A new Hofstra University poll of registered suburban voters nationwide has Mitt Romney and Barack Obama tied at 46%-46%.
That's actually an improvement for Obama since the university's last poll of the suburbs (November 2011) when Romney led, 48%-40%.
A couple notes:
a. The head-to-head matchup closely mirrors Obama's approval rating, which is 45%/46%.
b. Suburbanites are a gloomy lot right now.
An overwhelming 71% are dissatisfied with the country's direction while just 25% think the sun will come up tomorrow and actually shine.
In other words, the suburbs are full of people like Frank Wheeler in Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, which reads:
"That’s how we both got committed to this enormous delusion—because that’s what it is, an enormous, obscene delusion—this idea that people have to resign from real life and “settle down” when they have families.
It’s the great sentimental lie of the suburbs, and I’ve been making you subscribe to it all this time. I’ve been making you live by it!"
c. Demographic breakdown.
Obama is doing best with suburban women, minorities, young voters, and those with a college degree.
Romney is doing best with suburban men, whites, those over 35 years-old, and those with some college.
We've been hearing for awhile that the election will be won or lost in the suburbs, and that's true.
There are a boatload of suburban counties in battleground states that supported Bush in 2004 but switched to Obama in 2008. In some cases, a simple matter of demographics caused the shift.
But in quite a few (like Hamilton County, Ohio), it wasn't demographics. It was just a pure shift in preference among suburbanites.
The main reason Romney won the primary was because of his theoretical appeal to voters in places like Hamilton.