Obama wins re-election with old coalition and Ohio boosting his candidacy

President faces daunting challenges, including a $16 trillion national debt and uncontrolled growth in the costs of Social Security and Medicare.
Wire
Nov 7, 2012

President Barack Obama won a second term Tuesday, defeating Republican Mitt Romney after a long and bitter campaign that revolved around questions of how to accelerate the economy and the proper scope of government.

Obama swept Ohio and the other battleground states, accumulating a solid majority of at least 303 electoral votes despite the nation's sluggish growth, high unemployment and partisan gridlock in Washington.

Obama held a slight lead in the national popular vote as of early Wednesday morning. Shortly before 1 a.m., Romney called Obama to concede.

In the last week of the campaign, Romney and GOP allies made a dramatic push for Pennsylvania, putting $11 million worth of ads on television, but Obama carried the state handily, along with New Jersey.

Obama won in large part by reassembling his coalition of young and minority voters. He had a huge advantage with Hispanics, the nation's fastest growing ethnic group, which was crucial to his winning Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.

It was fitting that Ohio, the most heavily targeted of the electoral battleground states, put the president over the top.

Four years after his historic election as the first African American president on a message of hope and change, Obama faces daunting challenges, including a $16 trillion national debt and uncontrolled growth in the costs of Social Security and Medicare.

The partisan makeup of Congress was projected to stay the same, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats the Senate. Already, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R., Ohio) said his caucus would not support a tax increase as part of any deal to close a $1 trillion deficit.

The results of the election will shape the nation's course in an age of austerity at home and peril abroad, between limiting the reach of the federal government and cutting expensive entitlements, or maintaining a safety net and spending more to stimulate the economy and bolster the middle class.

Romney and Obama had competing visions on taxes, federal spending, health care and foreign policy, notably how to respond to Iran's nuclear ambitions and what to do about the rising power of China.

Obama was fighting to avoid becoming the third incumbent in the past three decades to be denied a second term. Democrat Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and Republican George H.W. Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton in 1992.

For all the sharp differences between Obama and Romney on broad principles, both of them were often vague on the details of their policy proposals.

Romney called for cutting income tax rates by 20 percent across the board and said he would offset the cost by eliminating tax breaks, but failed to specify which ones, as nonpartisan think tanks questioned the validity of his math. He also proposed overhauling the Medicare system so that, within a decade, beneficiaries under age 55 would receive a fixed amount of money from the government with which to buy either private health insurance or public Medicare-like coverage. But Romney declined to explain in detail how the new plan would work.

For his part, Obama never unveiled a detailed agenda for a second term, except to say that he would stop the harm to the middle class that he argued would come from Romney's approach, and promising, in general, to finish work left undone from his first four years.

During the campaign Obama said he wanted to overhaul immigration laws to provide a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, though he had failed to introduce legislation to do so in the first term. Obama also said he would spend more money on education and continue to invest in the development of alternative energy.

With a weak economy, and an unemployment rate approaching 8 percent, Obama began the election season in danger, his job-approval ratings well below 50 percent. After all, no incumbent since FDR had been reelected with unemployment higher than 7.2 percent.

So Obama and his team of strategists turned to making Romney unacceptable. They zeroed in on his record as founder and chief executive of the private-equity firm Bain Capital, attacking him in an early barrage of attack ads in battleground states as a vulture capitalist who profited from buying companies to drain them of their assets, lay off workers, and ship jobs overseas.

The image seemed to sink in, and it looked in September as if Obama was pulling away after a series of Romney missteps, including a video showing the Republican at a swank fund-raiser dismissing the 47 percent of the electorate that does not pay income tax as moochers with a victim mentality.

Then the game-changer: the first presidential debate Oct. 3 in Denver, when Romney offered a forceful critique of the president's record and blunted some of his more conservative positions as Obama stood by, listless. Romney began a slow and steady rise in the polls, nationally and in swing states.

In recent days, Obama stopped the erosion in his support as he led the federal response to super-storm Sandy in the Northeast. The storm consumed news coverage for a week, blotting out Romney and his message.

Exit polls found, not surprisingly, that the top issue on the minds of voters was the economy. While three-quarters of voters rated the national economy as "not so good" or poor, 3 in 10 said it was getting worse, while 4 in 10 said things were improving. Half of voters said former President George W. Bush was more to blame for current economic problems, while 4 in 10 said Obama was more responsible.

Fifty-one percent of voters in early exit polls said Romney would better handle the economy, while 47 chose Obama.

And yet those polls also seemed to ratify Obama's strategy of stressing class differences. Forty-three percent of those surveyed after voting said Obama's policies favor the middle class, compared with 10 percent who said they favor the rich and 31 percent who said they favor the poor.

