|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Whites and women are a re-election problem for President Barack Obama. Younger voters and liberals, too, but to a lesser extent.
All are important Democratic constituencies that helped him win the White House in 2008 and whose support he'll need to keep it next year.
An analysis of Associated Press-GfK polls, including the latest survey released last week, shows that Obama has lost ground among all those groups since he took office. The review points to his vulnerabilities and probable leading targets of his campaign as he seeks to assemble a coalition diverse enough to help him win re-election in tough economic times.
White independent voters, who divided their support evenly between Obama and McCain in 2008, may be the president's biggest challenge now. Just 3 in 10 white independents say Obama deserves to be re-elected and only 41 percent say he understands the problems of people like them.
Obama didn't win the largest share of white voters in 2008, when they made up 74 percent of the electorate. Still, his inroads were enough to beat McCain.
Fifty-six percent of all whites approved of how he was doing his job in the first three months of his presidency. But that support has fallen, with only 36 percent now liking how he's doing his job, while 59 say Obama deserves to be voted out of office.
In 2008, Obama won the backing of most whites in the Northeast and was competitive in the Midwest and West, outperforming the previous two Democratic nominees. Now, majorities of whites in every region but the Northeast say he deserves to lose in 2012 and that he is not a strong leader.
The outlook is negative for Obama among white voters in the Midwest and West, regions where so many electoral votes are at stake.
More than 6 in 10 white voters who did not graduate say the president deserves to be voted from office, while 53 percent of white college graduates say as much.