Obama limits damage with white working class in Ohio

Updated
President Barack Obama and singer Bruce Springsteen stand together on stage during a campaign event, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis.
President Barack Obama and singer Bruce Springsteen stand together on stage during a campaign event, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Obama is doing significantly better with white working class voters in the key state of Ohio than he is with that group nationwide—a finding that could underline the importance of his decision to rescue the auto industry.

According to NBC News exit poll data, Obama won 43% of the white working class vote in Ohio. That may not sound impressive, but he won only 38% of the white vote as a whole nationwide, the same exits say. And they also show that among white working class voters across the nation, he won just 35%.

If Obama does go on to win Ohio, his relatively strong performance with that demographic may be a key reason why. And his standing with that group was bolstered by the rescue of the auto industry, to which one in eight jobs in the state are tied.

Perhaps equally good news for Obama: Whites made up 79% of the Ohio electorate this year, according to the exits. That’s down from 82% in 2008.

Obama limits damage with white working class in Ohio

Updated