The most striking aspect of the US Presidential Election results was how much of a landslide Obama won by. After months and months of the media saying it would be neck and neck, Obama cruised to victory winning every swing state except North Carolina (of course we are still waiting for Florida to be announced). It seems that Bob Dylan was the only person who predicted an Obama landslide (see my post on this).
The main reasons why Obama won and why Romney lost are:
1. The Media got it wrong. It was never as close as they predicted in the swing states. They were simply wanting to get a good story.
2. The Maths. Obama had a much easier electoral route to the White House, having several paths to reach the 270 electoral college votes, Romney was in a more difficult post having to win Ohio.
3. Women. Women, the largest demographic group, were turned off by the extremist social policies of the GOP. The Democrats claim the Republicans were conducting a ‘War on Women’ was effective.
4. Social Issues. The extremist position taken by a significant portion of the GOP is at odds with mainstream America.
5. Changing demographics. The GOP needs to find a way to appeal to Latinos and ethnic minorities if it is to gain power again.
6. Auto bailout. Obama’s victory in Michigan and Ohio was an endorsement of Obama’s Government intervention.
7. Economics. People rejected the Republican Party’s right wing economic position. It’s very significant Obama was the only President to win re-election in an economy this bad since FDR. Alarm bells should be ringing for the GOP.
8. Mitt. Mitt was portrayed in the media as uncharismatic, rich and out-of-touch. Crucially, he didn’t articulate his vision for America or what he stood for well enough.
9. Get Out The Vote. The Obama Campaign’s grassroots campaigning expertise is unrivalled in modern politics.
10. Rejection of the Right Wing. The Republican Party has moved too far to the Right on both economic and social issues, moving away from the views of mainstream America.
How does the Republican Party move forward following this crushing defeat? There are 2 options:
1. Blame it on Mitt, a moderate, and the extreme right continues to determine the future of the Republican Party. The reason why we saw extreme right candidates like Akin is they raise money and Republican voters vote for them in the Primary therefore they are very influential within the party.
2. Rejection of the extreme right and the GOP moves to the centre in an attempt to reclaim the middle ground.
Moving forwards I feel the GOP has to move towards the centre in order to reclaim the White House. Someone who will shake the Republican Party to its core. The Republican Party needs a candidate who can appeal to women and Latinos (significant demographic groups). Marco Rubio springs to mind in that he ticks all the boxes but I don’t think he’s that charismatic. The Republican Party needs a once in a generation leader. The Republican Party needs a Bill Clinton figure.