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NPR analyst describes Romney's Poland stop as appeal to 'ethnic white voters'

 

NPR analyst Cokie Roberts claimed on air that Mitt Romney's stop in Poland was meant to excite "ethnic white voters." 

The comment Monday came as the Republican presidential candidate landed in Poland for the final leg of his three-country tour. 

Roberts, also an analyst with ABC News, inferred that the visit is essentially a bid to attract former Reagan Democrats, especially "descendants" of Polish people. 

"You remember well the Reagan Democrats, those ethnic white voters who had been Democrats for many years, turned out for Ronald Reagan and have been fairly predictable Republicans since then," Roberts said. "Now, it's a smaller percentage of the population, of the voting population than it used to be, but white voters are still much more Republican than any other group in the electorate. 

"They went for McCain in 2008 by 55 percent, and I think that, you know, getting those ethnic voters excited is really what Romney has in mind here. It's more for the folks at home, the descendants of the people that he will be speaking to in Poland," she said. 

Indeed, Poland has a strong Catholic population and the trip could be aimed in part at appealing to some of those voters in the U.S. 

But Romney's visit has been typically portrayed as having more context to it than a bid for Polish-American support. While in Poland, Romney has stressed the alliance between Poland and the U.S., in an implicit dig at President Obama's allegedly accommodating policies toward Russia. 

Plus Romney used an address in Warsaw to herald Poland's free-market policies that helped the country break from the doctrine of Communism, in turn promoting the economic policies he has made a centerpiece of his campaign.