In a sign of the success of President Obama’s political machine, every single one of the states ranked in the top ten for voter turnout went for Obama over challenger Mitt Romney, according to a report by Nonprofit Vote.
The report illustrates the extraordinary value of the Obama campaign’s ability to turn out its base. The Romney campaign’s efforts failed to match Obama’s, and many among Romney’s key constituencies – including white voters – stayed home, helping hand the election to the incumbent.
Notably, The top five states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire and Iowa – were are swing states Romney desperately needed to win. Two other vital presidential battlegrounds – Virginia and Michigan – were also in the top ten, ranking seventh and tenth respectively.
In Minnesota, 76.1 percent of eligible voters went to the polls. In second place Wisconsin, 73.2 percent showed up to vote. In 50th place on the list was Obama’s home state of Hawaii, where only 44.5 percent of eligible voters made it to the polls. The Democratic-leaning state was always a lock for the president.
Nationally, 59 percent of the eligible voting population took part in the election, down from 62 percent in 2008 but still relatively high by recent historical standards. While in 2004 61 percent showed to choose between George W. Bush and John Kerry, only 55 percent voted in the 2000 matchup between Al Gore and Bush and 53 percent voted in the 1996 contest between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole.
I looked outside, poked around a bit. It seemed enough like planet earth.
SO IF I’M ON PLANET EARTH WHY IS IT THAT I AM APPARENTLY SHARING A PLANET WITH REPUBLICAN LEADERS WHO ARE CLEARLY ON MARS???
Martian ingrates is what they are. All of them: Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie – Big Mr. Truth Teller – and the rest of the lot who have criticized Gov. Mitt Romney for telling his donors that Obama gave politically beneficial “gifts” to various constituencies.
Because only on Mars is what Romney said untrue. Instead of governing, Obama in fact spent the last year parceling out nicely wrapped little gifts to various constituencies.
This is the same lot of Republicans who, had Romney won, would have been basking in his glow and obsequiously pawing at him for a favorable glance – not to mention, when they eventually run for president, his endorsement.
Romney deserves better than to have his political corpse stuffed in the trunk of a Buick and dumped in a New Jersey landfill by his own former group of henchmen.
“I don’t think we advance this discussion or debate by insulting folks,” said Jindal.
So it’s an insult to say people vote their interests? Please, Bobby, spare me your outrage.
Let’s be clear, these Republicans are posturing, trying to use Romney’s statement to begin photoshopping a new Republican Party that includes people of all backgrounds – and genders. That’s a good idea, but they don’t need to kick Romney or pretend what’s true is false to do it.
And they are hoping to dissociate themselves from a loser.
I disagreed with him at times and questioned his strategy, but Romney is an honorable man who, in addition to the personal ambition every politician harbors, ran for president because he is genuinely concerned with the future of the country.
The only thing I might quibble with is Romney’s assertion that the bestowal of gifts is why Obama won. He of course already had these groups in his pocket. The gifts surely increased his share of their votes, but whether it made the difference in the election we can never really know.
But it might have.
Here are some of the gifts Obama came bearing in 2012:
A gift to gays: Obama’s position on same-sex marriage finally, in an election year, finished “evolving” to the point where he could accept it. Apparently the timing of Obama’s conversations with God on this issue couldn’t have worked out better.
A gift to Hispanics: In a probable violation of the Constitution, Obama stopped enforcing the law of the land, decreeing he would no longer deport illegal immigrants under 30 who came to the United States as children. In doing so, he basically implemented a portion of the Dream Act – creating by fiat legislation Congress refused to pass.
A gift to young voters: Obama bashed Congress into keeping student loan rates at 3.4 percent.
A gift to women: He resisted all efforts to change the Obamacare mandate that the ladies get free contraception.
And yes, Obamacare and its guarantee of health insurance is a gift to minority voters, whose incomes lag those of whites. Obama certainly believes Obamacare is the right thing to do, but he knows the political benefit as well, and to deny Romney’s contention that Obamacare helped the president with African Americans and Hispanics – as it does with other groups, like young voters who get to hang out on their parents’ health plans – is to deny reality.
The Obama people are having a good laugh over all this. They know what they did. They know Romney’s right. And they know, believe me they know, cynicism when they see it.
