Poll: Racial Divide Hurts Obama

Mitt Romney holds a significant lead over President Obama among middle-class white voters who are struggling in this economy, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

With the economy as the top issue for many voters, Romney polled at 58 percent in that demographic, compared to the president at 32 percent. Romney does even better among white voters who have recently suffered a job loss, or who have had someone close to them suffer from unemployment.

The results highlight a continuing challenge for the president and the Democratic Party, seen in this election as it was in 2000 and 2004.

It's a different story for nonwhite voters, who overwhelmingly back Obama. Moreover, among all voters, the president is seen as better for middle class families, leading Romney 50 percent to 44 percent.

Among those surveyed in the poll, 37 percent described themselves as Republicans and 27 percent as Democrats.

The poll was conducted from May 17 to 20 among 1,004 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.