The only thing more fun (politically speaking) than making election predictions is analyzing them after they happen. It also gives those of us who love this kind of stuff the opportunity to explain why we were so wrong. In fact, the subtitle for this blog could be “WHY I WAS WRONG BUT TRUST ME I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT NOW”.
Let me start by congratulating the President. Not that he is waiting for my approval or words of affirmation, but I think he would be safe in assuming the election safely gives him ‘legacy’ and puts him in the double dipper category of Bush (43) and Clinton and Nixon. Bush was bogged down in the Iraq war in his second term and Clinton had the Lewinsky scandal and Nixon, well, we all know about that. I hope and pray the President avoids scandal and quagmires in his second term. It would not be good for him or the country.
Now, for some analysis.
1. Whatya know, the Polls were pretty much right on the money! I have always viewed polls as primarily skewing Democratic, which is why I thought Romney would win. But they didn’t. Instead what we saw was consistent correlation between the actual vote and the polling predictions.
2. This is still a deeply divided nation. The electoral map looks more overwhelming than the vote. Obama only won Ohio and Virginia by the slimmest of margins and as I write Florida is still too close to call. This divide is sociological, not political. The geographic regions of the northeast, the west coast, and the upper midwest are separated by culture and values with the heartland areas and the deep south.
3. FOXNEWS and MSNBC lost all credibility with me, possibly forever, in their election coverage. I was flipping between those two and CNN and what I saw was cheerleading at MSNBC and a complete meltdown by some of the personalities at FOXNEWS. CNN had far better numbers (John King is a demographics stud) and analysis overall of what was taking place. It was so bad at MSNBC that I thought Rachel Maddow was going to cry for joy as she listed all the wonderful policies that will stay in place because Obama won.
4. I don’t think the election was about values or policies. It was about trust. Mitt Romney was never able to overcome the public image he had of being a mean-spirited evil Wall Street fat cat. This was coupled with the distrust about his religious leanings and his apparent willingness to say anything, kept him from gaining the trust fact. People voted for Obama because, in the end, they simply trust him and his ‘gut” more than Romney’s strategic machine.
Okay that is some baseline analysis. I still believe that our nation is a “center-right” nation in general so I wouldn’t jump to the grand conclusion that this election spells doom for conservatives and conservative causes. It does mean, however, that Barack Obama has beaten the Republicans twice, and they will never get the chance to beat him again. America likes the President. Sometimes it is that simple.
Okay, so I’ve made my analysis. Now here is what I want to see.
I want the President and Congress to work together and tackle immigration, the national debt, and tax reform. Okay–that’s what needs to happen now get to work.