More poor Americans are identifying themselves as political independents as the number of persuadable voters dropped in the weeks leading up to November's general election, new poll data showed.
The two recent polls could signal key target demographics of voters - younger, less-educated poor living in the Northeast - for the campaigns of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.
"Although Americans in poverty apparently lean more toward the Democratic Party than the GOP and are more positive about Obama than are those who are not in poverty, some are Republicans and many are politically on the sidelines," a Gallup poll released September 21 said.
"So it does not appear that this group monolithically supports Obama, as Romney's statement may have implied," it added, referring to recently leaked Romney remarks at a May fundraiser in which he says the 47 percent of Americans "dependent on the government" will never vote for him.
The poll shows a solid 50 percent of American poor self-identify as politically independent, a key demographic and swing sect of voters for both parties.
Meanwhile, an ABC News/Washington Post poll from September 20 showed although the number of persuadable voters has dropped overall, two groups said they are more likely to change their votes this month.
The overall percentage of persuadable voters dropped from 25 to 22 between August and September, the poll showed. But, persuadability of people living in the Northeast and those unsure about the president's job performance rose from 18 to 23 and 34 to 37, the only groups in which the level rose this month.
Targeting the Northeast, a key Obama stronghold, and voters who "somewhat approve or disapprove" of President Obama's job performance could help the Romney campaign.
Independents, steadily persuadable at 26 percent, should also be targeted by both campaigns as should people 18-49 (27 percent persuadable) and non-college graduates (25 percent).
The poll added the continued high numbers of persuadable voters show "a continued sign that the 2012 election retains the potential to break open in either candidate's direction."
by RTT Staff Writer
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