The pre-election polls suggested that the 2012 US Presidential Election is a cliff hanger, too close to call. In fact, on percentages it was so, but a look at the final electoral college votes tally suggested it to be a landslide victory in favor of the incumbent president. There was a lot at stake in this important election. Of late, America was drifting too far to the right. During the Reagan presidency, America took a quantum leap towards the religious and financial right. Bill Clinton tried to reverse this trend, but he got a strong rebuff from the right leaning members of both houses of the US Congress. After a disputed and divisive 2000 election, George W. Bush Junior won the presidency and set the clock backward again and as a consequence dragged the nation into its worst recession since the great depression of 1929, 30, 31.
The day President Barack Obama took his oath for his first term on January 20, 2009, a lot of conservative Americans decided to derail his presidency. The mid-term election of 2010, upset Barack Obama’s apple cart completely. The conservative Republicans came as an avalanche and took control of the lower house of the US Congress. After that election every presidential right or wrong initiative got completely bogged down in the House of Representatives.
The ultra-conservatives in the American society, spurred by the “Tea Party Agenda” made the 2012 presidential election a referendum on the policies of President Barack Obama. For some time, the president was fighting with his back to the wall. But Obama is a resilient fighter. He decided not to give in tamely. This is how this election warmed up as the costliest presidential election ever. Both sides raised more than a billion dollars each and spent it lavishly.
Entire sun-belt, barring the large states of Florida, New Mexico and California was completely deep red (meaning solid Republican territory). This area includes the states of North Carolina (15 electoral college votes), South Carolina (9), Georgia (16), Alabama (9), Louisiana (8), Texas (38) and Arizona (11). The Democratic candidates have no chance of winning in this area.
Entire pot-belly of America consisting of the states of agricultural Mid-West was also deep red, untouchable for the Democrats. This includes Tennessey (11), Kentucky (8), West Virginia (5), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), Kansas (6), Oklahoma (7), Arkansas (6), Mississippi (6), Iowa (6), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Wyoming (3), Montana (3), Idaho (3), Utah (6) and Missouri (10). For the Democrats, even this area was unconquerable.
Similarly for the last few elections, the Republican Party has no chance at winning in California (55), Oregon (7), Washington (12), Illinois (20), New York (29), New Jersey (14), Massachusetts (11), Maryland (10), Delaware (3), Connecticut (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Maine (4).
There are only a handful of states, which are still considered competitive for both parties. These include Virginia (13), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), New Hampshire (4), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Minnesota (10), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), Nevada (6) and Florida (29).
President Barack Obama and his spin doctors worked hard for each vote in all these states and eventually ended up winning all these and a winning plurality in the electoral college.
The groups that voted heavily for the president include 93% of the African Americans, both male and females. 71% of the Hispanic voters also voted for the Democratic Party. Amongst the white young working women Barack Obama got at least 45% votes. In this election, the Jewish community sided overwhelmingly with the Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The Asian Indian community, which constitutes a little more than 1% of the total population voted 88% for the Democratic Party candidates. My own guess is that not more than 33% white males have voted for Barack Obama. In the end game the president got a little more than 50% votes and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney got a little more than 48% votes. If California had not voted decisively for Barack Obama, he might have lost in the popular vote count, but still would have won the presidency, due to obtaining more votes in the all important electoral college.
This victory is not only of the Democratic Party, but also of the middle-class and the poor. This victory is for the immigration rights of the Hispanics and other ethnic minorities. This victory is for the rights of reproduction of the women, who become pregnant due to rapes or incest. And it is a defeat for those, who want to give tax concessions to the very wealthy who, have been enjoying massive tax breaks for the past twelve years without creating any jobs in America.
President Barack Obama’s way of raising election funds has been unique in America’s electoral history. Through e-mails, he has been seeking small donations starting from three dollars per head and upwards. Those who were giving money were also committing themselves to supporting his candidature. On the contrary Mitt Romney was raising funds from millionaires and billionaires. They were far fewer in numbers, though capable of donating millions.
President Barack Obama deserves our congratulations on putting up a brave fight in the face of extremely heavy odds. It may not be incorrect to say that he has snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.