Election Fall-Out

November 8, 2012

President Obama was elected to a second term.  The first time since FDR that a President was re-elected with unemployment in the 8% range.  This shouldn’t be surprising since he also presided over the recovery in the aftermath of a colossal financial collapse, like FDR.  So there may be a few questions left over from the election, at least that I’ve noticed…and here we’ll try to address them.

1) How did the President win?  ……this one is quite simple.  He was the more likeable candidate that reached the most demographics.  The telling thing is that minorities are surging to the Democratic Ticket, particular minority women (African American women voted 96% for Pres. Obama, that’s as close to complete as you can get in politics).  I wish people would quit pretending the only issue Latino’s care about is immigration.  Certainly that’s one issue, but legal residents aren’t as concerned about illegal immigration.  At the end of the day Romney didn’t reach out to these people in a meaningful way.  He wasn’t likeable and he didn’t address their concerns.  It’s mighty hard to run against demographics that have high unemployment when your only argument is “I’ll try to make it so that maybe someone could maybe hire you.”  That’s not a winning argument.  It never will be.  He needed to apply the human touch that he understood their problems and did not.  Obama by default is a likeable guy by most measures, I’d like to sit down and have a beer with him.  And at the end of the day when a guy you like is telling you “I’m going to tax those rich people not giving you jobs to provide unemployment, welfare and medicaid. Then I’m going to pump money into budgets to increase hiring of teachers and police officers.”  Now that’s a winning argument that’s hard to overcome.

2) Where do Republicans go from here? ….this is simple too.  There seems to be an uproar about the Republican party being in shambles.  “Holy cow did you see the Electoral Vote margin?”  That’s cute.  In the popular vote Romney lost by a slim margin 2-3% and in massive key swing states the margin was 1-2%.  Newsflash, that’s not bad.  It’s not winning, but that’s a close election, the electoral vote has skewed the perception to a landslide.  Either way though, It’s a far better showing than Republicans had in 2008 and they kept even in the senate and house.  So why do they need to do some massive overhaul to fix their party and have a self-check moment? They’re doing fine.  They need to make some minor adjustments for midterms and refocus on issues that matter rather than side-show politics.

3) What’s Next? ……scary huh?  Well if you noticed, Americans voted for the status quo.  In case you’re scratching your head and wondering how this happened, it’s worth nothing that while the majority of Americans feel we’re on the wrong path, they also don’t feel it’s their party who is on the wrong path.  And in that scenario they vote the exact same way they have for the last two cycles, effectively keeping the same people in power.  So what we have to look forward to is more of the same partisan bickering and gridlock that has griped Washington.  Both sides are going to continue to blame the other one for wrong doing and we’re going to move places very slow.  The fiscal cliff…will probably get resolved, but not before a few games of Chicken and the President campaigning to the American people about why his idea is the best.  Again…placing blame squarely on his enemies in the house.  This should be quite an interesting two years and I suspect in the midterms the end result is going to be some blame placed on those who received the same blame in 2010.

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After a strong 2008 election, Obama slips nationally, and in nearly every state.

October 22, 2012

It’s worth analyzing each and every state to determine just where the President is falling behind from his huge win in 2008.  And the results suggest, nearly everywhere.  Which shouldn’t be that big of a surprise now that election polling has put Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama in a dead heat with only weeks remaining.  Certainly one of the closest elections in recent history, with the end result maybe on the Gore/Bush level.

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polling figures provided by RealClearPolitics.com
Many swing states that were flipped in 2008 have flipped back.  Which gets to the point.

In 2008 the President had the ability to campaign against an unpopular Republican Party for months, drawing massive crowds for speeches and giving roaring addresses that captivated the hearts/minds of many.  In contrast, 2012 is a different sort of story.  After such sky-high promises it has come down to a case of imminent letdown.  It’s one thing to make promise of sweeping change, it’s another to try to effect them during some of the most turbulent economic times in recent history.

In 2012 there are no speeches, there’s a fierce battle.  One which both sides have focused on with negative ads.  It seems this is more a case of who can tell us why not to vote for the other guy the most.  Which brings us to the state of the race as it is now.  WHY is it leaning in this direction?  Well that’s fairly simple.  After the Democratic convention, President Obama got a massive bump.  You know why?  Bill Clinton.  That’s it.  Clinton outlined the path for the next 4 years in a manner which the President hasn’t to date even attempted.  In 2 debate performances and a speech at the DNC he has done little to outline new plans.  Clinton did for him, and instead of grabbing that torch and outlining a future for us to embrace…..that lead evaporated.  Not that Romney is a better campaigner, but through the first debate he started to outline an idea for what he wanted to do with this country.  He laid out a 5 point plan and scoffed at the notion that the President would attack it, only further reinforcing his positive plan for action.
We’re left here, with the President wilting due to an inability to be Clinton-esque.  To describe a goal, a plan, a vision.  Instead Romney has seized that momentum while keeping the President on his heels.  The next 3 weeks may shift dramatically in one direction or another.  But make no mistake about it, the 2008 campaign that the President mastered so gracefully, is not the 2012 campaign he has failed at so miserably.