Why Romney lost

November 13th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Image from here.

To be fair to Romney he did get a majority of votes of white women also (by 14%) but overall lost the female vote by 11%. The margins for each gender and race demographic were:

  • White men – Romney +27%
  • White women – Romney +14%
  • Latino men – Obama +32%
  • Latino women – Obama +53%
  • Black men – Obama + 76%
  • Black women – Obama +93%

It will be difficult for a Republican to win any of the last four demographics 0 but they need to at least be a bit more competitive.

Michael Tanner at Cato notes:

The economy may have been showing feeble signs of life in the last couple of months, but it is hardly robust. No president had won reelection with unemployment above 7 percent since Franklin Roosevelt; it is now 7.9 percent. Three-quarters of voters thought the economy’s performance is poor or just fair. Throw in a health-care law that voters opposed 49 percent to 43, turmoil overseas, and assorted scandals, and an observer from Mars would have said that there was no way Romney could lose.

Yet Romney not only lost, he lost decisively.

There will be temptations to blame a poor candidate or a campaign that squandered several opportunities. And it is true that Romney was a flawed candidate, and his campaign’s strategy proved imperfect, too. He failed to press his advantage after the first debate, and seemed to switch positions at a whim.

But the Republican party’s problems go much deeper.

I don’t think Romney is why they lost. I think its is a wider issue also.

Much of the media will jump to the conclusion that the Tea Party is to blame for Republican losses. Yet tea-party candidates actually did well overall. In the House, fewer than five members of the Tea Party Caucus lost reelection.

On the Senate side, tea-party favorite Richard Mourdock went down to defeat in Indiana, a state Romney was carrying by a big margin. In Missouri, Todd Akin threw away one of the most winnable Senate seats in the country. But Akin, contrary to media wisdom, was never a tea-party candidate. During the primaries, most tea-party groups backed one of his opponents. Akin won because he had strong support from social conservatives while the other candidates split the more economically conservative vote. Meanwhile, Mourdock’s self-inflicted wounds were not a result of his tea-party background.

People often confuse the Tea Party and the moral conservatives. The Tea Party people are primarily fiscal conservatives. Some are also moral or social conservatives – but that is not what binds them together.

Asked if government does too much or should do more, exit polls showed that voters said “too much” by a margin of 51 percent to 44. Voters certainly seem receptive to a small-government message, at least in some respects, even when what appears to be somewhat more liberal and Democratic electorate is being polled.

So what went wrong? First, demographics. This election is testimony to the fact that Republicans cannot survive by being the party of old white men. The white share of the electorate has steadily declined for the last several elections, and this time around, whites accounted for just 72 percent of the vote.

As noted above.

Other demographic changes worked against Republicans as well. For example, single women now outnumber married women in the electorate, and they favored Obama by roughly 30 points. The gender gap overall was bigger this year than in 2008.

This is a huge challenge for the Republicans. In general terms, abortion is not as significant issue for married women, than single women. Single women see the Republican stance on abortion as akin to “Don’t have sex, and if you do then you must dedicate the next 19 years to raising a child should you become pregnant”.

Republicans must face up to the fact that their hard-line stance on immigration is disqualifying their candidates with Hispanics. Whereas George W. Bush once carried 44 percent of the Latino vote, Mitt Romney couldn’t crack 35 percent. To see why Romney appears to have essentially tied in Florida, for example, just look to Obama’s margin among non-Cuban Hispanics. Similarly, the growing Hispanic vote clearly cost Romney both Nevada and Colorado.

Again, I agree. No Government is going to throw out every illegal immigrant in the US. They do need stronger borders, but they also need a path to legal residency for those who are already in the US and are gainfully employed.

President Obama is likely to push immigration reform in his second term, and Republicans are going to have to find how to address the issue in a way that will not cost them the Latino vote for generations to come.

Hopefully. Obama failed to do anything in his first two years when he had a Democratic majority in both houses.

Second, social issues continue to hurt Republicans with women, young voters, and suburbanites. The problem is not just a matter of their stance on the issues, but their tone. It’s not just that Republicans oppose abortion or gay marriage, but that they often sound intolerant and self-righteous in doing so. Romney himself may not have put much emphasis on social issues, but the Republican brand was too easily associated with the words of Todd Akin.

Absolutely. There are ways you can express a view against abortion and gay marriage without offending people.

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94 Responses to “Why Romney lost”

  1. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well I was going to say something a bit silly like “the world has gone to pot since everyone got the vote” and then I thought about it a bit more and came to the conclusion that actually that phrase has some sense to it.

