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  •  The media's evolving definition of mandate (19+ / 0-)
    286 electoral votes = a mandate.

    In 2004, George W. Bush won 50.7 percent of the popular vote over Democrat John Kerry, and had a 286-251 edge in electoral votes. As FAIR noted (Media Advisory, 11/5/04), many outlets proclaimed that to be a "mandate." "Clear Mandate Will Boost Bush's Authority, Reach," read a USA Today headline (11/4/04); NPR's Renee Montaigne said (11/3/04), "By any definition, I think you could call this a mandate."

    So this week Barack Obama won re-election; before the Florida results were final, he had a 303-206 electoral vote advantage and 50.5 percent of the popular vote. What do you call that? For a lot of people in the media, definitely not a mandate.

    303 to 332 electoral votes = not a mandate.

    On CBS Evening News (11/7/12), Bob Schieffer declared, "In the hard world of American politics, the president did not get a mandate yesterday." On the NPR website (11/7/12), a headline was "For Obama, Vindication, But Not a Mandate." The Washington Post's Dan Balz (11/7/12) called it "an uncertain mandate, although Obama will attempt to claim one." While USA Today declared Bush's 2004 victory a mandate, the front-page of the paper the day after the election bore the headline "A Nation Moving Further Apart."

    President Barack Obama has a clear mandate:

    By Friday morning, Barack Obama had a vote total well in excess of 61 million, as compared with Mitt Romney’s 58 million. The president’s popular-vote margin is now in excess of 3 million.[...]

    1. Barack Obama will have won an overwhelming majority in the Electoral College, a daunting majority of the popular vote and a majority of the nation’s states—including most of the country’s largest states and states in every major region of the republic: New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Great Lakes, the South, the Southwest, the Mountain West and the West.

    2. Barack Obama will have won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history—except Barack Obama in 2008.

    3. Barack Obama is the first Democratic president to win more than 50 percent of the popular vote in a re-election run since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944.

    4. Barack Obama is the only Democratic candidate for president since FDR to twice win more than 50 percent of the national vote.

    5. Barack Obama has, in both of his presidential runs, won a higher percentage of the national vote than any Democratic nominee since Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 landslide victory.”

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:19:35 PM PST

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