I hate to lose, especially when I know I could have won. The Republicans could have won. There are some states that Republicans are not going to win. But if you look at an election map, it’s a sea of red with a few islands of blue, except for a few states. The big cities go for Democrats. The counties in-between most often vote Republican, if they believe it’s the right candidate.
Of all the GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney had the best governing credentials, that is, he had experience as a governor. But there were some major problems with Romney’s governing resume. I’ll get to that in a moment
Romney should have picked up Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If you take a look at a county-by-county map, you’ll notice that Obama won the large cities and the college towns. Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, voted 69% for Obama. Athens County, the home of Ohio University, voted 66% for Obama.
A similar demographic can be seen in Pennsylvania where the Philadelphia counties, Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), and Dauphin County (Harrisburg) went for Obama. The rest of the state is red.
The big cities and college towns are using the rest of the state as their personal government bank. They tax the red portions to keep the blue portions in power. Some states are hopeless. Massachusetts is a perfect example. The only thing red in the state is the baseball team.
Obamacare might be despised by a majority of Americans, but it’s not enough to overcome the big-government cities and college towns. These people vote. While they may be conservative on any number of issues, they still like free money.
The same is true of business. While they complain about high taxes, they are watching the value of their stock portfolio going up. There’s a government reason for this, as Jon Markman of MarketWatch points out:
“The administration and the Federal Reserve run by his appointed chairman, Ben Bernanke, have systematically stuffed big banks’ pockets with cash in an unending rescue effort, slashed interest rates to the lowest levels of the past 300 years, diverted senior citizens’ savings to revive the moribund residential construction industry and showered drug makers and insurers with fresh sources of revenue from his health care overhaul.”
Again, it’s hard to run against free money.
Now we get down to Romney’s political bona fides as they relate to conservatives. He came from Massachusetts, a deep blue state. He left a record of policies and policy statements that would turn off any conservative, from abortion and homosexuality to his own brand of government mandated healthcare.
Romney’s Mormonism did not help. Evangelicals make up a large percentage of GOP votes. Mormonism is considered to be a cult. Who knows how many Christians did not vote because of religious considerations.
While Romney tried to distance himself from his earlier liberal views, many conservatives just weren’t buying it. While conservatives were eager to dump Obama, they weren’t as eager to elect Romney, so millions of Americans did not vote. It was better than 2008 (365 to 173) where there was no voter enthusiasm for McCain-Palin, but it wasn’t enough. While Florida is still not counted, if the numbers hold for Obama, he will get fewer Electoral votes than he did in 2008.
The media certainly didn’t help. No matter what Obama did or didn’t do, they covered for him. The Fourth Estate has sold its soul. Brent Bozell of Newsbusters writes: “Throughout the very long presidential election cycle, two trends remained consistent. The media lauded Obama no matter how horrendous his record, and they savaged Obama’s Republican contenders as ridiculous pretenders.”
How the GOP establishment spins the election will be interesting to watch.