    As the population of any country changes from a single type of person (and culture) eg: the USA was essentially white european – to one of many cultures, and in the case again of USA it went to white plus freed negroes, then came asians then mexicans and now people from almost everywhere – sub continent indians and arabs (muslims) – then you get a whole range of demands and likes and dislikes.
    And sometimes I think that this doesnt actually really improve things because as a politician you have to appeal to all sorts of people. You have to appeal to people that actually have different demands – often opposing.
    And the only way you can do this is to push a ‘nothing’ agenda. Its difficult because you have to sound good and progressive but actually you have to be saying nothing at all – like “We Can” – which can mean ‘We can put taxes up’ to some people and ‘we can put taxes down’ to other groups.

    When this happens the concept of true statemanship is put in the wastebin. Whats seems to happen is the government leads from behind.

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  2. mikenmild (8,904 comments) says:

    Yes, when a relatively small elite holds power, it does not have to pander to diverse groups such as women, middle or lower classes, or people of a different race or religion.
    Sadly, in the 12st century we have a widespread acceptance that a government should have a fairly broad democratic mandate to rule. Even where elites dominate a particular political party, they still find it essential to pretend to care for the concerns of at least some of those problematic groups.
    In the US, the republicans will need to put forward a more convincing pretence. For now, the democrats are able to tell a slightly more credible tale.

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  3. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Romney didn’t lose by that much:

    Florida: 73,858

    Ohio: 103,481

    Virginia: 115,910

    Colorado: 113,099

    Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.

    Obama’s share of the vote dropped by 15% since 2008. If you offered that to any Republican at any time in the last 4 years they would have taken it in a heartbeat. Obama’s GOTV machine is a bit of a myth, it failed.

    The issues were really on the Romney side where a lot of social and evangelical Republicans didn’t vote, his GOTV systems and ‘Orca’ package failed badly. Romney did not react to the demagoguery of Obama from the GOP primaries up until the 1st debate, this really set the tone in places like Ohio.

    Abortion has remained legal through all 20 years of the Reagan, GHW Bush, and GW Bush Presidencies. The most the GOP want to do about it is remove state funding, but abortion would remain legal throughout a Romney Presidency. The Dems know this perfectly well but it is a useful line of attack for them when some Repubs lack the political skills to communicate their position. The majority of Americans are still pro life especially so for Latinos.

    Reagan gave amnesty to illegals in his term and I am sure Republicans would again if the border was secured first. There is a problem offering amnesty over and over again without remedying the root of the problem. This may be a good time to come to a deal so long as the border is eventually secured as illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle at the moment.

    I think Obama has somewhat of a mandate for tax increases and I think the GOP can perhaps offer up some of these $1 trillion dollars of loopholes Ryan and Romney were offering

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  4. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    mikenmild
    In the US, the republicans will need to put forward a more convincing pretence. For now, the democrats are able to tell a slightly more credible tale.

    Ok Mike, have women been able to get an abortion in the US under GW Bush, under Bush 41, under Reagan?

    And which Presidents over the last 40 years or so have done amnesty for illegal immigrants?

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  5. kowtow (6,733 comments) says:

    At 93% black women are the most dependant and racist demographic in the US.
    Democracy will fail due to universalism and the welfare expectations of growing numbers of recipients ,just look at Greece.
    It is wrong that people can vote to themselves the benefit of other people’s hard work and efforts.

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  6. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    More hamfisted analysis here. It is always tempting to blame social conservatives for conservative defeats but that rarely chimes with reality.

    The exit polls clearly show that Romney actually beat Obama among white millennials – the most socially liberal demographic of all. Given that the election was lost among hispanics and blacks – who are more socially conservative than whites – how on earth does anyone reach the conclusion that de-emphasising social issues is the way to go? The only way you reach that conclusion is if you’re predisposed against social issues and not sufficiently aware of your own confirmation bias.

    If anything, it would make more sense to ease-back on the fiscal conservatism – and least in the near term. That seems to be the lower hanging fruit, after all. Romney ran exclusively on economic management and that’s where he lost the election.

    The reality is that you can’t separate the social issues from the economic issues – at least not in the long run – because a free society can only flourish when there is a system of public morality in place. You need an awfully big welfare state to clean up after the excesses of a socially libertine society.

    At best, people who claim to be “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” are freeloading on a bedrock of morality provided by others. And that’s fine – so long as the recognise it. I think Winston Churchill compared himself to a flying butress when it came to religion (supporting it from the outside, rather than the inside).

    But without that recognition, the centre-right will just degenerate into David Cameron-ism. That is to say limping into office, but never power, every now and then.

    If you’re driving towards a cliff, is it better to just slow down or to try to turn around?

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  7. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    There are ways you can express a view against abortion and gay marriage without offending people.

