Skip to main content

James Carville, in discussing his 2009 book on the emerging democratic majority, places demographics front and center in the 2012 election.  

Many other pundits have joined in, reaching the same conclusions, and the arguments they make are sound and convincing. When we look at the actual increases from the bell weather year of 2008, we can be even more convinced.  Who would have predicted an increase in the youth vote? A decrease in the overall white vote? A decrease in the actual number of registered republicans voting during a cycle of such virulent dissatisfaction with the present White House?

But something else happened this year, and it was part of an emerging storm.  Perhaps a firestorm.  In 2011, a growing movement made up of various groups--some of them longstanding activists, some of them not--almost succeeded in removing the republican governor from office in Wisconsin.  They did not win this recall, but We Are Wisconsin did not dismantle their organization.  They continued to raise money and awareness and they used the resources they had built up to make a difference during this election.  In other states, it was the issue of voter suppression that led to the formation of strong, effective grass roots organizations.  In Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio, these groups were utilized by the Obama field campaigns for the reach that they had to get out the vote and to help fan the flames of anger over republican tactics.  

Rick Scott in Florida made things worse for his party by refusing to extend voting hours even when confronted with the facts: hundreds of thousands of his residents in the state where he was governor were standing in line for hours and hours.  The optics were horrible.  There was no spinning the images.  

This was a year of justifiable anger.  Occupy Wall Street had been laughed at and scoffed during this past year.  Republican pundits had asked: whatever happened to them? See....we told you that they would dissolve.  But they didn't dissolve.  They became a new national "movement." Not an organized movement.  Democrats are never organized in the traditional sense (while republicans have little understanding of true "grass roots").  It takes a smart national campaign like the one the Obama team put together to help coalesce these cogent "pieces" into statewide fire starters.

On election day, nothing could've been more effective in puttting Obama over the top in Florida than Rick Scott.  In Wisconsin, where the governor still smugly held the reins, the people spoke again.  In Virginia, democratic voters stayed in line no matter what. And all across the battleground states, young volunteers stayed on the phones, followed through with instructions, knocked on doors and made contacts in the communities that paid off.

It wasn't just demographics that made the difference.  It was also a building anger with the arrogance of the republican brand and their label for more than half of Americans--many of them struggling on a daily basis--as "takers" rather than "makers."  

Ironic, considering how republicans reacted to Obama's "I didn't Make That" comment.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  And there is something else, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


  •  Demographics (0+ / 0-)

    I'd say Carville was right about the demographic shift being the story of this election, but you are correct in your assertion that there is more to the story.

    The GOP can't seem to get it into the heads of its leadership (and its money men) that it cannot continue to win on a national level without expanding the Republican base. It seems that, in the midst of Tea Party carnival it enjoyed Nov. 2010 until the debt ceiling debacle, leadership and finance got cocky and figured it would be able to kick ass in the general election just by motivating the (ever shrinking and ever backward) GOP base and throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a propaganda campaign. And, in Mittens, it figured it had a salesman (and a liar) sufficiently slick that it would succeed in a campaign of deception.

    Fortunately, the GOP was proven mistaken. And its abject failure has proven so delicious, some of us may be feasting on it well after Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. (Karl Rove's meltdown alone has kept me laughing for days.)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site