The talking heads and the analysts are still working frantically to develop a concise explanation why President Obama won and Mitt Romney lost the election. The American Enterprise Institute tallied final demographic results and the conclusions to be drawn are pretty obvious.
In a nutshell, Republicans committed political suicide by allowing a minority of right wing ideologues to dominate the stage. Their rhetoric completely turned off a huge swath of the nation against the party enabling the president to achieve a significant electoral victory.
AEI presented a ton of data, but let’s keep it simple. Consider the following chart:
% of Total Voters
% Voting for Obama
% of Total Votes
African Americans: The most vocal and fanatical Republicans have made it clear that they believe welfare is an entitlement that needs to be drastically cut back. According to Democrats, Republicans think that welfare beneficiaries are moochers and deadbeats. This left wing rhetoric is a gross and unfair generalization, and insulting to the vast majority of Republicans. Nevertheless, Democrats successfully imposed this perception on all Republicans including Mitt Romney, who frankly, did a poor job refuting the assertions.
The result was 93% support of Obama from African Americans, even though they have been the principal victims of his failed economic policies during the past four years.
Hispanics: Similarly, Hispanics understandably feel as if all Republicans are in favor of rounding up illegal aliens and deporting them back to Mexico, Cuba, and the Caribbean. This is an outrageous suggestion crafted by left wing Democrats and actually espoused by the most fanatic Republicans.
The truth is that most Republicans want an immediate end to further immigration of illegal aliens into the United States. However, for those illegal aliens already here, since it is idiotic to assume a massive deportation, Republicans want to see the group assimilated over time based upon having a job, paying taxes, obeying the law, and public service.
Once again, the Democratic ploy was successful even though Republicans like Marco Rubio (R-FL), an Hispanic-American, was vehemently denying that most Republicans had such morbid intentions. An astounding 71% of Hispanics supported Obama. The most radical Republican perspective was the one that caught the eye of Hispanics, and they united against Romney because of it.
Women: By far, the most important election phenomenon was the large majority of women who sided with Obama. The percentage was 55%, several points above the president’s margin of victory. The gender gap was 20%, the largest in history. For this outcome, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.
The unfortunate anti-choice rhetoric by Republican ideologues was so pronounced that the outcome of the women vote was assured. The Republican Party continues to proclaim it is anti-big government, and yet certain radicals in the party continue to bang the drums against Roe v. Wade and gay marriage. They say the government must actively regulate our private lives in these areas.
The right of a woman to choose is etched into our society, and it is highly improbable that it will be overturned regardless of SCOTUS’ future composition. For one thing, it will be impossible for Republicans to fill the court with anti-abortion judges over Democratic objections.Tthe vetting process and the filibuster are minority safeguard tools. Additionally, women will flay Republicans who support radical nominees. And finally, SCOTUS would have to shatter the precedent of stare decisis (“it stands decided.”)
It is curious that anti-abortion Republicans continue to showcase this issue, as opposed to just expressing their preference. The impact is that the women’s vote is essentially written off even before the campaign begins. Exacerbating the situation are individual races, in which Republican candidates openly express abortion perspectives that are considered anti-social by nearly everyone, including most Republicans. Todd Atkins’ “legitimate rape” comment is an example. No doubt, Atkins' opinions weighed heavily on the Romney campaign.
Romney really could not win the 2012 election. The deck was stacked against him when you consider that over 48% of the electorate (see chart above) had a single reason for voting Obama. The Republican Party must move away from its anti-social agenda and be more tolerant. Right wing fanatics make up a relatively small percentage of the Republican Party. Yet, their influence over the party’s platform is huge. It is clearly not a situation that the American electorate appreciates.
Obama was very beatable in 2012. He won a presidential election even though his policies were unpopular and his performance was dismal. It should have been a runaway for change, but the far right just had to tell the world how they felt on social issues.
The right wing revolution may be a backlash to the increasing influence of demographic groups. Formerly, voters were Republican or Democrat. Now, they are pro-life and pro-immigration. The trend towards one issue politics is increasing. The political party that recognizes this phenomenon will be the one that will be most successful in the future.