    Maybe abortion, but not opposition to gay marriage. There is no way to sugar coat that one.

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  8. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    You need an awfully big welfare state to clean up after the excesses of a socially libertine society.

    Rubbish. You need awfully big government to enforce morality. And it still doesn’t work.

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  9. Mark (1,302 comments) says:

    The Romney campaign put itself in a position to win the election after the first debate. Romney was a clear victor in that debate and Obama struggled for about a week following that as Romney made some headway in the polls, then it was all down hill from there for Romney. Ill disciplined and just plain stupid comments from republican candidates about women and rape and the agenda was lost.

    I got the sense that the vitriol of the republicans overshadowed the real message. Republican interviewed tended to be anti Obama rather than for Romney so even in the Republican supporters the election became about Obama rather than about their own candidate.

    Personally apart from economic policy I sit more in the Obama camp than Romney. He is a very difficult sell

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  10. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    Romney lost because of voter fraud.

    In 59 precincts in Philadelphia, Romney got zero votes. None.
    No a single vote.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20121112_In_59_Philadelphia_voting_wards__Mitt_Romney_got_zero_votes.html

    Meanwhile Florida had massive voter turnout – over 100%

    WatchdogWire reports,

    Only one precinct had less than 113% turnout. The unofficial vote count is 175,554 registered voters 247,713 vote cards cast (141.10% ). The National SEAL Museum, a St. Lucie county polling place, had 158.85% voter turn out, the highest in the county.

    Something smells.
    Cleveland was the same, with Obama getting 90% upwards of the vote.

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  11. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Mark (885) Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Personally apart from economic policy I sit more in the Obama camp than Romney. He is a very difficult sell

    Which Obama, the anti gay marriage Obama or the pro gay marriage Obama?

    The ‘abortion should not be the first solution to unintended pregnancies’ Obama or the Obama who voted against the Born Alive Law?

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  12. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Scott Chris (4,597) Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 8:18 am
    There are ways you can express a view against abortion and gay marriage without offending people.

    Maybe abortion, but not opposition to gay marriage. There is no way to sugar coat that one.

    Scott Chris (4,597) Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 8:22 am
    You need an awfully big welfare state to clean up after the excesses of a socially libertine society.

    Rubbish. You need awfully big government to enforce morality. And it still doesn’t work.

    Scott Chris in fundamental misunderstanding of pretty much everything fail. Again.

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  13. Ross Nixon (599 comments) says:

    Massive voter fraud.

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  14. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Rubbish. You need awfully big government to enforce morality. And it still doesn’t work.”

    Why is that rubbish? Because you don’t like it?

    What’s your argumentation based on? When the government was limited to police powers and defence the state was very small. That’s incontrovertible. In the repressed Victorian era, you could go your whole life and not see the hand of the state in action other than the post office and the policeman.

    When the government started subsidising bad behaviour and undermining civil society institutions like religion, marriage etc – the costs of government exploded.

    Ed West put it best: “Libertarianism has grown in reaction to the enormous expansion in the state, but if more people were socially conservative we wouldn’t need a enormous taxes to pay for social services, prison, broken homes or, indeed, treating drug addicts – and drug legalisation wouldn’t be such a problem.”

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  15. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    That is not a picture of the United States in 1850 :-P

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  16. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Just as a caveat to the above, I don’t think this means that there is an exclusively “political” solution to the decay in civil virtue that is dragging us into the swamp of welfareism. The problem – and the solution – is mostly a cultural one. Limited government types have to figure out a way to reform the culture (or at least countervail the corrupting forces in the culture). The politics will then follow.

    But that doesn’t mean that smart politics can’t help that along – taking a lesson from SSM advocates would be a good start. For example, look at sex-selective abortions. The Dems (incl. Obama) support these while the public does not. The practice exposes liberalism’s internal contradictions and can only lead the public away from accepting abortion.

    If the GOP was smart, it would make the abortion debate all about this issue for the next 5 years. It’s a winning one that would put liberals in an indefensible position.

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  17. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Notwithstanding some of the legitimate shockers DPF mentions above, Romney lost because he didn’t have the close air support of the media. If “All the news that’s fit to print” was printed it would be a different story.

    Perhaps there’s an argument that a popularly elected leader should be able to take the media with them on the journey. But I’m not convinced the US MSM is just taking part in the journey but manufacturing/cheer-leading it.

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  18. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    Something smells.

    Perhaps, but it could go either way: a Republican-led voter roll purge could see many people turn up to vote and then be surprised/annoyed/completely f@#ked off that that they’ve been denied an ordinary vote.

    If you turned up to a New Zealand polling booth, and were told: “I’m sorry, you’re not enrolled to vote” I reckon you’d cast a special vote/provisional ballot too!

