As a prelude to Mitt Romney's Boise noontime fundraisers today, where supporters will pay $1,000 to be in the same room as the former Massachusetts governor and $2,500 for the privilege of having a photo taken with him, the Associated Press reports this morning that Romney is struggling to attract the "white working class."
Romney's campaign tacked on a free mid-afternoon rally in Boise so that the general public can get a glimpse of the presidential hopeful, but the candidate has breezed in and out of Idaho before, most recently in June 2011, when he held similar pricey fundraisers without any access for the press or general public.
According to a national poll of Republicans released this week by the Pew Research Center, Romney holds a "slender lead over Rick Santorum among whites ... but trails Santorum among working-class whites, 36 percent to 23 percent."
According the AP's Alan Fram, Romney's "lukewarm performance with less-educated whites could haunt him in the Feb. 28 Michigan primary. Though it's Romney's native state, Santorum is using his upbringing in western Pennsylvania, his rougher-edged style and his 'Made in America' proposals for boosting U.S. manufacturing to woo Michigan's many blue-collar voters."
Fram reports that "Romney's weakness with working-class whites is a liability he would also have to address as the nominee."