Skip to comments.Take a look at the historical perspective
Posted on 11/07/2012 7:33:55 PM PST by lightman
Take a look at the historical perspective. An incumbent winning re-election almost always happens. It is expected. It is like a tennis player holding serve.
Since WWII, the POTUS has changed parties like clockwork every eight years. The only exception was that Reagan essentially got three terms (Bush 41 basically being just a continuation) by taking one from Carter. Other than that the pattern is unblemished.
So the real story of yesterday is just how close the Democrats came to blowing it. In every single other instance the party in power increased their margin of victory running for re-election. LBJ crushed in 64 where JFK barely eeked one out in 60. Nixon cruised to a second victory in 72 despite Watergate even.
Reagan incredibly improved on his bloodbath in 1980 by coming a tenth of a percentage point in Minnesota away from a clean sweep in 84. Clinton did much better in 96 than in 92. Bush scraped out a victory despite losing the popular vote in 2000 but won much more easily in 04.
In short, everyone gets more votes once people see them in action for four years.
Obama is the big exception; unlike every other modern era president except Carter (again, counting Bush 41 as Reagans third term), he actually lost support by governing (or, if not actually governing, at least giving it the old college try, to be charitable).
A smaller percentage of the electorate voted for him after seeing him in action than voted for him when he had no record to run on. That is unprecedented among incumbents who win re-election. It is telling that right up to election eve nobody knew whether Obama would hold serve.
An incumbent winning a squeaker ought to be chastened by the experience, not chest-thumping. Plus, every congressional district in the nation elected a representative last night, and a comfortable majority chose a Republican, which gives the lie to the idea that the GOP is a radical fringe party. Even Mr. Tea Party Paul Ryan won re-election in a working class district of a reliably blue state.
The Democrats lost three in a row before they splintered in Clintons Democratic Leadership Council and Deans liberal Democratic wing of the Democratic party. If Biden wins in 2016 Ill concede that the GOP needs to re-evaluate itself, as the Dems did after Bush won in 88.
Until then, I think it is a bit premature to write off the GOP as out of touch for merely having the second best showing of any challenging party in the modern era.
Sometimes, there is a paradigm shift and history no longer matters. They told Billy Mitchell that air power would never be a factor in war. Personal computers were never going to catch on. And, Obama is no Harry Truman or even Bill Clinton. He is a shift in thinking. The Progressives are running free tonight because the historical paradigm is different. All the old trends are useless from here on out.
Stop coming up with excuses for a crappy campaign. You will never get anywhere if you are not going to honestly take a good look at the party and campaign that just lost.
Trends, I guess but principles, no.
Calling Obama a Muslim, a Kenyan, or questioning his birth certificate is NOT going to help in a demographically dynamic country. Unless immigration is stopped and illegals and foreign born green card holders are removed (unrealistic), the demographics have changed too much. Personal attacks on Obama based on his foreign origin is not going to be a winning recipe in attracting those not of the typical American ancestry.
I think this is good analysis. Obama did poorly last night. Romney did even more poorly. This is no big left wing victory, although they will portray it as such. In 2016 they will be running a new non-incumbent candidate who is a mere mortal that they are not as emotionally invested in, and it will be unlikely to be a better scenario for Democrats than it was this year.
No one is running against Obama anymore, from this day forward.
Also I expect Obama to be even more of a basket case this term than the last one. He’s not running for anything anymore, which was the only interesting part of the job to him. He’ll probably feel like quitting by mid-2013 when he realizes what a long period of time he has ahead of him before he can leave. It will be like when he was a Senator and didn’t bother showing up to work because that stuff was boring.
$7 Trillion in debt buys a lot of votes...
"Read my lips. No new taxes!"
“Stop coming up with excuses for a crappy campaign. You will never get anywhere if you are not going to honestly take a good look at the party and campaign that just lost. “
Look at your country. It is secular socialist left because of liberal colleges and the media. Culture matters but conservatives didn’t take control of it because they wanted to be isolated in their own little world.
“Calling Obama a Muslim, a Kenyan, or questioning his birth certificate is NOT going to help in a demographically dynamic country. Unless immigration is stopped and illegals and foreign born green card holders are removed (unrealistic), the demographics have changed too much. Personal attacks on Obama based on his foreign origin is not going to be a winning recipe in attracting those not of the typical American ancestry.”
Nope. People like Akin and Mourdock don’t have a monopoly on falling for stupid traps like birtherism.
Three problems with your forecast:
1. By 2016, Obamacare will be in full flower. As such, it will no longer be a candidate for repeal, but part of the political landscape.
2. The Democrat Senate and the demoralized GOP House will likely pass some form of amnesty in 2013. Thus, by 2016, the electorate will be awash in millions of freshly-minted Democrat voters.
3. We are also likely to have institutionalized a Cap & Trade Scheme plus all the accompanying EPA regulations. The economy will never be the same again.
It will be a Brave New World by 2016 -- one that is going to be hostile to most conservative ideas.