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  19. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Hopefully. Obama failed to do anything in his first two years when he had a Democratic majority in both houses.

    This is too simplistic in the US context (why am I not surprised?)

    No whipping. ‘Mavericks’ idolised. And the Democrats in the Senate, especially, included a substantial cabal of Blue Dog Democrats who really should have been caucusing with the Republicans. Ironically, the Blue Dogs suffered greatly in the 2010 elections when they were largely chucked out.

    There are ways you can express a view against abortion and gay marriage without offending people.

    I’ve yet to see it. Opposition to abortion and gay rights are inspired by fundamentalist interpretations of the Book of Myths and necessarily involves ‘scolding’ as a strategy. The opposition is anti-freedom and anti-women. It’s impossible to frame a case rooted in incoherence and not offend people who at least possess the intelligence to think for themselves.

    A final point on abortion in the US, this was legalised by the Supreme Court, not the Houses, and any bills bought before the Houses are attempts to wind back Roe v Wade. Abortion is well provided for in the US and legislative action on this is not required while Roe v Wade remains in place. And that is one reason why it was so important for women in the US to reelect Obama for a second term in which he may yet appoint two Supreme Court justices.

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  20. Fentex (664 comments) says:

    There are ways you can express a view against abortion and gay marriage without offending people

    There are ways to express the wish that all pregnancies would be intended and proceed healthily to a birth into a caring family and that there be no abortions for lack of need.

    But the closest any society can get to that dream involves good sex education, readily available contraception and not baulking at women exercising control of their bodies.

    All things that are forbidden by people who’s interest is not the wish I described but more about control of people, and their ambition to disempower cannot be expressed politely.

    The U.S electorate in many referenda and contests across their country on the day rebuked social extremists and anti-intellectual authoritarians. I think in that broad demonstration of principles is the evidence of why Romney also lost. He’s yesterdays candidate for todays electorate and the important demographic differences were age delineated.

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  21. dime (8,789 comments) says:

    I think the GOP should give Obama what he wants.

    From what ive seen, his only plan is to tax peeps on 250k a year more.. let him destroy the economy for a couple of years and then just go “see? thats what leftist policies do”

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  22. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    Meanwhile Florida had massive voter turnout – over 100%

    CNN has vote totals in Florida of 4,235,270 for Obama, and 4,162,081 for Romney. There are just under 12 million registered voters in Florida (ref: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/nvra/affiliation.asp). Turnout was not over 100%.

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  23. tvb (3,947 comments) says:

    It is their policies and the fact they think they can drill down the angry white male vote and win elections. They can win gerrymandered house seats but not senate races or presidential elections.

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  24. ChardonnayGuy (1,024 comments) says:

    I think what afflicted the Republicans is what most mainstream centre-right parties (ie the British Conservatives and New Zealand National) have long realised- pander to tiny sectarian minorities (ie religious social conservatives) and don’t expect to attract mainstream and rising voter constituencies. It took time for the Tories to recognise that, but eventually they did, and David Cameron was the result. Analogously, John Key, an analogous centre-right social liberal, is a similar example here, repairing the damage that Don Brash inflicted on the centre-right after the 2005 General Election and Brethrengate.

    Elections are won or lost in the centre, and unrepresentative and doctrinaire sectarians end up losing them, whatever their political philosophy. That’s why the Alliance no longer exists, why Russell Norman is far more centrist than his predecessors and why doctrinaire socialists, libertarians and fundamentalist Christians all remain stranded in electorally insignificant microparties.

    Personally, I’ve always thought Condileeza Rice would make an excellent Republican Vice President.

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  25. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    but if more people were socially conservative we wouldn’t need a enormous taxes to pay for social services

    Therein lies the problem. A lot of people aren’t socially conservative. How do you propose making them become so? Prohibition? Killing all homos?

    There may well be a time in the distant future in which small government becomes possible, when humans socially evolve to overcome their selfish and acquisitive and territorial instincts and learn to live peaceably and tolerantly with one another. Until that time, we need a social arbitrator.

    The best we can hope for in the meantime is for the government to intervene in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

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  26. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    Limited government types have to figure out a way to reform the culture

    Magic wand perhaps?

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  27. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    The best we can hope for in the meantime is for the government to intervene in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

    This would be the same government which is made up of selfish, terriitorial, waring and intolerant people who position themsleves to rule us?

    More government is the problem, not the solution.

