A new study out today puts in stark numbers the importance of swing voters -- specifically whites with at least a high school diploma, but no college degree.
The study done for the Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate group that helped put Bill Clinton in the White House, estimates those voters swing the outcome of a general election by an "astonishing average of 6.7 percentage points between elections that Democrats win and lose."
"That is more than double the margin by which President Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004. Cutting into Republicans' traditional margin with these voters could well mean the difference between a broad Democratic triumph and a narrow Democratic defeat," the study says.
And those voters are precisely the ones whom Barack Obama struggled to win over during the Democratic primaries against Hillary Clinton.
The study used exit poll results from six recent national elections, and found that, "On average, white men with at least a high school diploma but no college degree swing the outcome 3.7 percentage points, and white women with the same education swing it 3 percentage points."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.