What’s this hooey about Barack Obama winning a mandate to impose his economically destructive agenda on the American people? It’s understandable that the Democrats and their media lap dogs would try to propagate such hogwash, especially at a time when we are careening toward the so-called fiscal cliff — but must the more timid Republicans also sing that tune?
I’ve just finished reviewing this year’s state-by-state presidential election results — the final summation as far as I can tell — and I don’t come away with the feeling that Obama received new marching orders from the electorate.
If anything, the results of the election – in which much of Obama’s support from 2008 melted away — suggest that he has less of a mandate than he did when he started his first term.
The people don’t seem to be urging him to go wild with his economically wrongheaded doctrines, but rather to cool it.
Let’s start with the fact that he received 5 million fewer votes this time than last. That hardly seems like a national vote of confidence, an affirmation that Obama has been doing something right, and that the people want more of the same. I dare say that if the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate draws 5 million fewer votes than Obama did this time, he or she will lose the election.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney, by contrast, got slightly more votes than John McCain did in the 2008 campaign against Obama, although their totals are so close that I would call them tied. So the election wasn’t a case of a plague on both your houses. GOP voters stood by their party’s candidate, many Democrats did not.
In only six states did Obama win a greater percentage of the major-party vote this year than he did four years ago. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland and New Jersey.
In the first four, all of them solid and reliable Republican states, one can assume that many GOP voters considered it a waste of time, and of $4-a-gallon Obamagas, to venture to the polls. That their electoral votes would go to Romney was foreordained. In rabidly Democratic Maryland as well, it may be that GOP voters opted for frugality over futility.
As for New Jersey, that appears to have been an anomaly. New Jersey was probably going to go for Obama in any event, but he iced it when he spent a high-visibility half-hour in the state after Hurricane Sandy, and bestowed a French kiss, or whatever it was, upon turncoat Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R? I don’t think so).
In only five states and the District of Columbia did Obama draw more votes than he did in 2008. The five states were Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Colorado and North Carolina can be explained primarily by the heavy campaigning in battleground states. The other Obama vote gains may reflect his campaign team’s surprisingly effective effort to bring out the black vote in heavily black states, to help ensure that the first president of that color didn’t get humiliated the second time around.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but I also must point out that in each of the places where Obama won more votes than in 2008, Romney won more votes than McCain. It was scarcely a tour de force for Obama. Both candidates benefitted from larger turnouts.
In only 16 states and the District of Columbia did voter turnouts increase from 2008. Battleground states were prominent in that group. Obama and Romney paid so many visits to the battleground states – and so few to anyplace else – that the residents of those states must have felt that it would be terrible manners to stay home all that Tuesday watching “The View”or “Dr. Oz.”
The battleground states with increased turnouts included Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. Given the outcomes in those states, one might dispute whether they all really belonged in the battleground category. But during the campaign it seemed that they did, and the mercilessly frequent visits from the candidates obviously got many voters off their duffs.