This election should not have been close given the results after four years of Obama and the Democrats, but not only did Obama win reelection Democrats gained seats in the Senate. The 2010 Republican resurgence did not last. How could this happen?
· Changing demographics = The American electorate is very different than the one that elected Ronald Reagan and even George W. Bush – ever less religious, ever fewer whites, ever more Hispanics, ever more single women, ever more food stamp recipients, ever more who work for government.
· The successful 50-year Democrat Dependency Agenda strategy is working well – to relentlessly increase the percentage of voters who are supported by government, either via a government job or a welfare check. Add to that the single adult women, who now (I hear) outnumber married women and who look to big government as a surrogate husband, and the Democrats have a growing and reliable voter base.
· Romney ran on primarily one issue – the economy. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Romney avoided or went light on most of the Obama scandals, including Fast and Furious, Obamacare and particularly the HHS mandates on abortion and birth control pills, and, surprisingly, Benghazi. Enough voters seem to still buy the line that the bad economy is primarily Bush’s fault. Also, after the first debate, Romney seemed to coast on the economy issue and went easy on Obama on all the others.
· Obama’s campaign attacked and smeared Romney as a person (rich, out-of-touch white guy who doesn't care for ordinary Americans and probably is a felon who gives people cancer), while Romney attacked Obama’s record on the economy. As much as I hate to admit it, the Obama smear campaign seemed to have some effect. Republicans can’t completely play by gentlemanly rules while the Democrats are in the gutter making inroads with low information, easily pliable voters.
· The power of the media’s relentless liberal bias is hard to counter, but Romney surrendered and accepted the premise by agreeing to four liberal debate moderators. Sure, he and Ryan did well enough, but how much better would the results have been with neutral moderators? Republicans need to aggressively challenge the premise – consistently liberal debate moderators, election after election, are symbolic of Republican self-defeating passivity.
· On the whole, social issues hurt Republicans, particularly abortion. Most voters seem to be pro-choice, at least in the first trimester and after rape and incest. Romney avoided the issue but the Democrats tried hard to make it a big one, and were significantly aided by the idiotic comments of Akin in Missouri and the misguided comments of Mourdock in Indiana, both Republicans once favored in Senate races but who lost tonight after stupidly falling for a Democrat Rope-a-Dope tactic which got them talking enough about abortion to eventually say something stupid.
· The Tea Party movement has brought much energy to the Republican party, but has been dysfunctional sometimes in ousting admittedly squishy Republicans but with good election prospects for more consistently principled conservatives who turn out to be bad candidates who lose elections (O’Donnell in Delaware, Angle in Nevada, and Mourdock in Indiana come to mind).
· Obama and many leading Democrats are exceptionally hostile to fossil fuels, yet coal-laden West Virginia and oil and gas-rich North Dakota and Montana today elect Democrats to the Senate. Figure that out.
The growing segments of the electorate and the Dependency Agenda voters are generally not sympathetic to the traditional American and Republican principles of limited government, individual liberty and self-sufficiency, and free enterprise. Republicans who insist this is a center-right country delude themselves. Some significant soul-searching and new strategies are needed, as well as candidates who will aggressively take issues to opponents.
Obama may well feel emboldened for these next four years, but determined Republicans in Congress will have their say, to be sure, and will pursue the Obama scandals such as Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and Solyndra-like financial corruption that have been so well suppressed so far by the liberal press.
Overall, as distressed and despondent as I am about having Obama for four more years, a free America can survive that – maybe not well, but survive it. But whether a free America can long survive the evolving electorate that decided to double down on Obama's character and agenda worries me much, much more.
John M Greco