By the numbers, this year was not a great victory for the Democrat Party. Yet, it was a great failure of the Republican Party to win the confidence of Independents.
For those that want to call this a democratic mandate, some historical reference is in order. Looking back at previous second term elections, we see that 2012 provides the least significant “mandate” for a returning President in recent history.
1972 Nixon won by 18 million votes, a spread of 21.2 percent of the popular vote. His approval/disapproval rates were 62/28 just prior to the election.
1984 Reagan won by 16.8 million votes, a spread of 18.2% of the popular vote.
His approval/disapproval rates were 58/33 just prior to the election.
1996 Clinton won by 8.2 million votes, a spread of 8.5% of the popular vote.
His approval/disapproval rates were 54/36 just prior to the election.
2004 Bush won by 3 million votes, a spread of 2.4% of the popular vote.
His approval/disapproval rates were 53/44 just prior to the election.
2012 Obama won by 2.6 million votes, a spread of 2.2% of the popular vote. His approval/disapproval rates were 52/45 just prior to the election.
More voters were disenfranchised in 2012 versus 2008 for 119 million voted this year compared to 131 million in 2008.
In 2012, Democrats continued to enjoy greater number of registered voters than Republicans. In fact, Democrats have 18% more registered voters than Republicans, and 6 million more Democrats than Republicans voted in 2012. Republicans win national elections when more independents affiliate with their views than with those of the Democrats. Yet in 2012, Republicans failed to make up this 6 million-vote party vote gap when only 3.5 million more Independents voted with the Republicans than with the Democrats.
What was the greatest factor in the independent voting gap in 2012? JOBS! 23 million Americans were either unemployed or underemployed. Add in their spouses and 40 million people were concerned in 2012 about where they would find money to make mortgage payments or even to buy groceries. 5.5 million Americans are the so-called 99ers have long since stopped collecting unemployment checks and whose need for immediate employment is dire. Add to this list the 15.7 million Americans whose homes are underwater, and what we have is a confidence crisis in America.
Polls did not ask these folks affected by this confidence crisis who they believed in 2012 would most likely support them with a social safety net, but if they had, the numbers would have been overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats. For the Republicans to have won in 2012, they would have had to overcome this confidence crisis by ensuring that those affected by joblessness could quickly become employed by the Republican job plan. Otherwise, those voting for Romney would be in an even direr financial crisis than now. Obviously, Romney did not overcome their fears.
What was required for Romney to win in 2012 was a jobs plan that could ensure immediate employment of those that voted for him, such as my plan that can be found at thrivingpath.com. The electorate measured up his jobs plan and found it wanting.