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Huanqiu, China

Angry Whites” Unable to Propel
Romney to Victory

Translated By Nathan Hsu

10 November 2012

Edited by Lau­ren Gerken


China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

As predicted by this column, U.S. President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the general election, successfully winning a second term in office. Throughout the campaign, most pundits were not particularly optimistic about Obama's electoral chances, as the U.S. unemployment rate remained high and national polls indicated similar levels of support for the two main candidates, without a clear statistical separation.

The results of the election showed that Obama had won just over 50 percent of the popular vote, only two points higher than Romney's 48 percent. Despite the small difference, however, it was overall a persuasive victory. Perhaps more importantly, winning the majority of voters' support helps to consolidate Obama's authority. This is because his presidency is now reinforced by that most basic principle of democracy, the will of the majority, despite some pundits' pre-election estimations that he would garner less of the popular vote than Romney and would thus have to rely on a greater number of electoral votes to win.

The main reasons for Obama's victory are the nine crucial swing states: He won at least seven, while Romney only won in North Carolina. Results in the remaining state, Florida, had not been determined at the time that this article was published [Editor’s note: Barack Obama ultimately won Florida], but will not have an impact on the final result. Victory in seven swing states, as well as the retention of all of the traditional Democratic strongholds, allowed Obama to win over 300 electoral votes, far surpassing the 270 needed to win the election.

In the hotly contested swing states, Obama's media campaign and ground game seemed better focused, outperforming Romney's on every count. Obama was able to retain the support of almost all of the minorities who backed him in 2008, including black, Hispanic and Asian voters. Furthermore, there was no obvious loss of support among women voters, which indicates that his campaign successfully reached target voters and not only gained their support, but also impressed upon them the urgency of voting. A pre-election poll showed that Obama's supporters were more enthusiastic about voting than Romney's.

Romney and the Republican Party must take a lesson from their defeat: In today's America, relying solely on angry whites as a base while opposing social welfare, immigration, etc. is a position from which it will be completely impossible to win a presidential election.



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