Skip to main content

2012 was a big election, there is no doubt, America made a BIG decision as to what general direction it is now going politically. Both major parties laid out pretty clear visions, (called ideology or values or philosophy), as to what they see as the proper role of government. The voters said that they wanted more involvement by way of deciding who is elected. Voters affirmed ObamaCare, (many want even more), they agreed to greater regulation of business, specifically continued implementation of Dodd-Frank on Wall Street and credit protection, and they agreed to increased that taxes at least on the wealthy.

Elections have Consequences as was often repeated during the Bush-Cheney years when coincidentally the Republicans enjoyed their legislative majorities, but so does changing demographics. (BTW, have you noticed that Democrats have won popular vote polarities in five of the last six presidential contests, if that is the case how could America be center-right?)

Demographically the political class is beside itself how the growing Hispanic vote moved decidedly towards Obama at a rate now greater than 7 of 10 voters. Combined President Obama received 44% of his vote total from person's of color, gathering 94% of African-Americans, 73% of Asian-Americans and 71% of Hispanics vote. Comparably speaking Mitt Romney's campaign received just 12% of its vote's total from persons of color—meaning his voter face was 88% White Americans! Socially this is a damning statistic, any wonder the stage crafter's at the RNC placed Guam and American Samoa delegations in the camera's eye? But on political reality terms it is now a loser formula in that the White voter percentage of has dropped to 72% from 2008's 74%. Looking back the trend has been precipitous to say the least, where from the year 2000 it has fallen from 81% and you have to go back to the Reagan era to see when White voters percentage was stable at 89%. Elections have consequences and in this view as America demographically evolves towards the day when no racial-ethnic group will possess a majority the electorate has deemed the Republicans the party of white people.

This demographic voting preference carried through in every age and gender category as well. Women voted for Obama 55% to 44% but just White women it was 42% to 56% for Obama. And even though Obama carried voting ages under 40 years old through strong margins of 60% among 18-to-29 year old's and 55% for those 30-to-39 years of age, when you looked at the details, Obama's share of White voters in those age groups fell back to 44% in the youth vote and 38% among the 30-Somethings'. Yet in each demographic category subdivided by gender be it ethnicity or age or both, Obama carried higher margins among women roughly averaging 10% greater shares than with men in those categories.

My wife asked what does all this mean, as she said Obama won? It means that the Democratic Party's electorate reflects what California, New York, Florida and urban areas like the Tri-County around Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, DC corridor, Detroit metro, Cleveland, Raleigh, Atlanta, Denver metro, Seattle, and what Phoenix is realizing---diverse minority majorities. It is growing and the Republican electorate is not.

 Elections have consequences and from the Democratic perspective as of the current status, 121 out of 200 (six seats are still have elections in doubt though it appears the Dem's have the advantage at least in five of them), are either women or have ethnic-racial minorities, other words known as now a minority-majority category. All told there are at least 57 female Democrats in the House, and the Republicans will have at least 20 women, , all told 77 women, 18% of the House will use the women's facilities. If there is going to be a bi-partisan breakthrough look for it to come from this area of the Capitol.

In the more venerable U.S. Senate, women now comprise 20 seats, 16 are Democratic out of the entire 53, while 4 of 45 Republican, (30% to 8%). Latino's also increased their presence in the U.S. Congress now numbering 28 House Members, 23 Democratic and 5 Republican, though the Republicans have two Latino Senators to one Democrat. African American House Members number 42, forty-one are Democratic. Do not underestimate the effect that having more women and ethnic-racial minorities in Congress or the fact that the Democrats have many of their leadership positions including Nancy Pelosi, James Clyborn  and Xavier Beccera are occupied by minority status persons. Sen. Patty Murray and  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz both ran their caucus election campaigns. I have to say that anything resembling trickle down is dead.

