Winners and Losers of the 2012 election
The red, white and blue confetti has been cleaned up at McCormick Place, and nearly all of the results are known from Election 2012.
Here’s our take on who did well and who did not.
Winner: Barack Obama
The president faced stark questions about his desire after a less than inspiring convention speech and an abysmal first debate. But he rallied sufficiently to win re-election and further cement his place in American political history.
Winner: The Democratic Ground Game
In 2008 Obama’s team destroyed primary opponent Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee in the digital arena. This time, the battle was waged on the ground, and the Democratic forces prevailed.
Winner: Black voters
While this campaign did not have the same historical barrier-breaking character as the 2008 contest, several black voters with whom we spoke said it was even more important due to the contrasting agendas presented by the two major candidates. High black voter turnout in the Philadelphia area played a significant role in Obama’s carrying Philadelphia, CNN reported.
Women accounted for 53 percent of yesterday’s voters, just as they did in 2008. And more voted for President Barack Obama than Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The results? The 2012 election voted in a historic number of women into the U.S. Senate: Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and state Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
What’s more is that Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Richard Mourdock (R-Ind.), GOP Senate candidates who made controversial comments about rape, were both defeated.
Winner: LGBT Community
The 2012 elections made history as Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to legalize gay marriage. In Minnesota, voters against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state. Minnesota became the first state to defeat such an amendment when on a ballot.
Winner: Latino voters
Both parties were fighting to get the Latino vote, and yesterday’s results indicate that the Republican party has yet to patch some holes in its relationship with Latinos. President Obama won the Latino vote by 44 percentage points, 8 percentage points higher than in 2008. Latino voters helped Obama win the swing states of Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia. With their numbers growing, Latino voters started to flex their electoral muscle.
Winner: Young voters
The 18- to 29-year-old group got out to vote more than in 2008. Obama’s margin wasn’t as wide among young voters as it was four years ago, he still carried their votes by 24 points.
Winner: Bill Clinton
The star of the Democratic Convention zipped across the country with Vice President Joe Biden while Obama campaigned elsewhere and responded to Hurricane Sandy. More than 10 years after he left office, the man still knows how to rouse up a crowd and help close the deal in heated political races.
Winner: Nate Silver and the use of data
Despite getting a lot of criticism from many quarters in the build up to the debate, the stats guru held his ground and ended up passing the latest electoral test with flying colors. Also worth mentioning in this section are fellow data whiz Sam Wang and the pollsters whose increasingly sophisticated pulse taking give these gentlemen their material.
Loser: Mitt Romney
The Republican nominee’s six-year quest for the presidency ended with a whimper. His initial debate performance appeared to tighten the race temporarily, but what had been predicted to be a contest whose result would not be known until late in the evening concluded far earlier. Even though SuperPACs poured unprecedented amounts of money toward Romney’s campaign, the candidate’s seeming willingness to say anything to get elected hurt him.
Loser: The idea of a united country
Obama’s popular vote may end up being two to three percentage points, but the totals were extremely close throughout the evening. More basically, a vast gap of understanding exists within and between states. Obama’s offering an olive branch in his victory speech may not be enough to bridge the divide.
Loser: Ohio voters
According to an ABC News estimate, Ohio TV viewers sat through an onslaught of more than 219,000 political attack ads. The New York Times reported that Kantar Media estimated that more than $3 billion would be spent on political ads this cycle.
Loser: Non-battleground states
Ohio alone received more than 80 visits from Obama and Romney. That’s more than many other states combined. More generally, the nine battleground states received the lion’s share of the campaigns’ attention and energy.
Loser: Sheldon Adelson
The casino billionaire and Romney’s biggest cheerleader dumped millions into the Romney campaign. Millions he could have spent on just about anything else. Adelson’s contribution were part of a $6 billion expenditure for all races, reports the Huffington Post.
Loser: The GOP
The Tea Party wing cost Republicans Missouri and Indiana Senate seats. At the House level, Tea Party hero Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Rep. Allen West (Fla.)lost, though Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) managed to keep her seat in the House. Significant losses from the presidential level to Congress should come as a red flag for the Republican party to take a moment to reassess the more extreme elements of its platform.
Loser: Climate Change
Neither candidate really addressed climate change during the 2012 presidential race. President Obama was forced to respond to Hurricane Sandy in the midst of an expensive and close race, though it’s unclear as to how he’ll address environmental policy in his second term.
Loser: Donald Trump
Co-authored by Azra Halilovic, Hoy editorial intern.