Sea Change

Are Perot Voters Back in Action?

As independent voters get more and more frustrated with President Obama, New York magazine’s John Heilemann recognizes the same zeitgeist that gave rise to Ross Perot, whom Heilemann describes as “a peculiar little bat-eared billionaire.” Perot’s former demographic is stronger than ever in the form of disgruntled independents who take issue with, among other things, Obama’s health-care plan and handling of the deficit—his approval ratings with independent voters have dropped from over 60 percent to somewhere in the mid-40s. These voters had a big hand in Republican victories Tuesday, and in order to win back the swing votes, experts say Obama should take a page from Perot’s playbook, presenting a speech with “Perot-style charts and graphs” explaining the ins and outs of the deficit, and justifying further stimulus to angry voters.