Skip to comments.Tough choices if Obama wins but loses popular vote
Posted on 11/06/2012 7:15:57 PM PST by 11th_VA
Washington: An uncertain four years could await President Barack Obama if, under one possible outcome of Tuesdays election, he clings to power despite losing the popular vote to Republican Mitt Romney.
Never before in US history has a sitting president won a second term without winning the popular vote. This year, its within the realm of possibility. A very tight race seems to favor Obama in the handful of most competitive states that will decide the winner, even if growing Republican enthusiasm means more voters overall go for Romney.
If that happens, Obama would face mounting problemsstubbornly high unemployment, Mideast unrest, the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts in Januarywith little ability to claim Americans support his way forward, political analysts say.
If theres any room in these results for Republicans to say the public doesnt support what hes doing, it would make an already toxic, incredibly difficult situation that much worse, Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer said.
Call it Al Gores revenge. In the 2000 election, the vice president was denied the presidency despite winning more votes than President George W. Bush. Even after the Supreme Court settled the race, allegations of a bloodless coup deprived Bush of the clear mandate needed to unite a divided nation, until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks united Americans against a terrorist threat.
A decade later, as a bitter election draws to a close, Americans are even more divided.
Four US presidents have assumed office despite losing the popular vote, including Bush and John Quincy Adams, who in 1824 lost both the popular and electoral vote but was handed the election by the House of Representatives.
All of those elections involved non-incumbents seeking their first term. For a sitting president to lose the popular vote and yet remain the worlds most powerful leader would be uncharted territory, raising difficult questions about our electoral system.
A look at the map makes it easy to see exactly how it could happen. Passions run high this year among Republicans, and turnout for Romney probably will be big especially in Southern states that hes likely to win. But last-minute polls show Obama clinging to a small advantage in a handful of battleground states like Ohio and Florida, which could enable him to block Romneys path to the requisite 270 electoral votes. Those votes are won state by state and decide the election.
This is going to be a turnout election, Obama said Monday in a radio interview. Weve got the votes to win Florida. It just depends on whether people turn out or not.
If Obama marches to 270 but loses the popular vote, he would face the unpleasant prospect of spending four years as a president with little power. Republicans would have a pretty strong hand to play against him, said Craig Robinson, the Iowa Republicans former political director.
No politician wants to be relegated to irrelevance. Unshackled from Democratic donors and with his last election behind him, a second-term Obama could maneuver sharply toward the center, seeking compromise with Republicans on major issues as did his Democratic predecessor, former President Bill Clinton. He might rethink his call for raising taxes on wealthier Americans to pay for deficit reduction, or pull back some environmental or business regulations in the interest of getting things done for the American people.
Such a move inevitably would anger the liberal base to which he owes his presidency, said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist. But Obama may not have a choice.
If youre on the way out the door and youre a lame duck, offending people doesnt matter anymore, Sheinkopf said.
What matters is salvaging your legacy.
Americans remember the big, sweeping acts that define a generation. Think Mars exploration, a major climate initiative or a war on cancer, said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University.
President Obama will need to put his stamp on something large, Brinkley said. Our country is dying for something that unites us.
I'm not giving up folks - I'll resist to the bitter end ...
As long as he has his pad of blank exertive orders on his desk, what does he care.
Baraq Hussein Ubama is already plotting his revenge on the bitter clingers.
What America is dying for, Brinkley you Obama pimp, is a William Wallace to unite freedom loving patriots.
Benghazi=Impeachment...and Bonehead becomes President,,now there is a thought.
“Obummer could be a 4 year lame duck ...”
God help us....
4 years of watching him golf, bow, and party....
ya know he won’t do anything - he is a lazy person, and he don’t care. His administration on the other hand will regulate us to death.
the worse thing - 4 more years of “buy gold !” commercials.
If this happened (Romney loses electoral vote but wins popular vote), there is absolutely ZERO chance that Obama moves to the middle. I think President Obama has demonstrated pretty clearly where he stands. Compromise isn’t in his skill set.
I think its very likely mow that Obama gets re-elected but lacks a popular majority.
A plurality of the American rejected him but he still remains President.
He has no second term agenda. And things will remain deadlocked between a Republican House and a Democratic Senate.
I agree. The House means NOTHING. Obama circumvents congress any time he needs to.
Romney winning 51% to 48% in popular vote as I type ...
Oddly enough, those most saddened if Ubama is re-elected are the ones waiting for pardons on his way out the door. They will have to wait 4 more long years.
fiscal cliff - here we come
No compromise...let him take it down ala Ahab.
Frankly things are so far gone that someone like this character can win a second term it is time for a new approach here....looking at the map, they had it right in 1861.
The numbers are weird.
Obama wins Michigan by 2 but the union ballot proposals go down by huge margins. (In the 75/25 range)
Obama won’t care if he doesn’t win the popular vote. If Romney had won the Electoral College votes and not the popular vote, I couldn’t care less and I’m not sure he would either. A win is a win and Obama is the least gracious winner there ever was.
He has an agenda. He just can't share it with you.
Besides, he inherited such a mess from Obama I.
That is knee slapping funny. Chairman Obama famously said and proved that he did not need Congress to rule. It appears a majority of a once free people voted to enslave us all.
once commiefornia is counted o will win by 3 million.
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