The Outcome

According to Fox Newsexit polling and a Fox News interview (sorry about the lead-in ad) with Dick Morris (who had, the day prior to the election, predicted a Romney win at 9:1 odds), the American electorate has changed.  Morris had based his prediction on the electorate makeup of 2008 being an aberration; Tuesday’s results strongly imply that this is now the makeup of our electorate—2012 is not materially different from 2008.

In fact, the changes aren’t great in absolute terms; the black vote was 11% of the electorate in 2004, and the Hispanic vote roughly 8% then.  Those small changes, though, were enough to put Obama over the top, 51%-49% in the popular vote (the Electoral College outcome is a function of the discrete state by state allocation of those votes, despite the fundamental closeness of the popular votes in several states with large Electoral College contingents).

Here are the ethnic group numbers from that exit poll [the last column and row are added by me; numbers don’t sum to 100% due to rounding and because I omitted the 2% “Other” category]:

Are you:




% Total Electorate Voting Obama/Romney





















Total Non-White % Voting Obama/Romney



With this breakout, the Democrats start out with a 4:1 advantage in the non-white demographic.  Even accounting for the black break-out being accentuated by the presence of a black candidate, it seems clear to me that the advantage is strongly for the Democratic Party—still nearly 4:1.

Morris suggests that the Republican Party needs to “change its positions” in order to reach these other folks; otherwise they’ll never win another election.

I disagree.  The conservative Republicans’ positions are sound.  What they need to do is a better job of communicating, a Republican weakness of long-standing.  They need actually to approach these groups and talk directly to them in their neighborhoods.  This is what the Democrats have been doing for years.

Mitt Romney made a speech to the NAACP, but neither he nor his representatives ever went into the local neighborhoods where blacks live.  He never talked directly to blacks.

Mitt Romney’s Spanish-speaking son made a few speeches to Hispanic organizations in Florida, but no one went into the neighborhoods there—or in Texas (which as a state went for Romney, but not the Hispanic population), or in Illinois, or in New York, or in California, or in…—to talk directly to Hispanics where they live.

Mitt Romney didn’t even pay lip service to the Asian demographic.

As I said, Republicans need to improve their communications skills, not alter what they stand for.  Those are sound principles, and they’ll draw all Americans, not just a select few.  Medicare, for instance, was painted as a huge vulnerability for the Republicans—their view that Medicare needed to be sharply revised in order to survive and their specific plan for achieving that revision were supposed to be Republicans’ undoing.  A look at the exit polling at the above link, though, shows the soundness of the Republican position: voters 65 and older went for Romney 56%-44%, and those 45-64—the group beginning to think about and to get serious about planning for retirement—went for Romney 51%-47%.

What are the Republican principles?  Christian Whiton offers a useful summary in a piece that also centers on communications:

…a society that wants to survive must not punish those who play by the rules or are successful.

…a private market allocates resources better than even smart Ivy Leaguers working for a government bureaucracy.

…the American century only ends when we decide we’re no longer exceptional in mankind’s history, and choose the European model of decadent decline over a destiny of freedom and self-reliance.

The principles are worth fighting for (or the United States is no longer that self-reliant, personally responsible, free market nation that it has been heretofore); the message needs to be brought to all of us, not just some.

3 thoughts on “The Outcome

  1. I agree with the improving their communications skills, and that skills include how to communicate. The way to communicate with white and black and Asian are totally different. They need to come to their level. Depends on the audience, sometimes, they need to use very simple ways to address very complicated issues. The key is to gain people’s trust.

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