According to the exit poll data, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, believe things in this country today are “seriously off on the wrong track.” Even more Americans, 55 percent, believe economic conditions are either “getting worse” (30 percent) or “poor and staying the same” (25 percent). And an even higher 77 percent say the condition of the economy is either “not so good” (45 percent) or “poor” (31 percent). And here is the kicker, even though Obama is poised to win 51 percent of the popular vote, more Americans said Mitt Romney would better handle the economy (49 percent) than said the same thing about Obama (48 percent).
Given all this data, how did Obama win? Simple: by relentlessly attacking Romney, thus driving down Republican turnout, while orchestrating an unprecedented micro-targeting campaign to drive base Democratic voters to the polls. On the former, The Washington Post reports:
“The most striking data we saw early on was on the ‘understands problems of people like me’ question,” said a senior White House official involved in the discussions. “Into the summer, Romney was in the teens in this category.”
The choice was made. The onetime campaign of hope and change soon began a sustained advertising assault that cast Romney as a heartless executive, a man who willingly fires people and is disconnected from how average Americans live their lives — an approach reinforced by Romney’s mistakes along the way.
On the latter, Time magazine reports:
In late spring, the backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama’s campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49. The women were far and away the single demographic group most likely to hand over cash, for a chance to dine in Hollywood with Clooney — and Obama.
So as they did with all the other data collected, stored and analyzed in the two-year drive for re-election, Obama’s top campaign aides decided to put this insight to use. They sought out an East Coast celebrity who had similar appeal among the same demographic, aiming to replicate the millions of dollars produced by the Clooney contest. “We were blessed with an overflowing menu of options, but we chose Sarah Jessica Parker,” explains a senior campaign adviser. And so the next Dinner with Barack contest was born: a chance to eat at Parker’s West Village brownstone.
One needs only to look at Ohio to see how successful this strategy was. In 2008, whites made up 83 percent of the vote in Ohio and went 52-46 for John McCain. Blacks made up 11 percent of the vote and went 97-2 for Obama.
But in 2012, whites made up just 79 percent of the vote in Ohio and went 58-41 for Romney. Blacks, however, expanded their share of the electorate by 4 points, for a total of 15 percent of the electorate. And they went 96-4 for Obama.
Compare those numbers to the most recent (2011) Census data from Ohio, where 84 percent of the population is white and just 12 percent black.
By successfully disqualifying Romney with just enough white voters, Obama was able to get white vote to under-perform at the polls by 5 points. Meanwhile blacks over-performed by three points.
We’ll see if Democrats can repeat this demographic magic in the 2014 mid-term elections.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Demographics haven’t killed the GOP — yet
Byron York: In 2016, GOP needs a candidate voters believe in
Phil Klein: Is Obama’s winning coalition sustainable for future Democratic candidates?
Joel Gehrke: ‘Modern Family’ mocks Obama after HHS pushed Hollywood to tout Obamacare
Charlie Spiering: *Video* Obama starts crying while addressing campaign staff
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, CBO: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Trigger Recession: “The fiscal cliff would drive the U.S. economy back into recession next year and result in a jump in the jobless rate to 9.1% by the end of 2013, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office said.”
USA Today, Boehner sees short-term budget fix: “House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he will resist any effort to make major tax or spending changes in the lame duck session of Congress beginning next week, seeking instead a short-term deal to delay the year-end ‘fiscal cliff.’”
Naples News, Papa John’s CEO: Obamacare likely to raise costs, result in employee’s hours being cut: “A day after Barack Obama earned a second term in the White House, Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter said the president’s signature health-care reform law would increase his business costs and possibly result in employees’ hours being cut.”
McClatchy Newspapers, Latinos deliver for Obama; now they want something: “Latinos helped deliver President Barack Obama’s re-election Tuesday with near-historic support. In return, they’re demanding an immigration overhaul and are warning both parties, particularly Republicans, that it’s time to get on board and pay closer attention to their issues.”
The Washington Post, Republican Party begins election review to find out what went wrong: “Top Republican officials, stunned by the extent of their election losses Tuesday night, have begun an exhaustive review to figure out what went so wrong and how to fix it.”
The New York Times, With Obama Re-Elected, States Scramble Over Health Law: “Mr. Obama faces crucial choices about strategy that could determine the success of the health care overhaul: Will the administration, for example, try to address the concerns of insurers, employers and some consumer groups who worry that the law’s requirements could increase premiums? Or will it insist on the stringent standards favored by liberal policy advocates inside and outside the government?”
The Wall Street Journal, Iran Fired on U.S. Drone: Iranian fighter planes shot at an unarmed American drone last week, Pentagon officials said Thursday, in an unprecedented air attack that raises military tensions in the Persian Gulf.
Iowa: According to Politico, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would start out as a dominant favorite in the 2016 Iowa caucuses if she chooses to run for president, a new survey from Public Policy Polling finds.”
Romney volunteer John Ekdahl describes how the campaign’s voter contact system, ORCA, spectacularly failed on election day.
Heather Mac Donald on Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans
Yuval Levin writes, “The notion that Republicans must now adjust their positions to make an essentially race-based appeal to Hispanics and craven interest-group appeals elsewhere strikes me as very wrong-headed.”
Paul Krugman advises Obama to go over the fiscal cliff.
The Huffington Post‘s Mark Blumenthal urges everyone to wait till all the votes are counted before assessing who the best pollsters were this year.
Matt Yglesias on why amnesty will not get Latinos to start voting Republican.