Ouch! The Day-After Ohio Catharsis

While I prepared for an Obama victory, I was honestly expecting Romney to win.  The 5:00 exit polls came in and showed a tight race, and that worried me.  Then we fell for Lucy’s football again as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were called for Obama at the same time that Florida and North Carolina were still undecided.  I think that’s when I believed that Nate Silver of the 538 blog was going to be right.

So I’ll go deeper into the counties as time goes on, and I think we’re going to really look at what happened with turnout.  Obama got 268,000 fewer votes in 2012 than he had in 2008, Romney got 107,000 fewer votes than McCain, and finally to rub salt in the wound, John McCain would have beaten this year’s Barack Obama by 6,000 votes (some votes still out, but you get the idea).  Where did these John McCain voters go?  Did Romney really move too conservatively, or was the Tea Party too loud?  Was it that he was the Massachusetts moderate who authored Romneycare? Did the economy-only campaign allow the lady parts argument to go unchallenged?  Could it really have been a Mormon issue?

I2012 County Election Results‘ll just show two maps and then continue to cry in my beer.  The first is the county win/loss map which shows a greater urban shift than was seen in 2008.  The Ohio River counties did not vote for the Democrat.  It was the larger cities throughout the state turned out for Obama, as well as smaller counties that have state universities.  If you watched FoxNews last night, you saw Karl Rove get upset that the call was made with Hamilton County (Cincinnati) only 25% counted.  Well those suburbs didn’t matter as this is apparently no longer a Republican county.  The cities stereotypically have more minorities, more service jobs, and more union members.  Jack Kemp was the last Republican that I can remember that would talk directly to urban residents and provide conservative solutions.

2012 Ohio County Election ShiftNext we have the “Shift” map from the New York Times.  They unfortunately use arrows instead of bubbles, but it is interesting to look at.  We see that while cities still gave much of their support to Obama, the Republican actually made gentle inroads.  Much of the map of Ohio and of the United States show red arrows as Obama generally underperformed his 2008 result, and the larger arrows on the east and west edges are nice.  But then there are the blue arrows.  What is going on in south-central Ohio?  Those counties gave Romney 52%-59% of their vote, but why the decrease from McCain?

A very disappointing election.  After we lost in 2008, I thought “OK, we have four years to make an argument.”  Well we made a strong argument based on constitutional principles and against the progressive agenda.  Now we have four more years of Obama.

After spending my youth as a liberal, I began to realize that my Democrats were simply not capable of delivering what they were promising.  I realized that arguments like “Republicans want dirty air” just didn’t make sense.  I first needed to accept the fact that I could be wrong before I decided that, in fact, I was wrong.  It was only then could I listen to Rush Limbaugh with new ears, and understand the bigotted treatment of Clarence Thomas with new eyes.  And only after using my mind to wrestle through these ideas could I consider voting for a Republican.

Best of luck to the Republican governors, who now hold 30 seats across the country.  We need to rethink how we address the national agenda either a conservative or a Republican perspective because as of right now, we’re lost.