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  28. ChardonnayGuy (1,024 comments) says:

    I’m afraid the other problem is with social conservative ‘antinomianism’- the frequent spectacle of doctrinaire religious social conservatives having ideologically unsound interludes with people of the opposite (or same!) sex who are not their own partners, ingesting recreational substances of assorted kinds, undertaking actions that infringe the copyright of others, engaging in financial fraud, and least we forget, engaging in child sexual abuse. Which is not to say that the left hasn’t had its share of similar misdeeds too, but such cumulative ethical violations, hypocrisy and illegalities act to erode trust in an incumbent political party over time.

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  29. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    You don’t need a magic wand – but it is hard work. Hardly impossible, however. Look at gay marriage – a position that’s gone from a strong-consensus against to a full blown inquisition in favour in just 15 short years.

    It’s the only option though – because the left plays for keeps. There’s a ratchet effect in play that needs to be properly appreciated. If you just keep shifting the political centre leftwards, so that civil society keeps getting subsumed within a bigger and bigger welfare state you end up where we are almost at. That is, you have a centre-left consensus where the centre-right can only occasionally be voted in as better, more efficient “managers” of the welfare state.

    I think someone said “David Cameron” is the answer to the GOP and conservatives everywhere but that’s probably the worst thing they can do. Is there a bigger political loser than David Cameron? The man barely limped into office – but not power – against Gordon Brown. His electoral strategy of pursuing the highest-hanging electoral fruit was a marked failure.

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  30. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    Wake me up when Dems lose an election and DPF starts writing posts on how they need to change their unwillingness to stop babies from being killed in the womb, and stop funding the organisations that do this.

    [DPF: I won't do such a post because the majority of voters do not want abortion banned]

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  31. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Here’s an excercise: flip it around. Pretend that the vote was 2% or so the other way and Obama lost. What could he have done better?

    The only thing I can think of is his first debate performance. Given the circumstances, Obama got a lot of things right and pulled out a victory which he really had no reason to expect.

    But there’s dozens of things Romney could have been or done that could have made up that few %. And abandoning the huge percentage of voters that consider abortion morally repugnant is not one of them.

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  32. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    Ed West put it best: “Libertarianism has grown in reaction to the enormous expansion in the state, but if more people were socially conservative we wouldn’t need a enormous taxes to pay for social services, prison, broken homes or, indeed, treating drug addicts – and drug legalisation wouldn’t be such a problem.”

    If more people were socially conservative, alcohol legalisation wouldn’t be such a problem.

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  33. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Oh, and Mourdock lost to someone who was pro life.

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  34. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I would like just one so-called “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” person to point to any evidence that opposition to abortion or gay marriage cost the Repubs the election.

    Mitt Romney won a majority of white people – including white women and white young people. He lost heavily amonst socially conservative blacks and hispanics.

    Can anyone discount their own prejudices against traditionalists and still give a compelling reason for their prescriptions of dumping social issues?

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  35. Bob R (1,254 comments) says:

    ***No Government is going to throw out every illegal immigrant in the US. They do need stronger borders, but they also need a path to legal residency for those who are already in the US and are gainfully employed.***

    They simply need to punish employers who hire people who are in the country illegally. The current situation is a disaster. Look at California:

    “Given the aging white population (average age, 42), many of these new graduates will have to come from the burgeoning Latino immigrant population (average age, 26). By one estimate, this would require tripling of the number of college-educated immigrants, an impossibility if current trends hold. The state’s inability to improve the educational attainment of its residents will result in a “substantial decline in per capita income” and “place California last among the 50 states” by 2020, according to a study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

    ..Perhaps the most disingenuous myth about illegal immigrants is that they do not impose any cost on society. The reality is that even those who work and half do not, according to the Pew Hispanic Center cannot subsist on the wages they receive and depend on public assistance to a large degree. Research on Los Angeles immigrants by Harvard University scholar George J. Borjas shows that 40.1 percent of immigrant families with non-citizen heads of household receive welfare, compared with 12.7 percent of households with native-born heads. Illegal immigrants also increase public expenditures on health care, education, and prisons. In California today, illegal immigrants’ cost to the taxpayer is estimated to be $13 billion half the state’s budget deficit.

    The state should stop providing welfare and other social services to illegal aliens as existing statutes demand and severely punish employers who break the law by hiring illegal immigrants. This would immediately remove powerful economic incentives for illegal immigration, and millions of illegal aliens would return to their countries. Instead, with President Obama in the White House and the Democrats controlling Congress, an amnesty for the country’s 13 million illegal immigrants may be soon to come.

    Milton Friedman once said that unrestrained immigration and the welfare state do not mix. Must we wait until California catches up with Mexico to realize how right he was?”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112167023

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  36. JC (840 comments) says:

    The critical reason why Romney lost is the hip pocket vote.. once you add in the crony capitalists and their employees you get way over 40% of the population who are dependent on the Govt to pay or top up their way of life.

