Friday, November 9, 2012

Election 2012: Obama 332 and Romney 206
Tuesday's election heralds a fundamental shift in our democracy. The map above shows the shrinking electoral base of the GOP. Even an incumbent facing 8 percent unemployment and a population still riddled with racism won handily.

Four years ago, I reported from Grant Park that: "The Grant Park crowd was one of the most diverse crowds I have ever seen, from all demographic perspectives. On the way to the party we passed a Young Republican event. It was perfectly white and 85% male. Barack took 95% of the Black vote; 66% of the Hispanic vote; 56% percent of the female vote; 69% of new voters; and 66% of voters 18-29.  That adds up to a historic coalition that could prove durable for many election cycles yet to come.  Indeed, the one age group McCain won was voters over 65."

At Tuesday's celebration at McCormick Place, a more powerful demonstration of that reality displayed itself. The energy and determination of Obama's supporters saved the Democrats and not even a hurricane of big money could stop them. In fact, the big money back-fired as people voted against the candidates most supported by big money, which I will be writing about soon. I met middle class people who scraped to the bottom of their monthly budget to give money to President Obama's campaign.

But the big story of the night was the diversity of the President's supporters. It was a beautiful crowd. The only Americans I did not meet there were wealthy, old, white males. They apparently had monopolized the Romney gathering in Boston.

In sum, I saw intense energy and diversity on display Tuesday at McCormick Place. This election provides a virtual road map to future Democratic victory.

Here are the hard facts of the power of diversity for the Democrats: Obama won woman voters by a 55-44 margin; African Americans by 93-7; Latinos by 71-27; and Asian Americans by 74-25. He also carried the youngest voters by 23 percentage points. Notably, Obama also won the votes of the highly educated by 55-42. This coalition is not going away and the GOP should come to grips with this reality, although they utterly failed to see its implications after 2008.

Indeed, looking at the map above, Texas seems poised to become the next  battleground state that used to vote solidly Republican. In Texas, Latinos now comprise 25% of voters. Texas also includes major urban areas, a demographic that voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

In coming days, I will write about many dimensions of all of this, including: the need for the GOP to abandon its collapsing Southern Strategy (particularly its voter suppression efforts); its manifest hostility to Latino voters; its excessive reliance on big oil and big finance; and the opportunities for a new progressive coalition that puts broad-based economic growth front and center.

Today, the emphasis is the power of diversity at the polls. As former GOP Chair Michael Steele put it: "Every month 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 years old, what is the Republican Party going to do about that?"


  1. the gop appears tone deaf. just today, karl rove began peddling the idea that president obama won the election by "suppressing" the vote somehow, by painting mitt romney as rich and out-of-touch. this is why the republicans lost the election? what? really?

    aside from the fact that mitt romney is rich and out-of-touch (see steve ramirez's link above), to all of my friends that voted for mitt romney, particularly registered republicans, the message from this election outcome has got to be that the party figures out a way to cut out the hate rhetoric and becomes more inclusive. alienating latino voters with threats of deportation, alienating female voters by nominating national party candidates that BELIEVE that pregnancy from rape is intended by God (mourdock), or that a woman's body shuts pregnancy down in instances of "legitimate rape," (akin), to there being no such thing as a "woman's life in danger" exception because medical advances have made it an excuse for pro-choice supporters (walsh), and alienating african american voters by claiming that president obama is a "food stamp" president, is simply not going to work on a national stage. at least not any longer.

    ramirez makes a compelling point about texas. as latino citizens continue to grow in population, unless the gop figures out a way to calm down the hateful fringes, then texas is potentially a battleground state in the future.

    deep introspection is necessary for the gop. not trotting out "suppression" theories or excuses.

  2. There was, and still is legitimate fear of the ramifications of Citizens United and the super pacs. What this election partially illustrated is the willingness of corporations to spend INSANELY massive amounts of money to attempt and sway the election one way or the other to the tune of 4.2 billion dollars!!! The surprising outcome was an election winner who spent approximately 96 million dollars less than his competitor. *Source below

    Instead of spending absurd amounts of money on advertising, why didn't the GOP instead, fund a think tank to come up with an actual alternative economic plan to offer rather than stating that they "had a plan", but did they? We were never given any details and were drowned in rhetoric.

    All said, what is striking is exactly what is in the above post, America is more diverse than ever, and yet strongly unified on many ideological fronts. If the GOP is to succeed at all in the future, they will have to lose the extremists among their ranks who push policies that go against the very ideologies that many of the American voters believe strongly in.


    1. Here is the proper article, not the ABC one, citing both American Cross Roads study and another study RE: the amounts raised and spent.

  3. Mitt Romney and the GOP lost the election because their message was misdirected and exclusionary. His campaign engaged in a series of calculated deceptions over President Obama’s record, and in miscalculated risks by their decision to exclude key voting blocks. The GOPs lack of direction, its fundamentalist policies, and its intolerance toward diversity led to its stunning and early defeat on election night. What is even more striking is that the GOP remains as of this writing, in a complete state of misbelief and bewilderment over how they could have possibly lost the presidential election. The answer is obvious to all, but the GOP – lack of diversity.
    The first mistake that Mitt Romney and the GOP made in this campaign was to delude itself in believing that the American public would accept mere generalizations of economic recovery and tax reform. The GOP strategy of appealing to self-interest failed because their strategy lacked content. American voters recognized this and rejected it. The GOPs second and politically fatal mistake, was to exclude the diverse interest groups which now make up the majority of the political spectrum – women, young voters, gays, and minorities which happens to include the fastest growing voting block in the U.S. – the Latino vote. Crafting a political strategy without these groups is perilous. Trusting that a presidential victory can be achieved without these groups, is reckless.
    Perhaps then, “reckless” is the word of choice. GOP economic strategies were reckless when they deregulated key markets that fueled the speculations that led to the market collapses of the past decade. GOP social strategies are reckless when they seek to deny individuals basic rights such as education, and medical care. And GOP political strategies will continue to be reckless if they continue excluding voting blocks that can tilt the results of an election.
    Mitt Romney and the GOP miscalculated their risk when they directed the message to conservative white males who believe in exclusionary policies. By doing so, the GOP left behind scores of voters who could have helped change the outcome of the election. The lesson to be learned, by both parties, is that when either party plays on a national platform, it must communicate the conviction of its principles and not engage in revisionist fabrications, it must communicate its economic and social strategy in clear and well-defined terms, and above all, it must seek to be inclusive and not exclusive for the exclusion of one will soon become the exclusion of many.
    - Art Acevedo

    1. Yes, the election outcome suggets a dynamic that would be difficult for any party to overcome with empty rhetoric: voters may not be as somnolent, ambivalent or dumb as the media suggests.

  4. I truly enjoyed reading this article. As a fellow guest of this joyous celebration, I concur that the crowd was extremely diverse and so incredibly vibrant. Being surrounded by countless grass roots organizers, who sacrificed their time, energy and money for the sake of ensuring Obama’s reelection, was inspiring. And reading this article is equally inspiring because these numbers prove that our voices are indeed becoming more powerful. I am excited to see how these numbers will continue to bring about policy changes that will move us further away from the margins. Clearly, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep us there!