Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Brown People Count -- and Other Election 2012 Lessons for Republicans

Early on during election night, even before President Obama was announced the winner, I watched a Fox News pundit soberly realize, as she put it, that Republicans need to realize they can no longer win many races without "brown people" and that they perhaps "overplayed" the whole Obama is a socialist thing.  Gee, you think? 

Grog's Gamut opened my eyes to a few other insightful take-home messages:  1) "All Obama lost from 2008 was Indiana and North Carolina which voted Republican even when Clinton was running in 1992 and 1996, let alone when George W won in 2000 and 2004. So it wasn’t a case of Romney making inroads, but more just getting back what the GOP used to take for granted"; 2) math and science rule; and 3) yes, the electoral map still looks like roadkill if you just look at land mass,

but the margins of victory at the county level may tell the more important story: 
 "Where Obama won big was in the big cities; where Mitt won big was in places that didn’t matter because they were never in play – such as Utah...
In Colorado for example Obama won big in and around Denver and Boulder. In Florida he won the Miami-Dade Country with 62% of the vote – that county had around 829,000 voters, next door in Broward County he won with 67%. It has around 719,000 voters. Together those 2 counties account for nearly 20% of the entire state’s vote.  In Ohio it’s the same story." [Grog's Gamut, 11-7-12]

Grog goes on to point out that radical Republican/Tea Party logic just will not win you votes in national and statewide elections in many states, nor will trying to appeal to (or trying not to piss off) that illogical segment of the population.  I think many Republicans fail to appreciate this. 

In a Facebook conversation I had with some local Republican friends hoopin' and hollin' about Scott Brown's loss to Elizabeth Warren, like they were born and raised in Massachusetts or something, I echoed that theory of flawed TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party logic.  Especially in the MA Senate race, I believe it boiled down to this:  Republicans  underestimated how much people are hurting. People want health care and to not be raped by their credit card companies more than they want tax cuts. Tax cuts aren't bad, but what the hell am I going to do with a tax credit I have to spend money up front to take advantage of if I don't have any money in the first place?

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