A funny thing about mandates. While the general conservative reaction to the Obama victory is either pushing a fellow conservative off a tall building, or explaining that now that Obama won, he should govern like a conservative for unity's sake, the numbers are pretty interesting.
Remember that this is all preliminary, and there are votes yet to count. But for now, using Dave Leip's excellent US Election Atlas:
• John Kerry (48.27%) got a bigger percentage of the popular vote than either Mitt Romney (47.85) or John McCain (45.6)
* Kerry's 251 electoral votes was greater than McCain's 173 and Romney's 206. (Losing didn't stop McCain from being on MTP every Sunday.)
• Barack Obama's electoral wins (332 and 365) dwarfs Bush's (286 and 271). Clinton got 379 and 370. You have to go back to 1988 for George HW Bush's 426 to find a Republican win over 300.
• Obama's 61,939,115 is more than Bush in 2000 (50,460,110) and closing in on Bush in 2004 (62,040,610) — remember, there are still votes to count. [UPDATE on Google puts Obama at 62,088,847 surpassing Bush.]
Keep the above in mind when pundits declare there's no mandate here. These are the same pundits insisting the vote was tied.
They were wrong about that, too.