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ÜMİT ENGİNSOY > This isn’t your grandpa’s America, Mitt

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Barack Obama was probably not the best American president, as he couldn’t keep many of his promises in his first term. Yet he gave a good beating to Mitt Romney, his Republican counterpart, in the Nov. 6 elections in the United States. Romney was not a particularly bad campaigner. He was just suffering from the general characteristics of the Grand Old Party, the Republicans, or the GOP. He was white, oldish, presidential-looking and rich. Yet these characteristics no longer represent America.

Now a few statistics: according to CNN’s exit polls, 55 percent of women voted for Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, and women made up about 54 percent of the electorate. In total, the gender gap added up to something big – a significantly wider margin than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.

Women’s strong support in the swing states gave Obama a significant advantage over Romney, despite the incumbent president’s losses among men and independents. While Obama lost by 10 percentage points among independents in Ohio, he won by 12 points among women in the state. In New Hampshire, women voted for Obama over Romney by a margin of 58 to 42 percent, while men preferred Romney by a narrow four-point gap. Pennsylvania showed a 16-point gender gap that tipped the scale toward Obama.

And consider the minorities now: According to one analysis in Time Magazine, “The Nov. 6 election signaled a demographic tippling point: A record number of Latino and Asian voters, the country’s fastest-growing voting bloc, formed a coalition with black and white Democratic voters to re-elect the country’s first African-American president. A new American majority – a multiethnic majority – has not only arrived but is in fact reordering the political landscape.”

The power of this new minority majority, or multiethnic majority, played out in several key states. In Ohio where African-Americans make up 12 percent of the Ohio population, they gave Obama the leading edge by turning out in greater numbers than in 2008, growing from 11 to 15 percent of voters. In Virginia, a state that not too long ago exemplified the Jim Crow South, exit polls showed that Obama won 93 percent of black voters, 65 percent of Latino voters and 66 percent of Asian voters. At the same time, Obama’s support among white Virginians was only 38 percent.

 Obama’s victories in Colorado, Nevada and Virginia came in part because Hispanics turned out in droves and voted Democratic. In Colorado, 14 percent of the voters were Hispanic, and Obama won three-fourths of them. In Florida, Hispanic voters were almost one-fifth of the electorate, and Mr. Obama won about three-fifths of them.

Romney was defeated mainly due to his failure to obtain the votes of women and minorities.

The daggers into ex-President George W. Bush’s huge Republican lands, from Virginia in the east; New Mexico and Colorado in the south; and Nevada in the west, among many other places, were examples of this new tendency.

This is also an extension of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s election successes. These men easily came to power through the support of the oppressed, the equivalent of American minorities and women.

The problem is not Romney. If the Republicans can’t find ways to integrate the minorities into their electorate, the Republicans’ return to power in America will remain a dream because demographics are not working to their advantage.

November/15/2012

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Eric Martin

11/26/2012 2:10:19 AM

Poor choice by Americans. Obama won by laying blame of the present economy on Bush. Now we will all suffer more!

mara mcglothin

11/25/2012 5:59:36 PM

KOKSUZ Make no mistake, I am a fiscal conservative and a social democrat. I vote for my pocketbook and am confident that the law of the land will protect me from the backward religious zealotry of the Republican party. There are many like me. I am against all the charity given out these days by the Democrats. I personally would love to see an independent in the White House, but it will be a long time coming. So the difference is in the fact that in America you can't legislate morality.

Köksüz Kosmopolit

11/20/2012 4:58:26 PM

@USO, arguing that "most of USA voted GOP" because lo-pop Red counties are bigger than hi-pop Blue ones is either dishonest or stupid. I'm sure you're neither, so would urge you to think about refining your argument. "Cities more corrupt" is argument by assertion, and irrelevant, and bizarre (and insulting, but I don't care about that.) As it happens I have a very good grasp of core conservative principles. But you're talking about today's GOP, so how are core conservative principles relevant?

US Observer

11/20/2012 2:21:35 PM

@ Köksüz no, I am talking about the map by counties. It was not just the south, it was nearly the entire nation, including the North. The disconnect is the cities, which is where most corruption is. You have a false idea of what core conservtive principles are Or you deliberately want to tie those principles to the Christian Right. Mara has been consistent that religion and government must be seperated, I don't think she ever indicated she is anti religion.

Köksüz Kosmopolit

11/19/2012 12:09:30 PM

@Mara, it's discouraging that someone who sees right through the AKP can be fooled by an AKP that speaks English with an American accent and espouses a version of religious fundamentalism differing in a few minor and unimportant details from that of its Turkish counterpart.

Köksüz Kosmopolit

11/19/2012 12:04:39 PM

@USO, most of those big red patches on the US map are low-population. The southern strategy (relying on many resentful, patriarchal, religious, racist old white men to win power in the interest of a few rich old white men) served the Republicans well for decades. But now the GOP base is shrinking. Will the party get smart and go moderate, or will it double down on the stupid and try even harder to suppress the Democratic vote? Decent GOPers should hope the former; smart money's on the latter.

K Elaine Kristin

11/15/2012 5:22:59 PM

Umit, I am not sure where you get your analysis. Simply from the corrupted U.S. press? If you read the analysis from liberal sources, I understand you would come to this conclusion. However, if you have not had any firsthand experience with American politics, please refrain from judging the GOP as a party of "white." You are sorely mistaken.

Nadide Gunduz

11/15/2012 5:05:52 PM

What Enginsoy doesn't mention is that Romney won 58% of the WHITE women's vote and 74% of the WHITE men's vote. This shows a stark polarization among racial lines. He does bring up a very good point that the GOP needs to change its modus operandi. Even the most staunch supporters get queasy from some of the fringe elements inside the party. I've been a Republican for over 25 years but still am appalled by anti abortion radicals, anti-drug crusaders and anti-gay conservatives.

mara mcglothin

11/15/2012 3:34:21 PM

Exactly USOBSERVER And then when someone of a minority runs for office, staunch supporters jump ship and change teams NOT according to their conservative principles but by their skin color-like Collin Powell. Now you can't speak out against Obama's idiot policies because then you are labeled a racist. Very sad day for America. I HOPE we can survive four more years of CHANGE.

US Observer

11/15/2012 2:19:14 PM

Republicans need only run on their principles and have a candidate that has a track record supporting those principles. Look at the map of how the nation voted. Nearly the entire country was red (R), it was only the coasts and major cities that went Democrat. Besides, anytime a minority does become Republican those so called Progressives threaten and bash them relentlessly.
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