So you have to ask a deeper question; was this election about race or gender or about something else? A running joke near the end of the campaign was, “'You know the rape-candidate-guy',  (as a Party you have a big problem when the response is), 'Which one?'Elections have consequences. I think both the ethnic-racial and gender issues directly related to the consequences but not what people think they were. Remember what everyone in the political class agreed before the election was about before the rest of the nation started to take notice that this election was always about, THE ECONOMY STUPID, but also everything else too. When you understand that women still make 71% of the wages than men performing the same work, this could be as important as the stupidity related to absolutism about rape and abortion where ignorant male candidates seem to express such ignorance, and superficially try to retract it, somewhat.

That takes us to the other related demographic category as to how votes went, according to income. The Middle classes are defined by household income, generally accepted to be between $30,000 and $199,000, in three groups. Most single women, African-American, and Hispanic households all fall in one of the two groups; lower income (under $30,000 and not middle class) or the lower Middle Class (AKA working class) as in $30,000 to $49,999. Not coincidentally these two financial demographic groups voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers, 63% and 57% respectively. Middle income households ($50,000-$99,999) split to Romney 52-46% but when you add up these three groups together you find that it represented 76% of Obama's entire vote, 39% of the entire vote, where he carried 54% to 45%. Think about this, this is a demographic had nothing to do with gender (rape/abortion) or age (youth vote)  or ethnic-racial based (Black & Latino's), just income. This knife seemed to cut deeper and cleaner. Now when I included the upper middle class group ($100,000-$199,000) Obama still carried the entire Middle Classes with 52% of the vote, oh it is almost the popular vote margin.  

So was it race? Gender? Or income? Elections have consequences where one could say almost similarly that it was the gender and income gap or was it the shrinking demographic of White voters, and correspondingly, the growing power of ethnic-racial voters.

I think David Frum, former David Frum, former speech writer for President George W. Bush and now a contributing editor of TIME,who identified both the changing demographics and statement about middle class best:

“It is not about the Latino vote only, it is about the middle class. In the 1970's the Republican Party developed a series of powerful answers to serious problems of low productivity and high inflation and the Soviet challenge and now, in the 21st Century all of those problems have been solved, and we have new problems of inequality, of healthcare costs and the Chinese challenge, they [Republican Party] offered the same ideas that worked on different problems. It is like your doctor giving a patient an antibiotic who has depression.”

Washington Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said

"I don't think it's about the Republican Party needing to become more moderate; I really believe it's the Republican Party becoming more modern,"
A modernization problem brings us back to basic issues of inequality in the context of tactical social wedge issues used by Republicans that predominated the political discourse for a generation. Were these issues actually masking racism owing to the closeted belief of White Supremacy? (CODE ALERT) Could it also be a male dominated society was being challenged as well? Elections have consequences.

Bill O'Reilly stated on election night:

“It’s not a traditional America anymore.[...] Whereby twenty years ago President Obama would be roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority. The voters, many of them, feel like the economic system is stacked against them.[...] You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel they are entitled to things.“
What was that America? Did it ever really exist or did it exist in the virtual worlds of a few minds? I know that America the nostalgic American Mitt Romney conjured up in his convention speech included African-Americans but not at the seat of power, especially not at the highest seat now repeated and validated as a re-elected president.

I know that single women were at America's table of power, but it was more like John Adams' wife, behind her man and not openly pushing back an obvious chauvinist conservative right-winger, like how Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin did to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). In an AP interview on Nov 7th, Johnson said he hoped he would be able to work with Baldwin in the Senate -- as soon as he explained the "facts" of the budget to her.

"Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they're simply the facts," he said. "Hopefully she'll agree with what the facts are and work toward common sense solutions."
Baldwin has served in Congress since 1999 while Johnson was elected in 2011, Baldwin responded this way on Friday to the Huffington Post.
"I was a double major in college in mathematics and political science, and I served for six years on the House Budget Committee in my first six years in the House, and I am very confident that when proposals come before the U.S. Senate, I will be able to evaluate them as to how they benefit or harm middle-class Wisconsinites. A yardstick of 'does it create jobs,' 'does it lower the deficit' and 'does it help grow the middle class' is an important one. I'm quite confident that I have those abilities," she added.