A acquaintance of mine once sneered at people who travel overseas. Why travel to foreign lands when there was so much to visit in America? It was, he suggested, kind of un-American to traipse off to Europe.
I knew better. I had gone to Europe the summer after college. That was the summer I learned truly what it meant to be an American and to live in America. It was only by seeing the contrast with others that I fully appreciated my country and understood who I am.
Maybe it takes someone born in leftist Europe, someone who has lived at the end of the path to which the United States is headed, to fully appreciate what happened Tuesday. While many Americans understand that we punched a ticket Tuesday on the road to Socialism, perhaps only a European who has embraced this country can fully feel it in his bones.
Charles C.W. Cooke, a British-born writer who left his country for what he still believes is the greatest nation in history – the United States – has written for the National Review an eloquent lament, Why I Despair, which argues sadly that his adopted country is on its way toward a disastrous resemblance to his native land.
However sublime the miracle of Obama’s get out the vote effort – and whatever other technical reasons for Obama’s victory – the fact remains that America willingly and without coercion reelected an unabashed statist to the White House.
But, consider this: A president of the United States just ran a reelection campaign based on the promise of government largess, exploitation of class division, the demonization of success, the glorification of identity politics, and the presumption that women are a helpless interest group; and he did so while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the looming — potentially fatal — crisis that the country faces. And it worked.
Critically, his reelection will enshrine Obamacare, a Trojan Horse that will usher behind the gates of freedom ever greater measures of government control.
Many had hoped that Tuesday would be 1980 revisited. It was not. Instead, in its effects at least, it was more like 1945 in Britain, in which year the Labour party was elected and began to put into place the foundations of a government-owned and -run health-care system that would quickly displace the established church as Britain’s national religion. (If you question the believers’ zeal, take a look at the frenzied NHS worship at the Olympic opening ceremony.) As Mark Steyn has correctly observed, in Britain as elsewhere, the National Health Service paved the way for a “permanent left-of-center political culture” that obtains regardless of who wins office.
And, Cooke suggests, the ascent of Obama could change U.S. society in ways we can hardly imagine.
In 2010, on the BBC’s Question Time — a British current-affairs show on which the guests trip over one other to display the appropriate degree of fealty to whichever orthodoxy is in the news that week whilst the audience tries to be as clever as one can be without doing any reading — the question of impending government spending cuts was raised. One audience member stood up and, waving her hands around, asked who would mow her elderly mother’s lawn if the government no longer did it. The audience clapped. The host looked serious. Not a single person on the panel said, “You!” Neither of the putatively Conservative guests even raised an eyebrow. A particularly oleaginous MP proceeded to tell her that it was a “good question.” I threw a coffee cup at my television.
I hope you get a chance to read the rest of Cooke’s piece. Americans may need to hear a warning spoken in a British accent to truly comprehend the magnitude of Tuesday’s results.
The reelection of President Obama is a catastrophe for conservatives that will set the United States on a track from which it will be difficult to derail. But the task for the Right is not impossible.
Obama’s victory is not a catastrophe, as some will maintain, because conservatism can’t prevail in an presidential election. The Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, is not a conservative, and he failed to assertively articulate conservative ideas.
Rather, it’s a catastrophe because Obama’s left wing agenda will now be ensconced more firmly than ever, and some portions of it may never be dislodged.
Republicans lost the presidency, failed by a mile to retake the Senate, but retained the House. So conservatives will have to fight a rear guard action to resist further movement to the left, an engagement in which they can be partially, but not fully, successful.
Obamacare is now here to stay. The United States will move inexorably toward socialized medicine, and the quality of health care for all will begin to decline irrevocably.
Federal spending, which stands at its highest level since World War II, will stay right where it is and perhaps increase. Dependency on government will become better established as a way of life. Government will intrude in ever more creative and pernicious ways into the daily lives of Americans, as Obama rules by fiat to the greatest extent possible and issues regulations affecting myriad aspects of our lives.
As more people become acclimated to receiving government largesse, fewer will be open to conservative ideas about self-reliance. Businesses will find it more difficult than ever to operate as the burdens of rules and paperwork weigh them down.
Some within Republican circles will argue, in effect, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” That Republicans must moderate their message to appease a public that has rejected conservative ideas.
