On Tuesday, Barack Obama won a sizable Electoral College victory — and a narrow popular-vote victory — over Mitt Romney, ensuring his second term as president. AEI’s Election Watch team met two days later to discuss what the election results reveal about the makeup of the American electorate and what they imply for the country’s immediate political future.
Michael Barone explained that although Obama was the clear winner, the victory was not one for big-government ideas, because Obama’s campaign was too retrospective and negative. EPPC Senior Fellow Henry Olsen — whose pre–Election Day memo offering remarkably accurate election predictions has garnered significant praise — acknowledged that the Republican Party needs to become more inclusive if it hopes to win on the national level.
Among those voters surveyed in the exit polls who said a presidential candidate’s most important attribute was that he “cares about people like me,” Obama beat Romney by 81 to 18 percent. Because of this, Olsen alleged, the GOP must begin to appeal to a larger, more diverse group of constituents. Ornstein agreed, noting that, as in 2010, the Republicans lost some statewide races that they should have easily won.
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