Mitt Romney is having trouble attracting support from a key GOP demographic.
Real Clear Politics breaks down recent polling and finds that white, working-class voters are not warming to Romney in numbers the former Massachusetts Governor needs. That's a voting bloc that Republican presidential candidates need big numbers from this group to make up from weak support among other demographics.
Combined figures for the first five states to vote - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada _ show ideology was also a factor. Just 22 percent of Romney's votes came from working-class whites who consider themselves very conservative. Santorum got 52 percent of his votes from that group and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Romney's biggest rival at the time, got 45 percent.
In those early contests, Romney led Gingrich by 43 percent to 28 percent among whites who completed college, the polls show.
That gap shrank to a 39 percent-to-33 percent Romney advantage among whites without college degrees. White men who haven't graduated college tilted 37 percent to 33 percent toward Gingrich.
Republicans want to drive their margin among working-class whites as high as possible this year to offset Obama's advantage with minorities. Working-class whites comprise around 4 in 10 voters in recent general elections.