What is in this article?:
- Last fall, The Cook Report suggested Democrats would pick up between 10 and 15 seats in the House of Representatives and that Republicans could pick up a seat or two in the Senate.
- The September analysis was pretty accurate.
- This Congress remains “the most polarized House in history.”
The new demographics show a decrease in the voting strength of white America. Ronald Reagan captured 56 percent of the white vote in 1980 and won by 10 points. In 2012, Governor Romney captured 59 percent of the white vote and lost by 4 points. In 1980, the white share of the electorate stood at 88 percent. That share dropped to 72 percent in 2012.
Wasserman also said Obama’s “ground game” was superior with 678 field offices compared to Romney’s 252.
Back in the early fall, political forecasters were suggesting that for Obama to win re-election, he would have to re-energize his base and convince African American, Hispanic and young voters to vote in the numbers they did in 2008. Wasserman said then that Obama needed to “juice up the base,” to shore up support from Hispanics, African Americans, and young people.
Pollsters then were skeptical, but results show voter turnout of those three segments was significant.
The youth and Hispanic vote each increased by a percentage point; the African American vote remained the same as in 2008. Obama won all three by huge margins. The white vote was down by 2 points and Obama’s share of the white vote was down from 43 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2012.
Wasserman said “an improved perception of the economy” also helped President Obama, even though he “has spent much of his presidency in the danger zone,” with a GDP below 2 percent. “But, just in the nick of time, unemployment’s small drop breaks a big barrier,” he said. The unemployment rate’s drop below 8 percent was good news for Obama. “Above 9 percent is unfavorable for Obama; below 8 percent is favorable.”
Also, by Election Day people were expressing a more positive outlook on the economy. A survey showing that 44 percent thought the economy would improve in the next 12 months was the “most optimistic in three years.”