“They swung to Obama in 2008 and they swung back Republican in 2010. Now there is evidence that they might be swinging back because they have doubts about Mitt Romney.”

The white male voter who is in play in this cycle is not part of some mass movement of volatile white men swerving across the ideological divide every couple of years.

Since 1972, white men have voted roughly 60-40 percent in favor of the Republican Party in presidential elections. The exception was 1976, when Democratic Southerner Jimmy Carter attracted 48 percent of the white male vote. Then, in 2008, Obama surpassed the numbers of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry to win 41 percent of the white male vote nationally. But by 2010, white male support had shrunk back to 37 percent — a precarious landing spot for the president.

Now, things could be shifting again. Already struggling to connect with average voters of all stripes because of his wealth and social station, Romney faces an additional hurdle with middle-class men in the secretly recorded video at a Florida fundraiser in which he seems to be assailing the working class as deadbeats and moochers.