I also know that 28 Latinos are not going to sit around and not have immigration reform be ignored once again.  I also know that conservatives will have to sit next to seven openly gay or lesbian or even bisexuals at the table of power. The Dem's have six House members and one Senator. What will Texas, Florida and Arizona's political landscape look like with 20,000,000 new Latino voters registering in the next decade?

Elections have consequences. Traditionalists, those who call themselves conservatives is it really that these are closet or not admitting white supremacists? Isn't that what really the Tea Party has been all about when you get under the hood. The Right is now realizing that the realities of these new demographics means, that there is a real power shift going on and away from White-Male-only, which also includes heterosexuals-only and Christians-only as well. O'Reilly continued the other day denying the obvious as they did after 2008.

[H]e believes traditional America can make a comeback, but 'it will take a very special person to make that happen.' [...] That's the key. Because many in the media would have us believe that liberal ideology was confirmed by this election. It was not. However... however, secularism is certainly eroding traditional power. No question about it. Those Americans who attend religious services at least once a week voted for Romney 59-39, the problem is church going is on the decline in this country. [...]By the way, Mitt Romney didn't even try to marginalize secularism. He basically ignored it. A mistake because President Obama is the poster guy for the secular progressive movement. The key question going forward is the SP Movement good for Americans no matter what their ethnicity or economic condition and the answer is no. [...] If Mitt Romney spelled that out, what the secular progressive movement is really all about in strong vivid terms and how President Obama enables that, Romney would not have lost 71 percent of the Hispanic vote. I can tell you. I believe the majority of Americans can be persuaded that the far left is a dangerous outfit bent on destroying traditional America and replacing it with a social free fire zone that drives dependency and poverty.
(Hey Bill O and Bill O staff,I know you lurk here so if by chance you read this, I got a coded message for you, we can read demographics data better than your side so I am going to parse your final logic regarding religious voting demographic to tell you that this is a realignment that does not include Rich, White-Males who use Christianity as a crutch.) Elections have consequences.  

Obama received 65% of his votes from people who went to church once a month or less, that demographic made up 57% of the entire electorate. These people are NOT predisposed to faith based reasoning. America is a secular nation, only those who are faith based don't believe so. So it was not Mitt Romney as you have now turned your blame on, it was all of the above; the issues, the demographics, the economics, the inequality, the mess that the previous alignment led and made by the White-Male power elite that is being disposed by the voters.

As O'Reilly illustrates following the election the Right is visibly shaken. They are upset because they have to work now with people at the power table whom they personally loathe, see Johnson condescending response to Baldwin election above. And further whom the Right in the name of White Males have for generations have sought to destroy—and worse, now for them to survive at the table will have to welcome few into their partisan tent if they give themselves any hope on surviving. How do you authentically reach out to people whom you fostered genuine hate towards? Elections have consequences and this one as paired with 2008 is as big as 1932 & 1936 and 1980 & 1984, it changed who is now seated at the power table and that is called a REALIGNMENT.

Originally posted to RWN on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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

  •  I've been voting Democratic my entire life (10+ / 0-)

    and I have been waiting for decades for the electorate to have had enough of the swing  to the right.  The overreach by the Republicans finally seems to be having consequences and I couldn't be more pleased with the idea that even Arizona can finally shake off the RWNJ's grip locally in another 10 years.  

  •  I wonder a bit about the impact (5+ / 0-)

    of differences in family size within the white population. Not that people can't move away from the politics of their families (David Frum is a striking instance) but children of members of the religious right are surely most likely to continue in that path, and in my generation it seems likely that religious-right families (even those who don't explicitly aim to produce a "quiverful for the Lord") are much larger on average than liberal families. Look at all those Romneys, for goodness sake. I worry a bit that this might lead to even sharper division along racial lines.

    •  Kids still have their own minds. (3+ / 0-)

      I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters.  All of us are wildly different.  My parents were Catholic, but not militant about it.  "As long as you live under our roof, you will go to church".

      All of us did well in school - only one ever missed an A average.  Five of us have college degrees, one a master's.  Three are six-figures successful, three are poverty line.