    Thats why exit polls can show Catholics voting against their religious beliefs and most others agreeing with the Republicans about the state of the economy, Govt doing too much and too big, Romney the likely better manager etc.. but in the end its the subsidised job and/or welfare that determines the vote, and the Dems are way less threatening to those.

    JC

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  37. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    One good thing about the election: It’s Obama that has to live with the mess Obama left. Though in reality he’ll blame it on the Republician lead house for some reason.

    It was grimly amusing 4 years ago to note that people thought by voting Democrat for the house and senate they were voting for change.

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  38. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    [DPF: I won't do such a post because the majority of voters do not want abortion banned]

    It is my understanding that the majority of Americans are Pro Life. I haven’t got a source but I have heard it said many, many times.

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  39. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    The majority of Americans now support some restrictions on abortion. Remember, their abortion law is far to the left of anything the Labour Party would propose. But yeah, the polls show that most Americans think abortion should be illegal with narrow restrictions for rape, incest and life of the mother (this last being consistent with Catholic teaching too).

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  40. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “You need awfully big government to enforce morality.”

    A statement that expresses so completely the sad abject ignorance of the left.

    Maybe worthy of a prize for one of the dumbest statements ever written on Kiwiblog, and one that demonstrates a dull stupid ignorant mindset that is so widely abroad and that is to blame for so many of our social problems today.

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  41. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “It is my understanding that the majority of Americans are Pro Life. I haven’t got a source but I have heard it said many, many times.”

    Mr Farrar styles himself as right wing but when he turns to US politics, he seems to constantly channel their left wing media. (Cato notwithstanding)

    To the exclusion of other views.

    As he has done with this post.

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  42. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Link your claims guys
    It makes your opinion closer to fact.
    Prove the majority of Americans are pro life. Preferably with an untainted source. Opinion pieces from the conservative right do not cut the mustard.

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  43. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Hey Griff. The fact that most Americans are pro-life now is not actually controversial. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who doesn’t take the view of American society and politics from the jaundiced NZ and British press.

    Here’s the results – including the raw data – of a recent CNN poll on the subject: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/08/24/rel8a.pdf

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  44. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    PS – flick through to page 13 through 15 for the relevant pages and break downs.

    So Griff, now that I have ‘linked’ my ‘claim’ to an ‘untainted’ source that is not ‘opinion pieces from the conservative right’ will you accept that my opinion is now a ‘fact’.

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  45. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Here’s Gallup from this year too: “Half of Americans, 51%, consider abortion morally wrong and 38% say it is morally acceptable — nearly identical to the results in May 2011.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/154838/pro-choice-americans-record-low.aspx

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  46. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    The fact that most Americans are pro-life now is not actually controversial.

    Yeah, its risky forming your opinions on the “liberality” of the US populace on the basis of Greys Anatomy, Law & Order, and The West Wing.

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  47. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Anyone harping on about “angry white males” needs to consider the hate and vitriol of all the white males of Hollywood, not to mention the angriest white male of all – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    I don’t put as much weight on demographics as so many commentators do. If Romney had turned out the same number of voters that Bush did in 2004 he would have won. If Sandy hadn’t happened, and ORCA had worked, he may have pulled it off too. I think the rise of Hispanic voters is a concern for the GOP, but not something they need to panic about in terms of policy direction. The real problem was that Romney got defined early on and did not successfully respond or counterattack. He eventually managed to overcome that, with white voters at least, by looking Presidential in the debates, but Sandy and ORCA undid all the good work. In hindsight, the campaign was also very Reaganesque – all sunny optimism and platitudes about Mom and apple pie, which would have won the day in 1988, but not in 2012. There needed to be more targeted demagoguery from the GOP against their opponents. God knows it was happening to them.

    At the end of the day it’s not about policy and it’s not about demographics – it comes down to the candidate. People are going to laugh at me, but I think Santorum would have done a good deal better, and the most pivotal moment of this election may in fact have been the one where Huckabee decided not to run, because he would have romped home.

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  48. Mark (1,302 comments) says:

    Is it not ironic that the religious right wingers in the US who are so avidly anti abortion also support the death penalty. I accept that unborn children are innocent and untainted unlike those on death row but one of the fundamental commandments of Judeo-Christian religions is thou shall not kill so it would make more sense if they were anti abortion and against the death penalty.

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  49. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Santorum would have been victimised by Obama demagoguery on the social issues, but that’s because Obama wouldn’t have been able to demagogue him on economic issues like he could to Romney. Santorum played very well in the rust-belt during the primaries because he had a ‘unified’ conservative message that tied hard work into family values.

