Respected pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax that the younger voters who massively supported Barack Obama in 2008 could now be a "serious crack" in his base going into the November election.
Zogby says his most recent polls show Obama essentially tied with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Analyzing the presidential race among several demographic groups, he says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV: "Obama right now in his favor is doing very well among
Latinos and is likely to do very well among Latino voters. They not only were critical to him in 2008, but we're expecting two million more Latino voters in 2012. It's not likely that Republicans are going to do well with Latino voters under any circumstances.
"Number two, he had 95 percent of the African-American vote in 2008. He will get that again.
"The creative class, 35 million strong who work in the world of ideas and who helped tilt a lot of formerly red states blue, they are turned off by issues like contraception and some of the elements of social conservatism that came out during the Republican debates.
"The fly in the ointment for Barack Obama is young people, 18 to 29 years old. He won massively among that group. This is a completely different group this time around. [There has been] three and a half, almost four years of recession for this group, a lot of hopeless. Watch a battleground play out in the fall, not between Romney and Obama on college campuses but between Obama and Gary Johnson, the libertarian, who I think speaks to a lot of frustration of young people.
"Johnson could be a threat to Obama's campaign.
"The young vote represents a serious crack" in Obama's base. "He really needs to put all those four groups back together, and young people are that one group.
"He got 67 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds in 2008. I have him polling around 45, 46 percent of that group. It's going to be very hard for him to win. Every young person that does not turn out to vote for Obama or votes for Gary Johnson is a problem for Obama."
Asked what will be the deciding factor in the presidential election, Zogby responds: "The economy of course is extremely important. The price of gasoline is by most accounts off the table. If it shoots back up it's troubling.
"The real issue is going to be anxiety over the economy, not just where the numbers are but what people feel the numbers might be - a European crisis, an emerging market crisis, something globally that could have an impact on us.
"At the same time a real issue is going to be moderates versus social conservatives. A real problem Mitt Romney has is that 16 percent of evangelical Christians are undecided, and a third of those undecided evangelicals tell us they will never vote for a Mormon.
“I don’t know what never means, but at least for now that’s troublesome.”