Most of us here are well aware of the Right Wing Bubble and its destructive effects on the Republican Party. Im here to warn about the dangers of our own bubble forming. Yes the President won and yes it was a mandate. Yes we picked up seats in the Senate. But it was close. Too close and we got a lot of help from our opponents.
We cant afford to let our joy of winning become our own echo chamber of greatness.
Today I'll look at the Presidential Election. For the purpose of this analysis I am using the results from CNN as of 12 Nov.
The overall popular vote is roughly 62 million for the President vs 58.7 million for Romney. When California and other states finally finish counting I expect the margin to be 4-5 million with the total votes cast somewhere around 124 million. That last number is significant because in 2008 128 million cast votes. Since the population of the nation did not decline that means 4-5 million people who could vote and likely did vote in 2008 skipped in 2012. Thats a lot of votes both candidates left on the table.
Looking at the battle ground states the difference between being President and being sad was 500,000 votes:
Ohio - 18 EV
Barack Obama - 2,697,260
Mitt Romney - 2,593,779
104K vote difference
Florida - 29 EV
Barack Obama - 4,236,032
Mitt Romney - 4,162,174
74K vote Difference ----- 178K votes, 47 EV
Pennsylvania - 20 EV
Barack Obama - 2,907,048
Mitt Romney - 2,619,583
288K vote difference ----- 466K votes, 67 EV
466K votes or about 10% of the "missing" electorate and we are facing 4 years of Romney.
Going the other way, the President lost North Carolina and its 15 EVs by 97K. The only other state where the President was even close was Georgia (15 EVs) where he lost by 310K. As a side note those are 30 EVs we need to go after in 2016. Winning those would take Ohio, Colorado and Iowa off the "must win" list.
President Obama significantly expanded the map for Democrats from the Gore and Kerry elections but the gap between success and failure is small.
President Obama is a great candidate with an even better campaign staff. Always a good starting point. But he is also one of the luckiest politicians ever. His opponents seem to have an uncanny knack of self destruction.
McCain was a gift opponent even before he selected Palin. He started out as the grumpy old man of the GOP and once he picked Palin he looked like he might have lost his marbles. If I were running for President and I was given the option of picking my opponents running mate, a Palin would be at the top of my list. Its not like winning Alaska was going to tip the election and even the most cursory vetting would have shown she was a lose cannon.
Romney/Ryan was more of the same. Less than 4 years after Wall Street almost destroyed the economy getting to run against the poster child for "vulture capitalism" is just too good. Getting video of the same guy calling almost half the electorate lazy moochers right after he picked the poster child for "screw you" government as his running mate? Really? Can anyone be that lucky? The entire Romney/Ryan campaign was amateur hour compared to the Obama machine right down to the last day when "Project ORCA" kneecapped an already dismal GOTV operation.
Much has been made of Romney not receiving as many votes as McCain but lets not fool ourselves - Obama 2008 kicked Obama 2012's butt by 5-6 million votes. In 2016 Democrats will need to grow their raw numbers by 10-15% just to get back to winning the same percentage of the overall electorate as they did in 2008. We cant afford to spend even one day in a happy place thinking we have a new Electoral majority.
Tomorrow the Senate.