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Le Figaro, France

How to Understand
Romney’s Defeat

By Pierre-Yves Dugua

Translated By Meredith O'Connell

8 November 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

The exit polls from the election are interesting, even taking into account the fact that some of the answers may not be exactly true. Below are two figures taken from such a poll conducted by The New York Times; the paper endorsed Barack Obama.

Married voters who voted for Mitt Romney: 56 percent.
White voters who voted for Mitt Romney: 59 percent.

My conclusion: most white married couples voted for Romney.

I understand that it's not politically correct to cite statistics that indicate race. I know that in France this practice is practically forbidden, but I'm writing this blog from America, a country where social sciences are still influenced by statistics.

Another group of numbers shocked me; I thank my friend Didier V. for having brought to my attention this mystery. It doesn't have to do with a poll but the total number of votes cast in 2012, compared to 2008.

Total number of votes cast for John McCain in 2008: 59.9 million.
Total number of votes cast for Mitt Romney in 2012: 57.8 million.

What happened to the 2.1 million Republicans who voted for McCain? Let the research stats talk.

At the same time I note — Obama fans close your eyes — that 8.8 million pro-Obama voters also disappeared between 2008 and 2012!

It is possible that the 2012 data is temporary. Could the tallying of votes by mail and other unaccounted votes change these results? But here's my current conclusion:

1) Many Republicans appeared not to have voted for Romney...my friend Didier V. believes that Romney's Mormonism scared off certain Christians. Evangelist voter experts, explain what happened?

2) Nearly 9 million Americans appeared not to want Obama back in office.

Here I know that I'll be ripped apart for having dared write this figure.

Barack Obama was reelected. He had a comfortable advance in the electoral college. This advance by a slim margin led to victory notably in Virginia and Florida. But geographically his victory lay in several regions.

On the other hand, there isn't a huge surge of Democratic voters. His reelection was a success because it's rare in this time of crisis that a head of state is reelected. One shouldn't denigrate this success, but it's not necessarily [a sign] of popular opinion. Half of America didn't vote for Obama; a large majority of white, married Americans don't have confidence in him. I'm sorry for this; it's a source of weakness for his second term. This is bad news for America. I would prefer that it was otherwise.



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