I continue my series on demographic groups to watch in 2012. I am indebted in so many ways to uber-scholar and good friend Richard Florida who has written extensively about and defined the "creative class" worldwide. In the United States alone, this group accounts for 40 million adults who, in his widely-accepted model, are those who are employed in the fields of science and engineering; architecture and design; healthcare and education, business and management; arts, media and entertainment. They are a large group, a vital group in the development of any community or region, and provide both the critical mass, ideas, and energy to grow our metropolitan regions.

But where do they stand as voters? There were a number of key groups in the coalition that helped elect Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008. But when I look particularly at some key Red States which had voted for George W. Bush but turned Blue last election, there is almost a direct correlation between the development and expansion of its creative class and its increased support for Obama over 2004 Democratic Party nominee Senator John Kerry. New Hampshire was Red by only 7,000 votes, but it has a substantial cluster of creatives in the south as a part of the "Route 128" technology development linked to Boston. So, too with the fast-growing suburbs of Washington, DC in northeast Virginia. The Research Triangle and banking centers of Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte linked up with the solid African American and small but growing Hispanic communities in North Carolina. Miami/Dade and Broward counties played a critical in turning Florida Blue as did Santa Fe, New Mexico and Denver and Boulder, Colorado.

So when we talk about 2012 being a base election, we already have seen in this column how vital Obama's support among Hispanics and African Americans will be. The fact that he is coming up a little short among young voters is a great cause for concern. But how is he doing among the creative class? In a nationwide poll of 1052 likely voters taken by JZ Analytics (August 15-16), we found that about one in three voters overall considered themselves members of the creative class. Given that the turnout was about 133 million voters in 2008, this figure looks about right in conjunction with Richard Florida's account of 40 million. In that poll, President Obama leads former Governor Mitt Romney 46% to 41% among all voters and his lead is a healthy 52% to 36% among creative class voters, with 12% undecided. We found this group more prepared to vote for a Democratic candidate for Congress in their district 45% to 31% (compared with 41% to 38% overall).

But this is not quite a rosy picture yet for Mr. Obama and his team. By 48% to 42%, creative class voters feel he deserves re-election - but he will need to secure a significant majority of these voters to win re-election. In the key state of North Carolina, where presently our polling (August 15-17) shows Romney leading by two points, creative class voters are tied at 46% over whether the President deserves re-election and the President leads his GOP challenger by only 10 points - 49% to 39%. That is not enough.

In Florida, there is a different story. The President leads overall by 7 points in our JZ Analytics Poll (August 15-17) and the creative class in Florida supports him by 20 points - 57% to 37%. By a factor of 53% to 40% feel he deserves re-election, and they rate his job performance positively 56% to 42%. That is certainly what he needs to maintain his lead in Florida - and numbers similar to these are what he will need in other battleground states to ensure his re-election.

Needless to say, this is a group I will be watching very closely throughout the campaign.