As for Romney, 52 percent said he'd favor the wealthy with his policies, compared with 36 percent who said the middle class and 2 percent who said he'd tilt toward the poor.

Wendy Brockett, 51, a married mother of two from Doylestown Township in the swing county of Bucks, voted for Obama Tuesday, as she did in 2008. She said she is unhappy with the economy, but felt the president had been "dealt a pretty bad hand."

She added, "Romney would be good for people earning good money. We have to have a strong middle class and I feel Obama's plan has a better chance of making that happen."

Ohio, the state that became pivotal to the outcome, was particularly fertile ground for Obama. He was able to remind voters that he had saved the auto industry with a federal bailout of Chrysler and GM, which he championed. Romney opposed the deal, which became a liability in a state where one in eight jobs depend on the auto industry. Exit polls of Ohio voters showed that 59 percent supported the bailout.

Recognizing the threat, Romney began airing controversial ads in Ohio that suggested Chrysler was planning to move jobs from its Jeep assembly plant in suburban Toledo to China -- which the auto company, its competitor, GM, and independent fact-checkers said was false.

Chrysler is planning to open a plant in China to sell Jeeps there, but said it was increasing jobs in Ohio.

"It clearly backfired," said Philadelphia-based Democratic consultant Daniel F. McElhatton. "When people can say, 'We know this isn't true because we live it,' then anything else Romney said becomes a lie."

Obama also benefited, exit polls said, from a sizable advantage among women. The president's reelection campaign stoked that gap as the race tightened by hammering Romney's opposition to abortion rights and vows to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

___

By Thomas Fitzgerald - The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT) Inquirer staff writers Jennifer Lin and Kristen Graham contributed to this article.

(c)2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

KURTje

Told you.....

jack langhals

You sure can't be proud.Go to job cuts .com and see how many jobs he loses us everyday.

TOPGUN01

hard to belive there are so many dumb REPUBLICANS OUT THERE!YOU BACK SOMEONE THAT WILL CUT YOUR OWN THROAT!!WE WILL NEVER RECOVER FROM 8 YEARS OF BUSH!!!

Estrella Damm

16 trillion and counting. At least next year we will all get to stand in line to get out government issue turkeys to celebrate Thanksgiving for the last time before that Christian holiday is taken away from us.

methodman

this "christian" holiday was started by the Puritans who had a "thanksgiving" day feast after every massacre of an indian tribe. Thanksgiving was celebrated this way until George Washington declared that it only occur once a year. Years later Abraham Lincoln declared it a National holiday and the rest is History. Next time choose the red pill.

Dr. Information

A State just passed a bill to fund instate tuition for ILLEGALS. Here's to 4 more years of the same old crap. The debt will increase and thats a fact, Obama will not reduce it. Welfare will go up and more and more handouts are to come. The demographics for America HAVE changed. To the 50% of the people who think they are entitled to handouts, congrats, you got what you wanted. Just wait till Obamacare hits. Jobs and healthcare coverage will both decrease.

Its unbelievable that people can actually stand for this man and support him. Black Panthers again hanging out at polling places intimidating people. Barack Obama flags and banners hanging on walls at polling places.

This country is heading over the cliff and when it does, don't look around for the business people like myself to bail you out like Obama has.

Nevertheless, if things get better, if unemployment drops significantly like promised. If the debt is reduced like promised, I will be the first to say I was wrong about him. But that wont happen. This country is doomed. 20 Trillion in debt, here we come.

all fact or all...

And where did your ancestors come from. This is a country built on the backs of immigrants. Why do you assume no one wants to work. And the black panther remark sounds as tho you may have some predigest, do you have any people of color working for you since you say you are a businessman?
And when you make remarks like this "To the 50% of the people who think they are entitled to handouts, congrats, you got what you wanted." You are referring to Senior citizens who get SS checks after working their entire lives , military people who are receiving disabilitiy because they lost limbs fighting for your liberties and freedom, veterens who put in 20 years or more for their country an get a punny retirerment, Students who are striving for a better life, ooops and even rich people. Not everyone is on food stamps! If the do nothing congress would start working together and get people back to work we would all be much better off. If everyone would stop acting like spoiled kids and work together to make this country a great place it would be better for all of us. It seems as though it's like the Civil War all over except the sides are Democrates and Republicans.

Here are your 50% people that don't pay federal taxes!

Many are elderly

Many are poor--they pay payroll but don't make enough for federal (under 20,000.00) a year.

