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Whether Republicans Like It or Not It’s an Obama Mandate
Florida is still being counted, but Obama swept the country in a decisive defeat of Romney so far with 303 electoral votes to 206, and possibly more. The count right now for the popular vote is 50.3% for Obama to 48.1% for Romney. Florida is at 49.8% versus 49. 3% for Mitt Romney, with Obama having a 60,000 vote lead.
The Romney Ryan ticket faced a resounding defeat from their home states, becoming the first national ticket do lose both home states since 1972. Romney lost his home state of Massachusetts by 23.4 points, and his native state of Michigan by 51 percent to 48 percent. They also lost Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. A trifecta of fail.
Truly familiarity did breed contempt, as polling suggested.
Obama won 72 percent of Hispanics, 91 percent of the African American vote and earned an 11 percentage-point advantage among female voters.
Romney had, in reality, a few days of a bump from the first debate, but aside from that, the fundamentals weren’t there for him. While pundits focused on national polls (that clearly missed the impact of young and Hispanic voters and to some extent, by polling likely voters, focusing on those voters who turned out in 2010), the Obama ground game was registering 1,000,000 new voters.
The Romney campaign thought that they would get Ohio, they thought Virginia was theirs and they thought Pennsylvania was in play. They lost all three. Iowa fell for Obama, in addition to Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. Romney was betting, as was the entire Republican Party, that the anti-Obama fever they tried so hard to manufacture would power them to a win. But it turned out that a flawed candidate with bad ideas was no match for the sitting President’s record. They also lost New Hampshire and Colorado.
Republicans are trying to spin today, with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner saying they have the House therefore the people want their ideas and they don’t have to work with Obama.
Not true. First of all, Tea Party members (guilty of the worst obstruction) got routed last night. Even the deep pocketed Michele Bachmann barely held on to her seat. Allen West is gone after the recount he’s demanding, and the rape triplets were denied entrance.
Furthermore, the House is not where we install our most trusted and serious lawmakers. The people re-elected the Democratic President in a time of a national recession. They also gave the Democrats a more liberal Senate. Getting the hint yet boys?
The country wants the Democrats’ platform. Yes, they left the House in the hands of the Republicans; but the more localized nature of the House elections, the gerrymandering of districts, and the fact that Americans prefer some balance in government do not suggest that nationally, Americans want anything to do with Republican trickle down economics and government forced births. The House is not a mandate for America. Furthermore, even Romney supporters expressed a desire to end the petty bickering in DC (perhaps not realizing that their own party is responsible for the tone).
George W Bush declared he had a mandate in 2004 with 51% of the vote, citing record numbers of people voting for him. However, record numbers of people also voted against him (50.7 to 48.3). Bush’s electoral college “win” was 286 to 251, much smaller than Obama’s at 303 and still possibly climbing.
The media fell in line, touting Bush’s mandate for the conservative agenda as a done deal. Obama’s “mandate” is bigger. He won more electoral college votes by a wide margin and what will probably turn out to be a larger percentage of the popular vote when Florida is accounted for.
Republicans like to argue that unless you have the “white vote” (by which they mean the white working class vote, not the white college educated vote – notice how they have to keep whittling) you don’t have a mandate. In truth, the demographics have changed. It is now possible to have a mandate without the white vote. Also, the “white vote” doesn’t have more legal weight than any other vote – FYI. Those days are long gone. I can’t wait until we don’t have to hear pundits going on about how the “black president” can’t get the “white vote”. In truth, actually, he got plenty of it, but also Democrats have had a long history of trouble with the “white vote” since the Civil Rights era, having nothing to do with the color of their skin but rather their support for equality. The small contingency of race obsessed voters does not an election make in 2012.
However, it should be noted by Republicans that they also lost the white vote in crucial places like Ohio, where Romney’s auto bailout stance didn’t play well and where his lies about Jeep moving jobs to China only furthered the narrative of him as the used car salesman trying to put one over on the working man. The only place where the “white vote” is solidly Republican is in the South.
In Ohio, “of the 59 percent of Ohio voters who supported the auto bailouts, 75 percent voted for Obama, compared with 24 percent for Romney”, a fact pointed out by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin on Twitter.
So if Republicans are to be believed, the South is the only legitimate vote – which is ironic, given that the South wants to secede from the union when they don’t get their way. And so we come full circle back to the place where it all began for Republicans, when playing the South with deliberate race baiting was a winning strategy. Not so much anymore.
Republicans bet everything on winning this election, including holding tax cuts for the middle class hostage unless the top 2% also got cuts. They thought Americans would give them the Senate and the White House, but neither happened. Now they face obstructing tax cuts for the middle class from the House, or as we like to call it, losing even bigger in the next election.
The country has just re-elected by a wide margin the incumbent President and given him a Senate firewall against the Republicans. It’s called a mandate, and Republicans refusing to work with this President and his party face growing irrelevance and backlash.