      Two of us are hard atheists, only three attend church regularly.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:42:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes it backfires (6+ / 0-)

      My three sibs and I were all raised in a strict and insular Christian home, and went to religious schools (100% white) until college.  

      We are all atheists.  It took me the longest to deconvert; I didn't fully embrace my scarlet A until almost 40.  I genuinely feel sorry for my mom, because she raised three financially independent critical thinkers, and she thinks she did something wrong.

       I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by SteelerGrrl on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:06:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  political and religious beliefs aren't genetic (4+ / 0-)

      ask around, and you'll find a ton of democrats and liberals who were raised in conservative families, republicans and conservatives who were raised in liberal families, and atheists, agnostics and adherents of nearly every manner of religious faith who were raised in families and attended congregations of totally different religious beliefs as children.

      we are a nation of converts and switchers. parents might work like hell to force their children to be mere vessels of their ideologies, be they political, cultural, philosophical or religious, but people have a way of changing their minds as adolescents and young adults, and the harder those parents grasp, the more those children chafe at it.

      if there's a trend, it leftwards among the young, including young whites, whose parents and grandparents tend to be significantly more conservative, on the average, than the kids these days.

      •  Thanks for these thoughts, and data points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They are interesting and hopeful. I taught in a Pennsylvania college for quite a while, and had a good number of students who were also shifting away from their conservative parents' views either gradually or abruptly; some very courageously. And of course I had colleagues who had done the same. I didn't mean to imply that that is not common (and I certainly didn't mean to suggest that genetics has anything to do with the transmission of politics). I guess I've had the impression that though the 'switchers' are numerous they are still a pretty considerable  minority and when I see how many of the very-conservative people I know are home-schooling their kids under the guidance of fundamentalist churches, it looks harder than ever for the kids to find their way to another perspective. But some will, for sure, maybe lots.

        I guess actual data, rather complex, would be needed to really sort it out, but I take your good stories as reasons to be heartened.

  •  Great diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, Navy Vet Terp

    O'Reilly might reply that Reagan, given today's electorate, would still have beaten Mondale. Supreme Court decisions have consquences. Just as MLB lowered the pitcher's mound to restore parity with the hitters, Buckley v. Valeo balanced money against demographics. The GOP has a star system that will produce Rubios. But also the Dems (Demographic party) are less likely to offer clear choices. They got back into the game after Buckley with the DLC saying it's the economy stupid, but also repealed Glass-Steagall.

    •  ah a stat geek with context and STL fan to boot (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SteelerGrrl, ranton, llywrch

      This was not an election that involved the 1980's or vestiges of the 1970's as Frum so well paints, and Mondale was offering a perspective that was answering problems of the 60's and earlier as Romney was answering problems of the 90's and 80's.

      Antibiotics and prozac.

      The electorate is changing and therefore the shift in power is changing. White males who are also old and powerful don't feel comfortable in the world of diversity...they don't know what is a joke or a caricature, they don't know what is a problem of inequality or burdens of real life.

      They are much like what F Scott Fitzgerald characterized as rich persons, they think they are different and better---inherently and they didn't have to compromise and claw through the world of unfairness.

      Going forward if the GOP does not successfully negotiate the cliff, Obama will let the rates go and then get his rates, I see that now...he will force immigration reform and he will continue to move Obamacare forward.

      Glass Steagall is on the horizon too.

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

      by RWN on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:51:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The big money set ("society") supported eugenics to say they were smarter and better, but Hollywood portrayed them as screwballs and dimwits. The classes now get more respect, don't pay 90% marginal rates. Capra, TR and FDR built careers (and the nation) calling them out. We shall see.

      •  I hope you are correct about Glass-Steagal! (0+ / 0-)

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:54:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Health care improvement is moving forward. :) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hope for Supreme Court.
    Attending to important issues coming right along:  income inequality, national security, green energy, global warming, healthy food, healthy people, healthy world.  Progress on making peace in the world.