A few are rich:
While a majority of those who don’t pay income tax don’t do so because they are either elderly or don’t earn enough, there are “some exceptions to the old-or-poor rule,” says Roose. One big, rich exception: the roughly 3,000 members of the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers—they earned more than $2,178,866 in 2011—who paid no federal income tax

Many hail from conservative states :
Romney argues that the 47 percent he’s referring to in his sound bite will always vote for Obama, but, according to David A. Graham at The Atlantic, a disproportionate amount of those people actually reside in red states—which typically vote for Republican candidates. Of the 10 states with the highest percentage of people who pay no income tax, nine are red states

Some are young people and students.
You are all over the place with if he does help then I will say I was wrong but in the next breath you say it won't happen.

ladydye_5

Yes built by IMMIGRANTS....NOT illegals. The Irish, Germany, Italian, Chinese etc that came here YEARS ago did so legally. They learned the language, they worked and paid taxes, they did what their country asked of them. THey came here for a new life and they built a new life. The many illegals come here for FREE HANDOUTS. There were reports of Black Panthers in Cleveland standing around polling locations. You can google it yourself.

Dr. Information

lady...you have to realize who you are arguing with above......they just do not get it.

jack langhals

Are you saying it is hard to win an argument when they have been stupid longer? I wonder what he would do if 2 million Canadians came over the border,they probably work hard too.

all fact or all...

Makes me wonder if your ancestors learned to speak Arapaho, Cherokee, Seminole, Apache..I am sure you get my drift. I bet not, we ran them off their land and took it for ourselves. So what makes you think they don't want a better life, and do you think Mexico called the Romnny's illegals when they fled to Mexico when the US banned poligamy? We all have issues but they won't ever get resolved with the hatered spewed on here.

jack langhals

Why do we conservatives have to comply with the laws and you libs can do what you want?What the hell are we paying those idiots in Washington to pass laws, if they are not going to apply to all?

all fact or all...

Were are paying them to do exacatly that "NOTHING". The Repubs have held it to a do nothing congress.

Dr. Information

@all fact. So if we do not want to accept gay marriage, pot smoking, illegals, funding of schools for illegals we are wrong. Here is the problem with America. Its really not a democracy at all. We have changed our laws and the way we live for the most part because of the constant griping by the minorities in any situation. Wear a flag shirt to school and some Muslim gets offended, so they ban shirts with the American Flag on it. Have a dress code, but we change it for Muslims. Kid wears an American and proud of it shirt on cinco de mayo and the kids gets removed from school because a Mexican complains about it. Can't fly your American flag in your neighbor hood because some immigrant complained to the HOA and instead of telling them to stick it, its easier to just give in.

I for one have no problem with people coming to America to better themselves. However, they need to do it by our LAWS and do it LEGALLY.

Instead what do we get, millions of illegals costing states billions a year and a president that wants to give them all a pass. Lets not also forget the illegals that were registered to vote and thankfully some were caught, but many slipped through the gate and voted. Heck, even Ohio had Adolf Hitler registered to vote this past election.

Keep giving in America and we will be one big social melting pot where nobody knows who and what they stand for.

all fact or all...

Like Obama, George W. Bush Let Illegal Immigrants Stay and Work in the US.
When President Barack Obama decided to allow undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as CHILDREN to stay in the country and work, Republicans blew a gasket. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) raised the possibility of impeachment. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) vowed to sue the administration in court to block the move. And Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accused Obama of putting "partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people."

So why no negetive remarks from you about Bush or any other president that let illegals stay. And it is not just Mexicans, there are Asians and believe it or not 6% of illigals came from Canada. I think you have a bigger problem..all I here is Muslims , Cinco de Mayo, Black Panthers, etc. Also check out all the seniors retiring in Mexico, and check out the fact that Mexico has illegals from the US. I don't know about you but, I was taught we are one Nation under God..Not one white nation under God.

Dr. Information

I made the exact same argument when Bush was in office. This isn't about race, its about coming here legally, bottom line. Spin whatever else you want to spin, I could care less.

