November 9, 2012
A quick take on why Obama won

Just some quick thoughts. If you’re a Republican, this stuff needs to scare you to death.

  • Obama did particularly well among women, and of course many female candidates were elected (most Democrats).
  • Marriage equality won in four states and recreational marijuana won in two. The old politics of the culture war are failing.
  • The size of the Latin@ vote was powerful. This growing constituency appears lost to the Republicans for the foreseeable future, which is a huge electoral problem going forward — at least in presidential election years when turnout is higher.
  • The exit polls showed that people blame Bush for the economy and didn’t think Romney was better for the economy than Obama to any real extent. If Republicans lose the low taxes = better economy card from their deck, they’re in trouble.
  • California —the home of the tax revolt known as Prop 13 — voted to raise taxes. If Americans are beginning to sense that the tax v services equation has become seriously distorted, the Republican message is losing its resonance.

Two other commentators worth the time to read:

Charles Blow

According to exit polls, Obama won 60 percent of the 18 to 29 year old vote and 52 percent of the 30-40 vote. He won 69 percent of the vote in big cities and 58 percent of the vote in mid-sized cities. He won 93 percent of the black vote and more than 70 percent of both the Asian vote and the Hispanic vote. He won over half of the female vote. And he won 76 percent of the gay, lesbian and bisexual vote.

Mitt Romney won the white vote, the male vote, the elderly vote, the small cities vote and the high-income vote.

Nicholas Kristof:

In 2004, exit polls suggested that President George W. Bush received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. But Republicans became obstructionist on immigration and then veered into offensive demagogy in opposing the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The Hispanic vote tumbled by increasing numbers into the Democrats’ laps.

Then there are women. The paternalistic comments about rape by a few male Republican candidates resonated so broadly because they reflected the perception of the G.O.P. as a conclave of out-of-touch men. As Representative Todd Akin of Missouri might put it, when a candidate emerges with offensive views about rape, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Namely, they vote Democratic.

America is changing. After this election, a record 20 senators will be women, almost all of them Democrats. Opposition to same-sex marriage used to be a way for Republicans to trumpet their morality; now it’s seen as highlighting their bigotry.

The Republican soul searching about what to do about all this will be extraordinary.

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