The demographics are bad and getting worse.
The electorate has become tribal — voting as a bloc on race, gender, sexual orientation — and therefore less fluid and less able to be persuaded.
Romney won the white vote in a landslide. There just aren’t enough of them anymore. That’s the blunt takeaway of this election.
About the only pathway to victory I see at this point is for the Left to fragment. A dismal economy might force their various thieving constituencies to fight over the diminishing pie, thus fragmenting their coalition. Its hard for me to see conservatives winning the presidency any other way.
It’s going to be like Canada, where the “Conservatives” only run on a platform of running the socialist engine better than the Liberals.
“No one is running against Obama anymore, from this day forward.”
They may not be running against Obama, but the Republicans’ priorities are all screwed up. Instead of fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and moral responsibility, there are pimps like Trump given a podium, opportunistic talking heads creating a sort of bubble of alternate universe, etc.
Like somebody said, Obama is Republicans’ Vietnam. Here is this scrawny “foreigner” with no roots and a completely foreign name, a weak package that was supposed to be destroyed. The Republican masses, led by talking heads and people like Trump, were led to believe that this guy was going down in flames. Even pollsters were living in their own universe. Romney, a spineless flipflopping moderate, was the lead man. Well, that went well.
An incumbent winning re-election almost always happens. It is expected. It is like a tennis player holding serve.Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Talk about living in a dream world -- Dwight Eisenhower was the first Republican to win reelection in the 20th century (TR was only elected POTUS once). In fact, Eisenhower was the first Republican to win reelection since GRANT. The next Republican to accomplish this and finish his second term was Reagan. And that's it in the 20th century. During that same period of time, Wilson (who won with less than 50% his first time up) and FDR both won reelection; Truman was only elected POTUS once; JFK was assassinated; LBJ was only elected POTUS once, and dropped out in 1968, when he might have (probably would have) won reelection and become the only President other than FDR to serve more than eight years; Carter was a one-term loser; Clinton won reelection.
I am less worried about the demographics than you are, admittedly.
Nominate a Republican candidate who can get the number of votes McCain got, for starters. Romney was leaving votes on the table that were obvious for him to get. Those people were not voting for Obama. Obama’s votes were way down.
The battle is going to be over all those people who were in the decreased turnout this year and it’s not at all clear that they were Democrats.
Just trying to give another point of view. There was nothing extreme or “landslide” about this. Obama eked out a small victory, and he was the incumbent so he starts with that advantage, which the next Democrat candidate won’t have.
And as you mention, the left can fragment — it commonly fragments. This unity behind Obama is the exception, not the rule. People have a particular emotional attachment to him they’re not going to have to, say, Hillary.
Regarding demographics: You should be very worried.
Speaking of Historical Perspective, here’s one to consider....
I just did a quick lookup of the Obama vs McCain popular vote as compared to the Obama vs Romney Popular vote and here is what I see:
2008: Obama: 69,456,897 McCain: 59,934,814
TOTAL VOTES CAST: 129,391,711
Obama Victory Margin: 52.9% to 45.7% (9,522,083 votes)
Obama: 365 EV McCain: 173 EV
2012: Obama: 60,652,149 Romney: 57,810,390
TOTAL VOTES CAST: 118,462,539 (2,841,759 votes)
Obama Victory Margin: 51.2% to 48.8%
Assuming Obama takes Florida (which as of this writing is still uncalled)...
Obama: 332 EV Romney: 206 EV
What I find interesting are the following:
1) There were more people who voted in 2008 compared to 2012.
2) McCain got MORE votes in 2008 than Romney in 2012. In fact, McCain got 2,124,424 MORE VOTES than Romney !!
QUESTION : WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE 2,124,424 McCAIN VOTES IN 2012?
3) Obama LOST OVER 8,804,748 Votes in 2012 compared to 2008!!
QUESTION: What happened to those 8,804,748 voters? Did they stay home?
I can only conclude the following, based on the above observations:
* There was LESS ENTHUSIASM by Americans to vote in 2012 than in 2008.
* Contrary to what we were led to believe by the GOP and what some FReepers claim they saw on the ground in their state, REPUBLICANS WERE NOT ENTHUSIASTIC TO VOTE THIS YEAR. In fact, I can see at least 2 Million of them staying home this year compared to 2008 based on the above numbers.
So much for the huge Get Out the Vote Effort, the huge, sellout crowds in Red Rocks Colorado and in Ohio...
* Even though Obama lost over 8 Million votes this year, most of those voters DID NOT switch to Romney, preferring to stay home ( I suspect many of these would be the disappointed youth of 2008 and the socially conservative blacks of 2008. The former still can’t find good jobs and the latter couldn’t vote for a gay marriage supporting candidate. However, they still could not vote for Romney. So, they stayed home ).
Also, I cannot help but conclude that a huge proportion of the GOP base STAYED HOME in 2012. Otherwise, where were the over 2 million votes that went to McCain in 2008?
This was a self-inflicted loss on the part of the Republicans.
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