But Republicans just did moderate their message. They ran Mitt Romney as their candidate.
Conservatives will have to think not how to water things down, but how to sell their program to people who have failed to embrace it. They need to bring Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans into their tent. Not by making their philosophy more appealing to them, but by appealing their philosophy to them.
Republicans have to be unafraid to explain the tough choices facing America, the sometimes hard solutions conservatism offers, and the brighter future these solutions will bring.
America will become a more dependent country under Obama. But the evidence of decay will mount. And the demand for sweeping change will return.
And then, with patient confidence that Americans – all Americans – have the strength and intelligence to embrace messages that aren’t popular with the media or cool with Bruce Springsteen, conservatives must make their case.
Americans respect leaders who have principles and stick to them.
Republican candidates at the presidential level who followed Ronald Reagan have never really understood the value of standing for something. And they’ve never respected voters enough to present the conservative case. They think voters just want to hear the sappy news that government will take care of them. Republicans have to take the time and have the patience to explain why this doesn’t quite work.
The American spirit of initiative, self reliance and private charity will be depleted over the next four years. But it won’t be gone. And that’s why Obama’s reelection is a catastrophe, but not the end, for conservatives.
Political strategist Karl Rove, who is working to elect Gov. Mitt Romney through his SuperPac American Crossroads, gives Romney a narrow win in the Electoral College, 285-253.
His prediction actually resembles the one I put out Monday. We both give Romney Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Ohio.
But I also forecast Romney wins in Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Of these three states, Roves writes:
While I put them in Mr. Obama’s column, I still believe NV, WI, and PA are in play and very winnable for Mr. Romney. If crowds at his recent stops in these states are any indication of his supporters’ enthusiasm, Mr. Romney will likely be able to claim victory in these states as well.
One note of caution with Rove. He is one of the most knowledgeable political observers in the country and helped elect George W. Bush twice. But I still remember, when covering the White House in 2006, that Rove was boisterously certain that Republicans would retain the House. Instead, Democrats swept back into control.
Nevertheless, as a veteran of two presidential campaigns who knows every county in the nation, and as something of a genius – he’ll probably admit this if pressed just a little bit – okay, maybe if not even pressed at all – Rove’s predictions should not be taken lightly.
“I don’t give a damn about Election Day,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says. Well, he damn well should. Yes, even right now.
We all should, Democrats and Republicans. Especially those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. Because whatever philosophy you hold, if you do hold a philosophy, you have to believe that Election Day 2012 will make a huge difference with respect to whether people in this nation are going to thrive.
The hurricane is a tragedy. But it will pass, and people will heal. But the choice in this election between an arch liberal and someone who – whatever his core beliefs – will likely govern as a conservative will affect people’s lives for decades. Even in New Jersey.
Republicans have every right to be repelled by the sight of Christie giving man hug after man hug to President Obama. He should thank the president if he believes he has done a good job. But his effusive praise just days before the election will only serve to help Obama’s reelection effort.
It’s not going to make a bit of difference for the people of New Jersey if Christie slobbers over Obama. The assistance to the state has been set in motion, and Obama’s not going to take it back just because he feels Chris Christie doesn’t love him enough.
Let me share some of the love with you.
This helps Obama enormously. Christie is not just complementing Obama – something Obama may merit in this case – but he is practically serving up a campaign ad for the president. What’s more, he’s helping wipe away Obama’s well deserved reputation for being unable to work in a bipartisan manner, one of the things Gov. Mitt Romney is vowing to fix.
And make no mistake, Christie, who will face a tough reelection bid next year, also benefits. Here he is, the governor of a Blue State, working hand in hand with the Great Hero of the Blue States. Meanwhile, Christie is enhancing his image as the “non-politician” who cares only about the people. Christie may be giving the finger to Election Day 2012, but not to Election Day 2013.
Christie should remember that he was given a great gift by Romney, the role of keynote speaker at the Republican convention. It’s a role Obama used to launch himself into the White House. If Christie wants to place himself and his state above the presidential election, he shouldn’t have involved himself in it.
Christie sneers at “politics,” but politics is about what types of lives people are going to have. Including the people of New Jersey. And whether he can mentally accept it or not, Christie is a politician.
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