    I think Santorum would have lost worst than Romney, because he wouldn’t have had the money or the organisation to go toe-to-toe with Obama like Romney could. But the loss wouldn’t have been as devastating to conservative morale for those same reasons.

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  50. Mark (1,302 comments) says:

    “Mr Farrar styles himself as right wing but when he turns to US politics, he seems to constantly channel their left wing media. (Cato notwithstanding)

    To the exclusion of other views.

    As he has done with this post”.

    Redbaiter are you suggesting FoxNews as a better source of considered political opinion :)

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  51. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Hi Mark,

    I guess you’re one of those people willing to propound on Judeo-Christian religions on the basis of cliches, right? For some reason non-religious people really love the King James Version of the bible. Those of us who practice and study the religion know that the sixth commandment really is “”You shall not murder” – because the Hebrew word ratsach means killing without just cause.

    It is open to debate as to whether a society is justified in killing those who commit capital crimes in a way that it is not open for to debate lethal interventions against unborn children.

    Again – that is not really controversial to anyone who doesn’t get their knowledge about Christianity from TV.

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  52. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    The issue has been framed as one of Woman’s Rights, and has been aided by a critical mass of other issues. As the US liberalises on womens issues, as they gain parity in the workplace (probably already there, controlling for maternity risk and role selection) and politics, the abortion issue will have to stand on its own.

    The slogan “its a womans right to choose” wont have as much weight when the term “womans rights” only relates to a single thing; “a womans right to choose to kill her unborn baby”.

    Ironically, by the time the US is ready to elect a female president (and lets face it, they already are*), the divorce of abortion and gender equality may already be complete.

    *3 candidates every 8 years doesnt exactly a large sample size make.

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  53. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    I’m pro life but that doesn’t mean I’m completely anti abortion and I suspect a lot of secular Americans think likewise because morality isn’t the exclusive domain absolutists.

    In fact, many would argue that morality founded on philosophical reason is a far sounder basis of judgement than morality founded on patriarchal tradition.

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  54. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    Again – that is not really controversial to anyone who doesn’t get their knowledge about Christianity from TV.

    Too right! Better to base your opinion of Christianity on the actions of its proponents over the last 2000 years.

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  55. Brian Marshall (181 comments) says:

    It’s pretty hard to go past those stats without reflecting that Black American Males are pretty racist.

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  56. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Mark (887) Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Is it not ironic that the religious right wingers in the US who are so avidly anti abortion also support the death penalty. I accept that unborn children are innocent and untainted unlike those on death row but one of the fundamental commandments of Judeo-Christian religions is thou shall not kill so it would make more sense if they were anti abortion and against the death penalty.

    You mean like California who just voted to keep the death penalty?

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_34,_the_End_the_Death_Penalty_Initiative_(2012)

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  57. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    In fact, many would argue that morality founded on philosophical reason is a far sounder basis of judgement than morality founded on tradition.

    But what about when morality is based on philosophical reason, and then becomes so ingrained in society that it is beyond question? To someone far down the line it would appear to be nothing but a “tradition”. Every few generations it would be reconsidered. Thats natural and to be expected.

    Surely the re-examination by 6,000 years worth of generations would reinforce the “traditions” credentials?

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  58. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    Surely the re-examination by 6,000 years worth of generations would reinforce the “traditions” credentials?

    I’d rather drive a Lexus than a ride a horse.

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  59. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    It’s pretty hard to go past those stats without reflecting that Black American Males are pretty racist.

    Having twice innocently walked into the wrong part of Chicago, I am not going to argue that your position is 100% wrong, but I will point out that the fact Mormons voted overwhelmingly for Romney doesnt make them religious bigots.

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  60. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    I’d rather drive a Lexus than a ride a horse.

    Lexus is to horse, as horse is to walking.

    Look, you put up a very poor analogy, and you must know it. You can do better than that.

    Try again.

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  61. Longknives (4,051 comments) says:

    I saw an article in an Australian newspaper about some glassy eyed Aussie Obama Cult-memb….sorry supporters who flew to the states to work as ‘volunteers’ on the campaign. Their job was basically to approach homeless people (and anybody who wouldn’t normally vote) and ‘encourage’ them to vote for the Messiah.
    All seems very Jim Jones Peoples Temple-like to me…Oh well, what could possibly go wrong?

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  62. SGA (550 comments) says:

    “It’s pretty hard to go past those stats without reflecting that Black American Males are pretty racist.”

    Al Gore received about 90% of the Black American vote in 2000 – it isn’t just a race issue. And it’s not only a thing with Black and Latino Americans, about 70% of Asian Americans and Jewish Americans voted against Romney as well.

