The polls have closed, the final count is in, and the American people have spoken. Four more years! The Democrats secured a victory Tuesday night as President Obama was announced as the United States chief executive, giving him a second term as our Commander in Chief. Although many buckled down for what was thought to be a long and suspenseful night, the results of the election came pouring in early, leading many analysts to predict Obama would be reelected before 12 am Eastern time.
Still, Romney was slow to concede as results had not been finalized in some of the key “flip states”, where he continued to closely trail behind the Obama administration for much of the night. These states included Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado. As the night progressed Obama was expected to take all of Colorado’s electoral votes. Romney’s side soon realized even with the help of Ohio, Florida, and Virginia he would not have enough to win the election. This realization forced the Romney campaign to concede and by 1 am Eastern time, the former Governor of Massachusetts came out to speak to the crowd who somberly and patiently awaited his arrival in Boston.
Romney’s speech was brief and gracious. He reconfirmed his position of concern for the country and left the crowd by thanking those who supported him and blessing the Obama administration with good fortune in reinvigorating the United States. Obama’s acceptance speech soon followed in his home town of Chicago. The crowd cheered as Obama, the First Lady, and their two daughters entered the stage. The tone of Obama’s speech focused on “hope”. He stated that he looked forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans on restoring the United States to its past glory and insisted that our differences will never compare to our vast similarities as American citizens. He left the people, but not before reassuring the public that this election had not only changed him, but has pushed him to be a better President.
Wednesday, votes continued to be counted in Florida; on Thursday, it was confirmed that Florida went for Obama, giving him a total of 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. The unofficial popular vote totals were Obama 60,841,020 or 50%, and Romney 57,941,135 or 48%.
With some absentee and other votes still to be counted, the Governor trails the President by approximately 2.9 million votes. This is a much narrower margin when comparing this election to the election of 2008 when McCain competed with Obama for the Presidency. This number along with the results of Tuesday’s election for the Senate (controlled by the Democrats) and the House of Representatives (controlled by the Republicans), show a clear division in this country. With a country that is divided nearly in half, many question the ability of the country to get things done and solve the most difficult problems America faces. [I don’t think you can say the future of the country is in question. That’s going too far.]
Analysts say that the relatively narrow margin of victory leaves the Obama administration far short of a governing mandate, with many citizens unhappy with both the leadership and the direction of the country. With Congress essentially unchanged, they say it will be difficult for Obama to get things done and that over the next four years he will need to look to the people of the United States to decide what is to come instead of going straight to Congress. One thing is clear, without the support of nearly half of the American population, and no majority in the House of Representatives, Obama cannot go to Congress demanding that the American people have spoken and support his politics.
The results of this election also show that the Republicans have significant work to do if they wish to be successful in the future. Analysts feel that the party will need to reinvent itself in several ways. Some of the key topics is how America is evolving demographically and, if the Republicans don’t make radical changes on their political perspectives, they may have trouble being successful in future elections. For instance, the Hispanic vote has become increasingly important, representing the fastest-growing segment of the population. The percentage of the white electorate decreased this election even further than four years ago to 72% (some believe that Romney would only win if this percentage was 74%). Therefore, if the GOP wants to regain the White House in four years they will need to become more active in gaining support with Latinos.
Furthermore, we saw three states—Washington, Maryland, and Maine—approve gay marriage. This is a huge change in American values, especially as these states in recent years have opposed gays to enter into this union. All of this shows that although a small minority of people may feel Romney lost last night because he wasn’t Conservative enough, a vast majority of people believe that the Republican Party will only be successful if their future candidate remains moderate in social views.
Regardless of what side you’re on, it’s clear that both Democrats and Republicans have substantial work to do to rebuild the economy and the first order of business needs to be compromise!
