Obama – 69.2 million votes (53%)
McCain – 59.6 million votes (46%)
In 2012, these are the results:
Obama 60.6 million (50.4%)
Romney 57.8 million (48%)
If someone told me the President would receive 9 millionfewer votes on 2012 than in 2008, I would assume Romney won; however, Romneyreceived 2 million fewer votes than McCain! This is what baffled me the most – how could 2 million people who votedfor McCain in 2008 not come back plus some in 2012 for Romney? But then I remembered Jose Canseco….
When Jose Canseco played for the Oakland A’s, I couldn’tstand him. I hated the A’s and all theirplayers, maybe Canseco the most. Butthen, Canseco joined the Rangers, and I became a fan. Suddenly, I rooted for Canseco and was gladhe was a Ranger. Same with Deion Sandersand the Cowboys. As I thought aboutthat, I wondered if my desire for Romney to win overshadowed my former dislikeof him. In 2008 and through much of the2011-12 primary, I couldn’t stand Mitt – I didn’t like his past flip flops, his“rich guy” persona, his robotic mannerisms, etc. He only won one election, lost his others,and instituted Romneycare while in office. I flirted with Pawlenty, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain, and even briefly Perry (I hadto take a long shower after that brief encounter – not my finest moment – I haven’teven voted for him for Governor and suddenly I found myself testing the watersbecause of Mitt) before I finally settled for Mitt. Mainly because Mitt won and no one was left. As the election went on, I grew to like Romneyand really hoped he would win. But ittook me 5 years to like the Governor. Could the American public warm to him in 2 months? Apparently not. The President’s campaign to paint Romney asan out-of-touch-mushy-rich-guy worked. Maybe it worked because it was partly true and I was just blinded by mydesire to win? I don’t know. I do think he is a good man and has a nicefamily, but I also know that this time last year I couldn’t stand him.
The President also lost 9 million votes due to his recordthrough 4 years in office, but he could afford that due to the large amount ofhis supporters who would vote for him even if he went on a murder spree; Romneycouldn’t afford his loss of 2 million. Soturn out, as it always is, was critical. The President had the organization and enough of a motivated base to pull outthe win. This is the first time a President has been re-elected while receivingless votes than the first time. But hiscampaign against Romney convinced enough people to stay home rather than tovote for either. Negative advertising,particularly when unanswered, works.
Of course, it cannot be ignored that the Republican Party has donenothing to reach out to Hispanic voters, and in fact has done quite a bit toalienate them, but that needs to be a post all on its own. Add to that, the Republicans nominated a fewidiots for the Senate. And, Hurricane Sandy turned out to be a time for the Presidentto actually act like a President for a photo op, get to third base with Gov.Christie, and sway last minute voters his way. But organization, dividing-and-conquering, turnout, small-mindedpolitics, fear, and negative advertising are what ultimately won this for the President. The Republicans contributed by ignoringHispanics, nominating a rich guy who may just be unlikeable to most(although hewas the best available at the time), and hoping for a different turnout. This has to change by 2016. (Marco Rubio, please study up on foreignpolicy and keep yourself out of any scandals or gaffes.)