Perhaps the Obama re-election campaign sees some potential for Republican outreach in its preoccupation with Mitt Romney’s alleged mistreatment of Seamus the dog. A 2006 Gallup poll estimated that 43% of Americans own a dog, and that 70% describe themselves as “dog persons.” A 2007 Gallup poll found that the demographic groups most likely to own dogs are among those Obama has the most trouble with, including: whites (47%) and married people (52%).
The Freakonomics website cites a 2008 Gallup poll that found that 33% of dog owners identified as Republican, while just 28% of cat owners called themselves Republicans. The Democratic dog-cat slip was about even. And in July 2008, An AP-Yahoo News poll found that dog owners favored Republican presidential nominee John McCain over Obama, 43% to 34%.
Candidate Obama pledged to launch a “new era of bipartisanship.” But we’ve seen very little outreach or aisle-crossing from the president. And Obama has suffered for it. His RCP average approval rating among Republicans languishes at 11%. Of course, Obama’s dog distraction probably won’t work. Dog owners already have enough reasons to vote against Obama, including the rising cost of dog food.