swiss family

"Dr". I really think you have lost it... Please tell me facts, Times , places and locations of anyone being told that they can not fly their American Flag in their neighborhood....And the truth you are looking for when you talk about wearing shirts to school with American Flags on them, and not allowing them in school... if you could open your mind and your eyes a little , you might see that the reason that standards are put in place like that, is because if you allow "patriotic" shirts to be worn, someone will decide that they have a loyalty to the Nazi's or Russia or to the White Nation etc, and then if you have allowed it for any group, you would have to allow it for all... like it or not.. that is how freedom works, especially in todays America with so many deadly weapons from box cutters to knives to guns in our schools, the last thing we need is a "nationality" fight to break out....I have to say though that I am confused about your comment about "accepting gay marriage, pot smoking.illegals"etc... maybe you misunderstood the question... I did NOT think they or anyone was asking you that IF YOU RAN THE COUNTRY WOULD YOU ALLOW GAYS, POT ETC... that was not the question asked of you to vote on.. the actual question , the way that I see it.. was..."as an American Voter, do you think that all people deserve freedom, freedom to choose what they do with their minds and bodies, and who they may and may not love, and if they may smoke a natural herb, which has been proven to be less dangerous than the alcohol that is freely bought and sold in this country..I am afraid that you mistook the question... lets take Ann Coulter... I would think that the majority of thinking people do not like some well most of what she says..BUT IN a FREE country with free speech she has a right to say it... and burning the American flag.. in a free society it must be a protected freedom, although it will highly offend , probably 86% of the American people .. the question is .. do they have the freedom to choose to be responsible for their actions?? if we take those freedoms away, along with pot, and gay marriage.. then we are no better that the third world countries that will not tolerate what they deem to be "radical" actions...Sorry Dr. but if you made your choice acting like you are the supreme ruler, then you messed up...I would hope that next election, you could put some more thought into your important vote

sanduskysteve

You mentioned a state that passed a law - tell me how you figure Obama is to blame for that??? He did do that - if it was a state law passed. I never heard anything this election about black panthers either - where did that come from? You also didn't understand those who are "entitled" it's 47%, not 50%. And while you are on your high horse - remember who you are talking about - military personell overseas on active duty - senior citizens who are retired - people who are not employed - children who aren't old enough to work yet. Just to name a few. Are you honestly that vain that you think you are more important than those people??? If you say it long enough - it still won't make it true - even if you start to beleive it.
Also, the debt is not going away no matter who is in office - the debt only increases by the amount of the deficit which starts over each year. The deficit has actually not moved up very much each year since Obama took office - the biggest thing that the deficit in increasing from is the war which Bush did not include in the budget to PREVENT an even higher deficit. When it got included - it caused a higher deficit than should be there - and each year - the deficit is added to the debt - increasing the debt. But the debt doesn't start over each year like the deficit does. The debt is increased by the deficit each year though.
And it is still not proven that Obamacare will destroy jobs - in fact, it will save lots of money and if the employers would just READ it instead of taking Rush's word for it they would understand it doesn't have to effect them one bit.

jack langhals

You must not have any news sources,they were once again at a polling booth in Philly.There was a large mural of Bozo at one polling precinct and a judge told them to cover it.They covered it with a sheet of 8x10 on one corner.He has already threatened those that were with me will be rewarded, and those that were against me will pay.I got a feeling you will pay as well !

betrump

THEY...lol. There was one black guy in a beret standing outside a polling place, bothering no one. ONE GUY in ONE PLACE! Too funny.

sanduskysteve

Well, if they were at your place in PA, I didn't see them anyplace else and I'm sure that FOX news would have been all over that if it were true. Even without PA, obama would have won - so it didn't matter. Obama won because people were tired of hearing lie after lie from Romney and his flip-flopping on everything - as well as his decision to NOT give out any information about his plans for anything.

Contango

After approx. $9B in national campaign spending for Congressional offices and the Presidency the verdict is:

Status quo.

Now on to the Fiscal Cliff and the debate over the raising of the federal debt ceiling.

☭ FORWARD SOVIET! ☭

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : Believe it or not. When I asked for a write-in ballot yesterday. I was given one with 5 or 6 candidates already on it.Then,told I could not write in my own choices. When did that change ? Bottom line: Your crushing defeat is even worse,then previously thought, as you got zero votes.


P.S. Selfishly, I am extremely happy today with the results. All my marines said no re-enlistment if obama won

Contango

@ Cliff Cannon:

You obviously missed my channeling of the spirit of LBJ (may he burn in H*ll):

If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve.

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango: Totally love, as well as agree with your lbj ( note the small letters) sentiment.Thanks,I feel better already :)

jack langhals

Hey Cliff,where is Swiss ?

kaejcc

I just look at the bright side...it will be his last term. Of course he can (and will) do a lot of damage in the next four years. Let's pray it can be repaired.

justsayin01

I was told that Congress has a lot of say, and that Obama only is half at fault. Is that true?

sanduskysteve

yes, it is absolutely true. Obama cannot sign a bill into law until congress writes the bill and passes it themselves first. And congress has the power to stop a bill whether it is good or bad for us.

Contango

@ sanduskysteve:

Ever heard of Executive Orders or agency regulations?

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