  •  Good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, svboston

    I've been telling friends you can't really over-state the significance of this election.  It does compare with the Reagan "revolution" (while ending it) as well as FDR's New Deal era (while updating it for the 21st century).

    Green is good:

    by bogmanoc on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:31:18 PM PST

  •  Fascinating (0+ / 0-)

    thank you for putting so much work and thought into this.  Will bookmark and share!

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:34:44 PM PST

  •  lets be a little cautious, here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the election results were great, but lets not forget all of the premature long-term celebrations after the 2008 elections, when people were proclaiming a permanent Democratic realignment (we only need to look at the 2010 election results to refute that). There's cause for optimism on many levels, but we need to continue to be a reality based community. Changing demographics has been touted as a cause for optimism by progressives in Texas for decades. And yet...well...if we actually want a true realignment, we need to keep working towards that. (P.S. most political realignments in this country weren't immediately obvious after one or two elections.)

    •  3 previous realignments did not have exit polls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Like we have now. I also think 2010 was an aberration in part the D's did not go all the way but here in CO we staved off statewide giveback beating Buck and watching the rest of their ticket go to the civil war.

      I think Texas is a separate sub culture but it too will not survive the wave. There will be two items, one continued Latino registration and enfranchisement and then the delay of when immigration reform is approved, a time bomb of let us say 8-10 years where those who get into a secondsystem will eventually become citizens and voters...

      They will always remember who brought them out of the closet.

      the other time delay of a realignment is the firming up of new voters, first voting and then voting partisan.

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

      by RWN on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:01:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  America IS "center-right"--the last 5 Dems to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Presidential election have all been corporatist Dems, as are most of the Dems in the House & the Senate.  It's not like we just elected Bernie Sanders President, Alan Grayson or Mike Capuono House Minority Leader, or Sherrod Brown Senate Maj. Leader.  If you want to see the difference between FDR's party & Obama's, look at the difference between Glass-Steagle & that complete POS Dodd-Frank.  

    It's not that I didn't want PBO to win -- hell, I even voted for him, the first time I've voted for a Dem in 12 Presidential elections when I wasn't living in a "swing" state.  But Progressives should be under no illusions abt who we helped elect.  As I said to my even more cynical son, the most interesting political questions now are how long it will take PBO to sell us out badly on something important (after all, he does really seem to buy all this oligarchy-spewed "debt crisis" horseshit) and how bad a sell-out it will be.

    If I were a betting man, I'd lay good money on before January 1 by agreeing to a pretty big hit to Social Security.  

  •  don't let them slice and dice us (0+ / 0-)

    the bottom line is that the country rejected right wing policies.  They stretched out as far right as they could.  Thank goodness that the country is not willing to accept more.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:58:29 AM PST

  •  Can you clarify the 121 of 200 thing? (0+ / 0-)

    Really nice diary, totally related to your obvious passion for what the numbers reveal.  One thing, I just didn't follow what you were referring to when you said there were about 121 women out of 200 -- something or other.

    Please clarify... thanks in advance!

    "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

    by dackmont on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:33:24 AM PST

    •  Represents the minority-majority including women (0+ / 0-)

      Meaning anyone who is not a white-male, actually I should include openly gay men in this category which I think the Dem's number 4 (6 Dem's are openly GLBT in the House and one open GLBT in the Senate)

      this brings the total up to 125 to 200+ D's.

      It is the new normal where then the ratio is

      75 white-male heterosexual
      57 women
      41 African American (both male and female)
      23 Latinos
      6 GLBT

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

      by RWN on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:44:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, thanks, so... (0+ / 0-)

        by 200 you're referring to House Dems -- which you then breaking that down per above, right?  If so, that's remarkable -- I wouldn't have guessed that just 75 of 300 House Dems were white males.  That's great -- our party reflects the future.  (Hope I got this right.) Thanks again!

        "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

        by dackmont on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:06:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  For the reasons that you state (0+ / 0-)

    and a few more, some of which I can describe and some which are still muddling around in my brain, I think that the circumstances of the reelection of Barack Obama feel more profound to me now than in 2008.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site