…President Obama managed to round up a victory in the last week, as he found an unexpected ally in hurricane Sandy. As the polls teeter-totter back and forth, Obama, in all his presidential glory and poise, instilled some faith back into many doubtful Americans as he tended to the needs of those affected by Sandy. Embarking on the last full week of the campaign trail, each candidate made strategic changes to their individual schedules. Subsequently, Sandy put the campaign on pause as President Obama left the campaign trail to offer support and comfort to all those affected by the storm. The Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christy, welcomed and praised the President, creating controversy especially among the Republican Party. Choosing to fulfill his commander-in-chief duties with his presence along the east coast resulted in a boost in the polls. ABC news is reporting that Obama has gained an 8% lead with Independents after this week events. As of today the Mayor of NY, Mr. Bloomberg, a former Republican turned Independent, endorsed Mr. Obama given the events of the past week. All in all, it has been argued that this distraction was good for his campaign. Meanwhile, Romney strategically put aside his campaign speeches and used the storm as an opportunity to connect with society and raise money for all those affected.
With the race to win the swing states escalating, President Obama is expected to return to the campaign trail Thursday stopping in Colorado, Nevada and Wisconsin. The majority of polls show that the candidates are close to tied in the other states as well. In perhaps a last ditch effort, Romney launched a 50 million dollar ad blitz, strategically set to heavily campaign Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, what were once, if not still, considered to be heavily democratic states. Likewise, Obama’s campaign is set to increase ads in Michigan. Current polls show Obama now leading in Iowa, but the two candidates remain neck and neck in the majority of other swing states.
Overall, the week has been mildly dull with FOX, ABC and the Washington Post reporting an even tie between the candidates. However, Gallup’s recent release showed that using a 10-point scale, 62% of Americans rate Barack Obama favorably and 55% rate Mitt Romney favorably. They noted that the most popular candidate on this measure doesn’t always win. CBS and the New York Times re-affirm that President Obama is maintaining his lead over Governor Romney. Romney’s knowledge about the economy and Obama’s connection to the Middle Class appears to be keeping the undecided voters, simply undecided. This week demands that we acknowledge the candidates are running a tight race, perhaps tighter than we all know and gives rise to the excitement that next Tuesdays results will yield.
We hate ties and we certainly aren’t a wishy washy blog but, with little shift in the polls, only a marginal win for Obama in the debate, and no new developments in the race, picking a winner for this week would be like splitting hairs. The debate was a toss up with both sides claiming victory. In the post debate polls Obama appeared as the winner, but not by much. The President was vigorous in the debate and went after Romney’s credibility. Romney played it safe, not taking the president’s bait and letting go many of the fights. Overall both candidates got their talking points in and no blood was shed.
While no gaffes were uttered during the debate that set social media ablaze, Obama’s “horses and bayonets” quote is this week’s “binders full of women”. In this election social media is playing a key part in the younger demographic and for political communication overall. With the debates over , there will be many aftershock mentions throughout the social media realm but should remain somewhat silent until we get closer to the debate. Upon review of the social media sites and statistics it is clear that there was no real clear advantage to either candidate in debate three which plays an essential role in the tie this week. Looking back through the social media history of this election one interesting result is the political memes and comical posts, which create great comical relief.
…By the slightest fraction of a hair is Barack Obama. At this stage in the election process where you can count the days instead of weeks before the election, it is all about who can make the bigger headline or just not stick their foot in their mouth. This past week there were two debates: a Vice-Presidential debate and the second Presidential debate; and each was a golden opportunity to both parties. This week’s decision to give President Obama the win has a few different factors that played a role.
First was last Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate. During this debate, Vice-President Joe Biden learned from his partner, President Obama, that being soft spoken would not win a debate. Mr. Biden came out onto that stage full of fire and small town sass. While Joe Biden’s body language and occasional condescending remarks to Paul Ryan were off putting, the substance and the knowledge he portrayed outweighed those faux pas. It is true that in one poll Mr. Ryan did best Mr. Biden, but this particular survey was amongst all debate viewers, which includes decided voters and traditionally Republicans are more involved in politics than are Democrats. In the poll done of only undecided voters, Biden convinced 50% of undecided voters that he had the advantage.
