Still basking in the glow of our Nov. 6 win, I've been super extra scrumpdeliciously enjoying the opinion pages of both The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Waaaaay down the page in today's WaPo was an opinion piece by Ed Rogers (yes, that Ed Rogers).
Follow me over the fold for his very first paragraph.
The title of Rogers' opinion piece is Still Puzzled Over Ohio. It opens with this:
Byron York has done Republicans who are analyzing the election fallout a service by highlighting the single most puzzling piece of data to arise in the aftermath of the November elections, which is: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) got more votes in Ohio in 2008 (2,677,820) than Mitt Romney got in 2012 (2,583,582). The fact that Romney did not meet or surpass McCain’s vote total is stunning.My emphasis added. The post goes on to further lament Romney's poor showing when compared to McCain of 2008. It's like a short but surreal exercise in delusional navel gazing.
Stunning? REALLY? Maybe Mr. Rogers (hahaha!) has been under a rock for each of the last four years. So, I'll help him out.
Barack Obama saved the auto industry
Let's not forget the competitive context here: Let Detroit Go Backrupt (Betcha Mitt wishes he could have THAT one back - retroactively unwrite it or something). Ohioans aren't idiots. Those 1 in 8 Ohio workers who are working because of the auto bailout KNOW that that's why they're working. They have family that knows it, too. And friends. There's nothing stunning about being able to point to a person and a policy and say "that really helped".
Which leads to...
Ohio's unemployment rate is 7.0%
In 2009, Ohio's unemployment rate was 10.6%. After the auto bailout was championed and implemented by President Obama's Administration, it fell 3.6% over the ensuing three years (source).
The stability in the auto industry secured by the bailout didn't just affect auto and auto-affiliated jobs - it affected communities that have businesses (florists, pizza shops, restaurants, etc.) that can only thrive if community members are working. Ohioans know the positive impact the Obama Administration's policies have had on them. And yes - even the older white men of Ohio know this.
Voter suppression efforts in Ohio backfired - badly
I believe it was one of my FB friends who said it best: When you know someone is coming to steal something that is rightfully yours, you hold onto it tighter.
The transparently cynical and disgustingly racist/classist attempts to disenfranchise young, minority and poorer Ohio voters backfired spectacularly. As Donna Brazille so rightfully points out in the linked article:
Yet the untold story of the 2012 election is not the efforts of lawyers or activists, but the unyielding determination of everyday ordinary citizens determined to cast their ballots. They won on Tuesday. Here's why.
When Secretary Husted tried to change election rules last year, Ohioans responded by gathering 300,000 signatures toward a referendum that successfully suspended the law. After we successfully restored access for the last three days of early voting, the African-American community participated in record numbers, aided by a massive turnout for Souls to the Polls on the Sunday before Election Day. Overall, the African-American share of the Ohio electorate was more than one-third higher than in 2008.
Republicans, and Romney, pretty much pissed off key Ohio demographic groups
* More women voted than men (52/48%). Obama won women by 11 points in Ohio.
* African Americans really turned out in Ohio - they were 15% of the 2012 electorate, and they voted for Barack Obama 96% of the time.
* Young people turned out for Obama. A full 17% of voters were under 30, and they voted for Obama 62-63% of the time.
* While traditional Republican voting blocs voted more or less as expected, there wasn't enough of a margin or enough of a turnout to offset Obama's gains in other areas.
(source - select "Exit Polls" tab)
Ohio's anti-union move set the stage for the 2012 election
Hat-tip to RFK Lives for gently pointing out that I had omitted a whopper:
The mobilization against Kasich's union-busting bill in 2011 also made a big difference. It served as a dry run for labor's GOTV efforts, and, along w/ the Detroit bailout issue, it highlighted the party divide on issues of concern to workers.The only thing stunning about the 2012 election is the continued bafflement, befuddled-ness and obtusity of Republicans who still can't read the numbers that are right in front of their face. Obama advocated FOR a policy that would benefit Ohio workers. Romney advocated - publicly - against it. Republicans tried to squeeze out minority and low income voters through ridiculous voter suppression tactics, and those voters noticed and struck back with a vengeance. Republicans' efforts to litigate all things ladyparts energized the female vote. Republicans' general tone deafness to tolerance and progress energized the youth vote. In that context, it's not difficult AT ALL to see how John McCain won more votes in Ohio than did Mitt Romney. At least McCain hadn't tried to outright kill their livelihood, and McCain ran before the unprecedented assault on minorities, the poor, women, and workers that the past three years has seen.
Any questions, Ed Rogers?