EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final edition of National Journal’s N2K Presidential Race. Through 257 editions, the mission has been to bring you the latest developments and NJ’s take on the race each day. We sincerely hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have.
President Obama's surprisingly wide margin of victory on Tuesday night tells two deeper, longer-term stories: the story of a dangerously homogenous Republican Party and a Democratic Party dangerously dependent on an unproven electorate.
Exit polls show a Republican Party that is becoming increasingly dependent on white and senior voters. Mitt Romney won 59 percent of white voters who cast ballots this year, and 56 percent of voters over 65. This, as the white vote has shrunk precipitously as a percentage of the electorate.
Meanwhile, Democrats are getting a larger share of the minority vote. Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, showed similar gains among Asian-American voters, and won 93 percent of the black vote. Younger voters, too, are becoming entrenched; six in 10 voters between the ages of 18-29 voted for Obama this year.
Put simply: Republicans are winning a larger share of a shrinking pool of voters as Democrats are winning a larger share of a growing pool.
Already, those two facts raise questions about the GOP's chances in future presidential elections. But when Democrats come down from their election-night high, they too must consider the future. After all, the man who inspired the coalition that propelled them to victory will never again be on a ballot.
At the current pace, Democrats' elation in 2012 could be replaced by despondency in 2014 if they can't boost turnout among voters who only showed up for Obama. And Republicans won't have the chance to install a president without a much broader, more diverse coalition, one they have so far been unable to build. Read more
—Reid Wilson, Hotline editor-in-chief
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Obama Gets Second Chance at a Mandate
[National Journal, 11/7/12] NJ's Ron Fournier defends his call that Obama did not earn a mandate with his win, arguing that mandates are earned through a president's actions following an election.
GOP Factions Grapple Over Meaning of Loss
[New York Times, 11/7/12] Coping with a postelection hangover, some Republicans blamed tea party candidates for alienating mainstream voters, while others argued that Romney lost because he was too moderate. Politico writes that the "soul-searching" in the party must begin.
Markets Sell-Off in Wake of Obama’s Win, Fears Over Europe
[Washington Post, 11/7/12] Concerns over the president’s ability to reach a deal with Congress to avert the looming fiscal cliff have helped drive American and European stock markets down more than 2 percent since his reelection Tuesday night. Interest rates on Treasury bonds took an even more dramatic dive.
Nate Silver-Led Statistics Men Crush Pundits in Election
[Bloomberg, 11/7/12] Despite the aspersions cast by many pundits in the days leading up to the election, Nate Silver’s model correctly predicted the presidential results with remarkable accuracy. Polling firms Gallup and Rasmussen both whiffed. Meanwhile, Time takes a look inside the Obama camp's data crunchers.
Analysis: Now What?
[National Review, 11/7/12] The editors of National Review fault Romney personally for failing to make a strong case against the Affordable Care Act and the party at large for failing to convince the majority of Americans that their economic policies would benefit them. They also encourage House Republicans to accept fiscal compromise. Meanwhile, the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page argues that Obama's "ugly" win did not earn him a mandate.
Obama’s Reelection Secures Health Care Reform
[CNN, 11/7/12] Gone with Romney’s presidential ambitions are Republicans’ hopes of repealing the Affordable Care Act, many provisions of which have already been implemented. Next year will see a new Medicare tax on the rich, and in 2014 companies with at least 50 employees will be required to provide them with affordable insurance.
After All That, Political Status Quo Remains
[National Journal, 11/7/12] A funny thing happened this election cycle, as NJ’s Matthew Cooper writes. Voters who said we were on the wrong track decided to stay on the train anyway.
Doomed Beyond All Hope of Redemption
[American Spectator, 11/7/12] Robert Stacy McCain writes in the conservative magazine regarding Obama’s election win: “I am convinced America is doomed beyond all hope of redemption, and any talk of the future fills me with dread and horror.”
Obama Victory Speech: What a Difference Four Years Can Make
[National Journal, 11/7/12] NJ’s George E. Condon Jr. writes that the president’s victory speech was every bit as important and every bit as aspirational as the one he delivered in 2008, while reflecting a newfound maturity that comes from having endured a rough first term. Meanwhile, The Times argues that few expect Obama to change Washington anymore.
Obama Wins by Marrying the New Democratic Coalition with the Old
[National Journal, 11/7/12] Obama held enough states to win a comfortable margin in the Electoral College by navigating the new and old Democratic coalitions. But his victory was tenuously equivocal: Obama is the first elected president since Andrew Jackson to win a second full term with a smaller share of the popular vote than he took the first time.
Opinion: GOP Moderates Lost When They Nominated Romney
[New York Magazine, 11/7/12] Jonathan Chait writes that the nomination of Romney doomed the moderate Republican cause, and he argues that nominating someone like Rick Perry would have been much better for the centrist wing.
Ryan Emerges From Campaign With Higher Profile, 2016 Options
[National Journal, 11/7/12] GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s immediate future lies on Capitol Hill as Congress heads into a showdown over the looming fiscal cliff. But the bigger question, NJ’s Rebecca Kaplan writes, is whether his own bid for the White House is on the horizon.
China says Obama Win Offers Opportunity to Mend Ties
[Reuters, 11/7/12] Chinese media offered some hope for future U.S.-China relations following Obama's reelection, saying that ties were uneven and “whittled down” in the president’s first term.
The Strategy That Paved a Winning Path
[Washington Post, 11/7/12] The Obama campaign strategy was a sustained advertising assault that cast Romney as a heartless executive, a man who willingly fires people and is disconnected from how average Americans live their lives. The Wall Street Journal details the campaign's risky go-negative-early strategy.
A More Impressive Win Than in 2008, and a More Important One
[The Atlantic, 11/7/12] James Fallows argues that Obama’s win is impressive in many ways, namely that he was able to--warts and all--persuade Americans to send back to office its first African-American president.