Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election

First of all, John Edwards was right, there are "Two Americas".  The red states and blue states.

There were 10 states where one candidate won by 15-20% of the votes:  CT, DE, IL, LA, ME, NJ, ND, SD, TN, TX.

There were 7 states where the margin was 21-25%:  AL, AR, CA, KS, KY, MD, MA

There were 2 from 26-30%:  NY, WV

5 from 30-45%:  HI, ID, OK, VT, WY

and one state and the District of Columbia at over 46% - that would be Utah (73-25)(DC was like 91-07)


So, half the states and DC are not even remotely competitive (and I am using 14% as a "remotely competitive" marker). 

You have states where Bill Clinton actually WON (Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee) that are now just horrible blowouts.

You have enormous population centers like Califonia and NY going for Obama by just ridiculous margins.  (I predict that when California results are done that Obama will win the popular vote by 3 points).

Romney wins about 59% of the white vote and 55% of the male vote, but loses by enormous margins among African-American, latino and Asian voters.

Obama cannot get any votes among whites in the Deep South, particularly those who are born again.  He loses those voters 90+.  He lost white voters in Mississippi 89-11, and actually did WORSE among white women than he did among white men!!!  White born again Christian women overwhelmingly preferred a Massachusetts Mormon.  Again, I find this remarkable.

Obama failed to win one county in Oklahoma or Utah.    He will win the popular vote, I believe, by over 3,000,000 votes.  Not one county in either of these states.

The reaction of GOP talking heads early in the night and Karl Rove later in the night to the Ohio victory really concerns me.  You only have these reactions if someone has told you that you are going to win.  Someone like, say, the Secretary of State.  There were like 20 polls in Ohio in the last 5 days of the race.  All but a couple showed Obama up like 50-47%.  So what POSSIBLE reason could the GOP have for being SO stunned at the result?  The most troubling thing of the night.

If you are a rational Republican, here is what you need to think about today:

1) We own the South and rural mountain west
2) We have a ton of Obama states where we just need to flip 3-4% of voters to win.
3) Obama is not really close in any of our states other than NC.
4) Obama is a really good candidate with a great team around him.

So, in 2016, if you just flip some of the close states, you will win.  You might be able to do that by just simply facing a poor candidate (75 year old Joe Biden?).  You might be able to do that just by simply not constantly alienating blacks and hispanics and women by going after their most basic human rights.  Honestly, if the GOP didn't try SO hard to disenfranchise blacks, I think they would have voted in lesser numbers.  And how about gearing back the rhetoric on border security a little ("I would build a 400 foot wall with dragons guarding it and machete anyone who got past the dragons").

Finally - there are a lot of women who would like to vote GOP - they just don't want to go back to 1950 and fight for the right to have birth control.  The GOP policy toward women is basically the Ron Burgundy "slap them on the ass and pay them 50% of their worth" policy.  And their outreach to women is..........Ann Romney!?!?!  I am a moderate Democrat and I will admit that I do not do well with liberal Dem women.  They scare me and they generally don't like the fact that I watch sports.   Now imagine how well they a Mitt Romney or an Ann Romney will relate to these women.

Women are not 10% of the population.  You cannot take out a blowtorch and scortch them like you do African-Americans. 

The problem the GOP has is that its coalition is old white people, the wealthy, and people who live in southern and rural areas.....and I guess Mormons....  The most numerous of this group are the southern and rural folk.  They are the GOP's primary asset, and its primary liability.  Without GOP leadership's whacked out social issue pandering, these people may one day discover that there is no real reason for them to vote GOP.  That would leave the GOP losing presidential elections by 85% of the electoral vote.  So they cannot abandon the base, but the base leads them way, way the wrong way.  They will need their own Bill Clinton - someone who tells the base "hey, vote for the other party if you don't like it".    I see that person as Chris Christie. 

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