A huge win

Americans voted to give President Obama a second chance to change Washington.

The re-election of Barack Obama last night was a huge win in many ways.  I went to bed after the confetti dropped in Chicago and woke up too early with my head still spinning.  I figure I can sleep later.  So who won besides the President?  Here are a few of my thoughts.

Last night was a win for everyone who has been supporting a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans.  Politico summarizes the exit polling this way

Six in 10 voters nationwide say they think taxes should be increased, a welcome  statistic for President  Barack Obama and a sign that the president’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s  proposed tax cuts  for the wealthy may have been effective.

Almost half of voters said taxes should be boosted on Americans making more than  $250,000 per year, and one in seven voters said taxes should be increased on all  Americans.

I think the Democratic wins in the Senate as well as the President’s re-election reflect this.  It is a loss for Grover Nordquist perhaps Republicans in Congress can now forget that silly pledge and negotiate all the fiscal and budget issues hanging over us.

This was a big win for the ground game over big money.  The Adelsons, Roves and Kochs of the world can’t buy an election. The Senate wins by Tim Kaine and Sherrod Brown showed that if you turn out voters, all the negative spending on advertising can’t buy the election.  I watched and worked the ground game here in Massachusetts using the same database that was used by Democrats all over the country.  All the information added this election should only help Democrats in the future.  This email sent last night under the President’s name tells the story

I’m about to go speak to the crowd here in Chicago, but I wanted to thank you first.

I want you to know that this wasn’t fate, and it wasn’t an accident. You made this happen.

You organized yourselves block by block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn’t easy, you pressed forward.

I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started.

But I want you to take real pride, as I do, in how we got the chance in the first place.

Today is the clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests.

There’s a lot more work to do.

But for right now: Thank you.

The election was a huge win for people of color,  for marriage equality (Maine and Maryland, and probably Minnesota) and for an American that is changing.  From the Washington Post

The electorate was less white (from 74 percent in 2008 to 72 percent this year), more Latino (9 percent to 10 percent), just as African-American (13 percent to 13 percent), more female (53 percent to 54 percent), more low-income (38 percent making less than $50,000 in 2008 to 41 percent Tuesday) and — perhaps most remarkably, younger (18 percent to 19 percent).

It all suggests that Obama’s laser-like focus on turning out each of his key constituencies — minorities, women and young people — paid dividends.

And in many cases, these groups backed him as much or more as in 2008.

Women gave Obama 55 percent of the vote and low-income voters gave him 60 percent, about the same as four years ago.

Latinos gave Obama 67 percent of their vote four years ago, and 71 percent on Tuesday.

I think the racially tinged and anti-immigrant Republican campaign made people angry and they were angry enough to come out to vote.  Until the Republican party learns to deal with the changing demographics in this country, they will become more and more powerless.

And my final thought for right now – this was a huge win for Nate Silver.  For those of us who put our trust in him, this was vindication.  His final map looks suspiciously like the final map but if Florida continues today as it is trending, I think he underestimated the Electoral College vote.  Nate predicted 313 electoral votes but with Florida it will be 332.

[Photograph:  Doug Mills/The New York Times]

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