While Obama had a larger popular vote and Electoral College margin than George W. Bush, who claimed to have a mandate after he won re-election in 2004, now Republicans keep insisting that Obama doesn’t have a mandate because his election victory was too thin a margin. For example, while Dick Morris predicted that Mitt Romney would win a 325 electoral vote “landslide,” he then said Obama’s 332 electoral vote victory was merely a “squeaker.”
J.T. Young in the Washington Times today makes the case that Obama’s win wasn’t all that great because if you play around with the numbers and reduce the turnout numbers from Democratic-leaning groups like women then Romney would’ve won! Plus, the conservative share of the electorate was up in 2012 and Ronald Reagan posted huge margins when he ran for president so Americans must still be looking for Republican leadership, or something.
Multiplying exit-polling participation percentage by preference percentage gives a good approximation of what the Kerry or Gore electoral impact would be on these groups so crucial to Mr. Obama’s victory. The average drop in support for Mr. Obama in 2012 from the higher of either Mr. Kerry or Mr. Gore among the five groups is 2.4 percent. Delete women from the calculation, and the average decline is 2.8 percent — almost enough to have allowed Mr. Romney to win by Mr. Obama’s 2012 popular vote margin.
Even the decline in votes for Mr. Obama by 18- to 29-year-olds compared to Mr. Kerry or Mr. Gore — 2.2 percent — is still more than enough to flip the popular vote to Mr. Romney. The declines in other demographics — blacks (2.4 percent), Hispanics, (2.8 percent) and liberals (3.7 percent) — are far greater.
Furthermore, vote totals for both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Gore came against George W. Bush, who hardly racked up Reagan-sized Republican margins.
Republicans also retain a real ideological advantage. Exit polling showed conservatives made up 35 percent of voters in 2012 and went 82 percent for Mr. Romney — hardly a conservative favorite. Liberals made up 25 percent of 2012 voters — their highest level among the past four elections and 3 percent more than in 2008 — going 86 percent for Mr. Obama. That means Republicans need only a little more than one-third of the remaining Independents to win, while Democrats need a bit less than two-thirds.
The American Family Association’s Buster Wilson even had a post-election rant arguing that even though Obama won the election 51-47 percent, Romney tied him in geography and therefore Democrats don’t have a mandate. “There’s an awful lot of red there,” Wilson claimed. He even wondered if Harry Reid is mentally unbalanced because he said that Democrats had a mandate to raise tax on top-earners.
Of course, since Democrats typically lose the rural vote, if we were simply to judge election mandates according to the colors on maps then Democrats will almost never have a mandate.
Steve Deace on his radio show yesterday was flummoxed that Obama won re-election while capturing just 22 percent of counties. Ignoring the fact that county size has little to do with population rates, he maintained that because Romney carried far more counties than Obama, America still has a conservative majority but freedom-hating liberal elites have “infiltrated the population centers” and ruined everything.
“If we fought this like the Revolutionary War was fought at times where the Red Coats stood on a line and the Colonials stood on a line and they just fired at each other, we would overwhelm them in sheer numbers,” Deace gloated, “we would steamroll them.”
What has happened here is we’ve been outflanked. Enemies of freedom and liberty, what they have done is infiltrated the population centers so that they run the editorial boards of almost every major newspaper in your city, they ran the government school board in almost every major city in America, they run even things to the point like the art center, who is on the board of your city’s art center? The statists are, the secularists are, the progressives are. They are running—they have outflanked us. If we fought this like the Revolutionary War was fought at times where the Red Coats stood on a line and the Colonials stood on a line and they just fired at each other, we would overwhelm them in sheer numbers. First of all, most of them don’t believe in guns, that’s one advantage. The other thing is we would overwhelm them in sheer numbers, we would steamroll them, I mean they could not defeat our sheer numbers. But what has happened is the enemies of freedom and liberty have outflanked us, they have been strategic in their thinking and that’s where they have concentrated their resources. So we are a mile wide but an inch deep, they are the exact opposite, they are about a foot wide and a mile deep.
Basically, Obama can only claim to have a popular mandate if he wins the least populated areas of America.