democratic nominee in possibly 40 years," said Ron Brownstein with the National Journal.

Exit polls from 2008 show 57 percent of white males voted for John McCain, 41 percent for Obama. The latest numbers from this summer show the President has slipped eight percentage points more with this group.

That means President Obama has to increasingly rely on voters who tend to be in his corner: Hispanic, black, young voters and especially women.

"It was almost impossible for him to make a change in four years, so I think the next four years, why not give him another chance to see what he can do for the middle class?" said Vieta Benson, a Gaston County, North Carolina resident.

"I voted for President Obama, and I'll vote for him again. Because I don't think that he's had enough time to correct the damage done by the Republican Party. I just feel that he needs the time," said Phyllis Perry, a Charlotte, North Carolina resident.

This coalition of voters holds the key to victory for President Obama if he can persuade them to turn out in big numbers, and he sure is trying.

"I'm counting on you, I'm counting on you. I'm counting on you. If you are not registered to vote, then you've gotta go to www.gottaregister.com," said President Obama during a recent speech.

That is the big challenge, even with Nascar voters who will overwhelmingly support Mitt Romney.

Nascar officials say fans are more likely more interested in who wins the Sprint Cup versus the Presidential election in November.


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