Then on Tuesday night was the second Presidential debate where although Mitt Romney once again edged out a memorable one-liner, it was President Obama that came out victorious. Unlike the Vice-Presidential debate polls that followed, President Obama was given the advantage in both categories of all registered voters and undecided voters. These were the successes that the Democrats needed to close the gap the Romney had created in last week’s debate. What they need now is for Tuesday’s New York debate to be more impressionable with people that Denver’s tragic loss. What cannot be ignored from the opposing side is of course “binders full of women.” While answering a question about women’s equal rights, those words slipped from his mouth causing a social media field day and spawning more memes and gifs.
[As our blog is posted every Thursday night, these are some brief initial impressions from the Vice Presidential debate. First off, Biden clearly wasted no time moving on the attack. For the first 45 minutes of the debate it was evident that Biden had come to win, as he dominated the debate over Ryan. While he made valid points, however, America was more focused on his incessant laughter whenever Ryan spoke. It came across as extremely rude, demeaning, and unprofessional. His interruptions grew throughout the debate, forcing Ryan to even politely ask him to stop. Ryan appeared a bit timid right from the start but came into his own later in the debate. He rattled off numerous facts and statistics as expected which helps the audience better understand the situations America is facing. The instant polls following the debate differ in the winner, as the CBS instant poll claimed Biden the winner with 50 percent respondents electing him the winner as opposed to 33 percent for Ryan. On the other hand, the CNN instant poll had Ryan four points ahead of Biden- 44 percent for Biden to 48 percent. ]
Who won this week, you ask?…it’s a DRAW! For the first time in a long time Romney has pulled ahead of Obama in polls after last week’s first of three presidential debates where most pundits declared victory for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney appeared both more relaxed and more focused; the President seemed listless, giving long-winded answers and struggling to make the case for his own re-election.
However, this week we believe it’s a draw because neither Romney nor the president landed any knockout blows subsequent to the first debate. Romney couldn’t celebrate his victory for too long, because soon enough Obama recovered from last week’s debate, attacking Romney for his stance on anti-abortion legislation. The President also received high marks this week for the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8% percent. This is the lowest level of unemployment we have seen since the President took office in January of 2009. Romney’s campaign gave very vague and contradictory answers proving to look unprepared and ill-equipped. Romney also gave a traditional foreign policy speech on Monday at the Virginia Military Institute, which proved to be surprisingly short on policies that differ greatly from Obama’s, but he is likely to bring that up in one of the next debates, especially the final debate which is devoted to foreign policy. But once again, no one took the obvious lead this week.
But last weeks debate’s effect on the national and swing-state polls cannot be overstated. The RealClearPolitics composite poll, which had Obama up by 3.1 points on the eve of the debate, now shows Romney in the lead by less than a point. As of today Romney is ahead in polls leading by a mere 0.7%. It looks like this debate is no longer an easy re-election for Obama. According to the economist, “in the remaining 28 days neither candidate—barring a major foul-up—is likely to establish a polling lead equivalent to what Mr. Obama enjoyed for more than a month. Instead, we are in for a photo finish whose outcome may very well be determined by the choices of a handful of undecided voters, and by which campaign is more successful at getting their voters to the polls.”
Well, uhm, you see, IT’S MITT! Wednesday night’s debate at University of Denver was mission critical for the Romney Camp as he went in an average of over 3 points below the President in the national polls (Obama: 49, Romney: 46 as of 6pm PST). In the weeks leading up to the debate many pundits have even gone so far as to say that the race was already over, an easy re-election for Obama. The President won the coin toss, getting the first word, and he spoke with as much calmness and candor as expected. But Romney’s performance in the debate showed that he’s ready for a race. It was his first chance to battle it out face-to-face with the president with 59 million people watching. He came out punching and forced the President to defend his record, citing the high unemployment rate and sluggish economy.
