Table: Who Are the Safety Net Swing Voters?

The people Bush needs to get on his side are the folks who approve his overall performance but are leery of his Social Security reform

Roughly one-third of the American public approves of George Bush's job performance and likes the way he has handled Social Security. A larger bloc -- nearly half the population -- is hard-core anti-Bush. These voters dislike the President and oppose his plan to create private Social Security investment accounts. In the middle are the one in six Americans who approve of Bush's overall job performance but are uncomfortable with his approach to Social Security. These are the Safety Net swing voters. Who are these people?

Most of them are white men. They tend to be socially conservative and patriotic. They're more likely to have backed the invasion of Iraq and to attend religious services regularly. They make an average income and are slightly less educated than the average American. The largest group is moderate Republicans, though many are conservative Republicans, Independents, and blue-collar Reagan Democrats.

Here's a numerical snapshot of the Safety Net Swing Voters. The larger the gap, the more of these people in the electorate.

Group Bush Job Approval Bush Soc. Sec. Approval The Gap
White men 56% 36% 20%
High school education 46% 27% 19%
Married 53% 36% 17%
Parents 52% 32% 20%
Union households 38% 20% 18%
Supporter of war in Iraq 79% 50% 29%
White Protestant 61% 39% 12%
Evangelical 69% 46% 23%
White Catholic 46% 29% 17%
Independent 41% 22% 19%
Republican 86% 60% 26%
Conservative Republican 93% 68% 25%
Moderate/Lib. Republican 78% 48% 30%
$50-$75K 54% 36% 18%
$30-$50K 43% 26% 17%
$20-$30K 46% 27% 19%
South 53% 33% 20%
West 46% 28% 18%

Source: The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

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