Barack Obama, the first black major-party nominee, is positioned to win the largest share of white voters of any Democrat in more than three decades, according to an exclusive Politico analysis of recent Gallup and Pew Research Center polling.
The most recent two weeks of Gallup polling, which includes roughly 13,000 interviews, show 44 percent of non-Hispanic white voters presently support Obama — the highest number for a Democrat since 47 percent of whites backed Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Until the stock market swoon in mid-September, Obama had never reached 40 percent among white voters.
No Democrat has won a majority of white voters since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. John McCain has shuffled between 48 percent and 50 percent support in recent weeks — which would be the lowest share for a Republican candidate in a two-man race since Barry Goldwater's run.
If Obama's share holds, it would top the 43 percent of white voters who backed Bill Clinton in 1996, when the Democrat won a plurality among white females and 38 percent of white men, the best performance by a Democrat in all those categories since 1976.
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