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Friday Roundup: Election Take-Aways

Obama Vs Romney. Photo Courtsesy Malwack, CC BY-SA.

Obama Vs Romney. Photo Courtsesy Malwack, CC BY-SA.

  1. Who voted for whom, compared to 2008? According to the Washington Post, in 2012, Mitt Romney won more independents, more white voters, more black voters, and more educated voters than John McCain did in 2008. The big shift: Hispanic voters. Romney was only able to capture 26% of the Hispanic electorate, compared to John McCain’s 35% in 2008. The overall trend in swing states is that Romney did better than McCain did in 2008--but the effort simply was not enough.
  2. How historic is Barack Obama’s second victory? As James W. Ceaser mentions in The Weekly Standard, an Obama’s victory is the first time an incumbent has received less of the popular vote in their bid for re-election--and still been re-elected. Obama’s re-election also means that Democrats have held all 18 “blue-wall” states since 1992, a record that Spencer Green points out is the most states Democrats have won since the formation of the party system in 1828. Green goes on to write that Obama’s swing state strategy varied based on the prevalence of the “old” and “new” Democratic coalitions: working class whites and the combination of young voters, ethnic minorities, and college-educated women, respectively. The Obama campaign succeeded with a historic amalgamation of different voter groups.
  3. What now? President Obama invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week to begin working out a deal to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff.’ John Boehner said he was open to “responsible compromise” that would not include increasing tax rates. Obama responded by saying that any approach needed to be “balanced” and that the American people had expressed their support for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans by re-electing him.
  4. An look at what could have been: Romney set up a transition site in the event he won. It was quickly taken down. Additionally, the Boston Globe disclosed that the Romney campaign purchased and planned an eight minute fireworks victory-celebration in Boston harbor.
  5. The Election, By the Numbers:
  • $6 billion The total amount spent on this election, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsive Politics. That's $700 million more than the previous "most expensive election" in history—2008—and includes money spent by the campaigns, outside groups, and independent organizations.
  • $970 million The estimated amount spent by outside groups during the 2012 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data.
  • $874.6 million The amount that went toward Obama's re-election this election cycle, with the Obama campaign burning through $553.2 million, the DNC spending $263.2 million, and the biggest Obama Super PACS spending $58 million.
  • $844.6 million The amount that went toward Romney's candidacy this cycle, with the campaign spending $360.4 million, the RNC adding $284 million, and Super PACs adding $200 million.
  • $78 million The amount the two campaigns spent on online advertising throughout the race, according to FEC data reviewed by the online marketing firm Ward Room. The data shows that the Obama campaign spent $52 million on online ads while the Romney campaign spent only $26 million. To put it in perspective, it was more than the cost to build the Lincoln Memorial ($40 million) and the Washington Memorial ($28.4 million).
  • $30.33 The amount the Romney and Obama campaigns spent every second this election cycle on your vote (that includes everything from rallies to banners and TV ads), according to Federal Election Commission data.
  1. New Hampshire to Become 1st State with an All-Female DC Delegation: Democrats retain the Senate and in fact expanded their hold – now at 54 seats. The Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to be considerably more liberal than the one it replaces. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Angus King of Maine (nominally an independent) replace Republicans. Tim Kaine of Virginia is more liberal than was retiring Senator Jim Webb.  Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Chris Murphy of Connecticut are more liberal than Herb Kohl and Joe Lieberman. Elizabeth Warren will be one of the strongest voices in support of Mr. Obama's policies, and may even push the president leftward.
  2. Maine and Maryland became the first states in which voters approved gay marriage. It had failed previously in 32 states, including in Maine as recently as 2009. In addition, Wisconsin elected the first openly gay U.S. senator in history, with Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s (D) victory over former governor Tommy Thompson (R). In Minnesota, a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was too close to call, with neither side receiving majority support.
  3. Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the production, sale and possession of recreational marijuana. Though we note that other states, including Massachusetts on Tuesday, have legalized medical marijuana.
  4. In keeping with their reputation, Florida is having trouble counting. There were reports of voters still waiting in line at 1 A.M., long after the polls had closed. Some ballots were 10-12 pages long, and in multiple languages. As of Thursday, the state’s more than 50,000 absentee ballots were still being counted.
  5. The Republican Party broadened its hold on governorships to 30 states on Tuesday, with a takeover of North Carolina's chief executive post…The GOP not only became the first political party in a dozen years to capture at least 30 governor's offices; its victories Tuesday mean that no Republican governor has lost a general-election campaign in five years.

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