News from the Votemaster
President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 12 points among women, while Romney beat Obama by 8 points among men. This gap of 20 points is the largest ever recorded. Second biggest was 1984, where Ronald Reagan carried both men and women, but carried men by 18 points more than he carried women.
Many conservatives genuinely believed the stories bouncing around the Internet, talk radio, and Fox News about how Obama was toast and Romney would win big. Pundit Dick Morris, for example, predicted Romney would crush Obama with a total of 325 electoral votes. He got 206. The election results came as a huge shock to many of them and they are searching for explanations. The obvious one: Romney was a poor candidate and people didn't like what the Republican Party has to offer is too painful, so there is a market for other reasons. Sabrina Siddiqui has compiled a list of the most popular ones.
- It's the media's fault: they reported only Romney's gaffes and not Obama's
- It was Hurricane Isaac's fault for wiping out a day of the Republican National Convention
- It was Hurricane Sandy's fault for giving Obama a chance to act presidential
- The fact checkers were biased
- Romney was too nice
- Romney wasn't conservative enough
- Chris Christie swung the election by praising Obama for helping New Jersey
- The Democrats suppressed the vote by attacking Romney's business record
- Americans are ignorant
- Liberals bought the election
- The 47% of the country who are moochers voted for Obama
Some of these things have interesting consequences. The Republicans were hit by two hurricanes, Isaac and Sandy. Does this mean God is a Democrat and was trying to send a message?
Mark Newman of the University of Michigan has produced a map of the presidential election in which each county is colored red or blue depending on who won it. He also has cartograms and other maps of the election, which are reproduced here under the Creative Commons license.
It is pretty striking how many counties Romney won. It is also striking that Obama got 2.5 million more votes than Romney. If the blue counties are as blue as the red counties are red, that means that more people live in the small number of blue counties than in all the red ones combined. In other words, while there aren't many blue counties, that's where most of the people live. To give an example of this disparity, 3.8 million people live in the 469 square miles of the city of Los Angeles. This is half a million more people than the combined populations of Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, which together cover 1.6 million square miles. These four states are 3,400 times larger than Los Angeles but have appreciably fewer people. In other words, while the land area of the red counties is vastly greater than that of the blue counties, there are hardly any people living in many of them.
The map clearly shows Obama's strengths: the Northeast, the upper Midwest, the West Coast, and the Colorado-New Mexico axis. There is also some strength in the South. In Southern Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are full of New York transplants who are strong Democrats. There is also a blue band that curves down from North Carolina. These are counties with large black populations.
In a potentially far reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which plaintiffs want to strike down Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This law was enacted by Congress because many Southern States used all kinds of tricks to suppress the vote of black citizens. The law requires a number of southern states and counties to get permission from the Dept. of Justice before changing their voting laws. Given the propensity of state legislatures to change the voting laws in 2011 for the partisan advantage of the Republicans, if the Voting Rights Act were to be struck down as unconstitutional, it is virtually certain that the affected states would immediately pass voter ID and other laws with the express intention of suppressing minority votes. Most of the states affected are in the deep South and very red, so nothing much would change, but five counties in Florida and 81 counties in Virginia are also affected, and laws enacted after a Court decision could have a great impact on the 2014, 2016, and future elections.
Gen. David Petraeus, who has often been listed as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, won't be making the run. Actually he didn't say this literally. What he did say was that he has zipper-control problem and is resigning his post as Director of Central Intelligence.
The New York Times has a story suggesting that Petraeus had an affair with Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate who now lives in the swing state of North Carolina. Broadwell spent a lot of time with Petraeus in Afghanistan, where she was writing a book about him. When you are stuck in an awful place like Afghanistan, far from home, with few recreational opportunities, and are hanging out with an attractive young woman who worships you, well, stuff happens. Bill Clinton survived affairs because he is a charming rascal. Petraeus is not. There is no chance at all now that he can get the nomination of the family values party in 2016. This is great news for Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie. They just have to make sure they pick their biographers with great care.Email a link to a friend or share:
Nov09 How Did Each Pollster Do?
Nov09 Long Lines Mar the Voting Process
Nov09 What Can the Republicans Do To Recover?
Nov09 Welcome to the 2016 Campaign
Nov09 Gerrymandering Gives Republicans the Edge in the House
Nov08 Heidi Heitkamp Wins North Dakota Senate Seat
Nov08 Florida Hasn't Been Called Yet
Nov08 Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy Has Hit a Demographic Wall
Nov08 Liberals Did Well on Tuesday
Nov08 Puerto Rico Wants to Be a State
Nov08 Senate Races in 2012 Will Affect 2014
Nov07 Election Results
Nov07 Whither the Republican Party?
Nov07 The Blame Game Starts Today
Nov07 How Did We Do?
Nov07 About Last Night
Nov06 Live Blogging of the Election Tonight
Nov06 Here Are the Final National Polls
Nov06 The Race to 270
Nov06 Democrats Poised to Hold the Senate
Nov06 Legal Challenges Are Ongoing
Nov06 Poll Closing Times
Nov06 How the Right Will Rationalize a Romney Loss
Nov06 How the Left Will Rationalize an Obama Loss
Nov06 Why Did Obama Actually Win
Nov06 Why Did Romney Actually Win
Nov06 Could There Be Faithless Electors?
Nov06 Women Could Clean Up in New Hampshire
Nov06 Marriage Equality on the Ballot in Four States
Nov05 Please Take This Short Poll
Nov05 Obama Continues to Surge in the National Polls
Nov05 Dutch Newspaper Reports Romney Avoided $100 Million in Taxes
Nov05 Analysis of Key Races in All 50 States
Nov05 Florida Election in the Courts Already
Nov05 Voting Equipment Still Not Verifiable
Nov05 Could Unreadable Signatures Be the Hanging Chads of 2012?
Nov05 Positive Campaign Ads Have Essentially Vanished
Nov05 Russia Lambasts the U.S. for Undemocratic Elections
Nov05 Neither Presidential Candidate Seems to Have Senatorial Coattails
Nov05 New Jersey to Allow Ballots to be Sent in By Email
Nov04 Obama Appears to Have Momentum
Nov04 Thanks to the Supreme Court, Early Voting Is Still Taking Place in Ohio
Nov04 Will the Aftermath of the Storm Affect the Election?
Nov04 Obama's Gamble on Demographics
Nov04 Maybe Pot Smokers Will Determine the Next President
Nov04 What Do People Want from the Next President?
Nov04 Conservatives Are Seeing the Beginning of the End for Romney
Nov04 Close Elections Are Nothing New