Jim Lehrer tried without success to moderate the debate, with plans for six rounds of fifteen minutes each, focusing on domestic issues revolving around the economy, health care, and the role of government. However, those plans went out the window as Lehrer failed to be in control of either side, or enforce the set time limits. The opening on taxes lasted over 20 minutes, and the President talked four minutes longer than Romney. With that said, it is interesting that Romney did not try to attack the President on his lackluster foreign policies, specifically the “terrorist” attack in Libya that killed three Americans. He is likely to bring that up in one of the next debates, especially the third and final debate, which is devoted to foreign policy, but is appropriate and respectable that he didn’t try to use the debate on domestic policy as an avenue to do so. The President appeared ill-prepared after only three days of debate prep in Las Vegas. Romney managed to maintain the offensive, and as we say “If you’re on the defense, you’re losing.” After the debate, many national polls had the two candidates neck and neck (Obama: 47, Romney: 47). This advance comes at a crucial point for Romney, as Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th) is just over a month away, and early voting has already started in many key states.
CNN’S FLASH POLL IMMEDIATE FOLLOWING THE DEBATE SHOWED ROMNEY THE CLEAR WINNER AND MOST PUNDITS AGREED, INCLUDING DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES LIKE JAMES CARVILLE.
Even though Romney continues to lag behind Obama in the polls, he had a better week overall. Romney stabilized his campaign and was successful in shifting focus away from himself and onto foreign policy, an area where Obama has shown weakness. This week was eventful for both of the 2012 presidential candidates, and contrary to what we’ve been seeing in past weeks form the candidates, this week focused in large part on issues of foreign policy.
At Clinton’s Global Initiative President Obama focused on human trafficking and advocated for Congress to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. In addition, President Obama addressed world leaders at the UN General Assembly. His address covered protecting the rights of an individual to free speech, the attack of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and nuclear weapons in Iran.
Three Excerpts from Obama’s UN Address
- “The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America…There should be no doubt that [the US] will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice.”
- “It is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.”
- The United States will “do what [it] must” to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon
Click here for the full transcript–> http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/25/transcript-obama-address-to-un-general-assembly/
Mitt Romney spoke on foreign aid at Clinton’s Global Initiative and laid out a plan to couple aid with trade in an effort to empower individuals, encourage innovation and reward entrepreneurs.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) celebrates its eighth anniversary this year and was established in 2005. “CGI convenes a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media,” according to its official site.
Three Key Points from Romney’s speech at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative:
- Free enterprise is the only system that creates a prosperous middle class. Free enterprise not only makes us better off financially, but “it can make us better people.”
- Our foreign aid is not always effective. For example, the case of Afghanistan’s economic development.
- By coupling aid with trade and private investment we will be able to empower individuals, encourage innovators, and reward entrepreneurs.
Why Romney had a better week.
Analysis: If you’re explaining then you’re losing
Orange County politician Todd Spitzer recently shared some of his axioms, one of which was “If you’re explaining then you’re losing.” Basically, being on the defensive is not a position you want to be in. As expected, both candidates were criticized in the media this week. Obama’s speech addressing the UN Assembly was “in many ways a balancing act” for the President according to New York Times writer Helene Cooper. This balancing act was evident throughout his speech as its main points seemed intended to appeal to a broad audience, both domestic and international. The tipping point for Obama this week was in the events surrounding what happened, or more appropriately what didn’t happen, at the UN General Assembly. In past weeks, Romney has been on the defensive explaining himself, however this week President Obama has some explaining to do.
On the other hand, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, though speaking on a smaller scale, still had a large impact overall this week. Although he was criticized for his off the cuff comment regarding airplane windows, Romney was able to focus on his policies regarding foreign aid and further advance his campaign interests as opposed to explaining himself like he has predominantly had to do in recent weeks. Mitt Romney is the candidate who, for once, is not on the defensive. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a better week than President Obama.