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  63. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Hey Kimble – didn’t you hear that Romney got a smaller share of the Mormon vote than Bush did.

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  64. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    But still an overwhelming percentage, right? (Edit: yep, 78%. Thanks google.)

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  65. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Oh absolutely – but that’s mostly because Mormons are so overwhelmingly conservative. But it is interesting that he didn’t get a “bump” so to speak and I can’t help but wonder whether his pacifism on cultural matters contributed to that.

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  66. ChardonnayGuy (1,024 comments) says:

    Could we please put the Mandatory Three Minutes Obamaphobe Hate Session to bed now? It’s getting old and the perpetrators are starting to sound like Big Brother and the Party in Orwell’s 1984 when it came to Emmanuel Goldstein. Obama won. End of story. Can we please move on and could the sock con apparatchiks stop whining about it now?

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  67. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    By that I mean that when social issues aren’t prominent, it is way to easy for young religious people to be taken in by the perversion of ‘social justice’ that the left proclaim. I think it’s bad theology to compare charity to the welfare state (and the Pope agrees) but it has a superficial appeal.

    That’s why pace, DPF and others, it would be electoral suicide for the GOP to abandon the social issues leg of the conservative coaltion. It’s the fasted way to the Coke/Pepsi dynamic that afflicts most other Western democracies.

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  68. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Chardonnay Guy – if people want to debate why Obama won that’s hardly suprising in the comment thread for a news blog on that subject. Nobody’s making you read anything you don’t want to. Quit whining.

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  69. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    But it is interesting that he didn’t get a “bump” so to speak

    It might say something about the religion. Would you expect the same thing from Islam?

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  70. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    Chardonnay Guy – if people want to debate why Obama won that’s hardly suprising in the comment thread for a news blog on that subject. Nobody’s making you read anything you don’t want to. Quit whining.

    +1

    + fuck off ChardonnayGuy

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  71. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Some commentators are now now calling the GOP the party of angry old white men, although that ignores the fact that a healthy proportion of their wives voted for Romney, too.

    Forgive me for trying and failing to work out the difference between the GOP and those who populate Kiwiblog.

    Also,since the inherent desire of any conservative movement is to entrench wealth and power in an already advantaged elite, usually identified by age and inherited wealth appropriated from sources as diverse as the young of their own country to the poor of other countries, perhaps a case could be made for renaming the Grand Old Party the Greedy Old People party.

    And declaring them an enemy of the people.

    But MM has a good point, above: a Nat/NZ First coalition would be disastrous for our young, and that not as if the current ruling clique aren’t bad enough already, as their utter lack of leadership over the pressing problem of climate change illustrates.

    As as far as economic policy goes, in the US, which had adopted QE even in the face of the dire prophecies of the Merchants of Doom (aka Niall Ferguson), housing starts are up, unemployment is trending down, the national debt is stable (and is still mainly denominated in the sovereign currency of the US) and economic growth is gathering momentum.

    Compare with New Zealand and weep.

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  72. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Well, Obama DID get +85% of the Muslim vote.

    …jokes.

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  73. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter are you suggesting FoxNews as a better source of considered political opinion :)”

    That is one of the most tiresome aspects to Kiwiblog- dealing with a surfeit of ignoramuses whose only knowledge on US politics stems from the opining of the US and NZ liberal media, and they’re therefore as ignorant as can be.

    On FOX or any issue.

    If there was any one liberal news outlet that had as many Conservative presenters as FOX has Liberals (Geraldo Riviera, Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers, Alan Combes, Shephard Smith, Bob Beckel for a few) then their attacks on FOX might just have a modicum of legitimacy.

    Where are the Conservative commentators at Radio NZ or TV One or TV3 for a few local examples???

    Until the mainstream media outlets allow conservatives a voice their criticism of FOX is an example of rank left wing hypocrisy.

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  74. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    Hey Chardo-Gay,

    The liberals are saying that Obama won for a set of reasons, and these reasons are of course tailored to their future objectives. Given the corruption of the media by liberals, these ideas of course have substantial currency, but they’re still the same old politically convenient lies, that can be dealt with merely by the old saying “well of course they would say that wouldn’t they”.

    The real truth, that you never hear from the journolisters et al is that Obama won by vote fraud and by the support of the takers who outnumber the makers and the corruption of the liberal media.

    Unfortunately for Obama and you and other liberals, more than 50 million voted against him, and most of these voters have a moral base that is perpetual and we are not cowed by the whining of amoral far left losers like you. Of course we are angry, as anyone would be at such a major injustice. At fraud. At deceit. At crime and deception.

    Your problem is we’re not going to go away as you and other liberals so earnestly wish.

    We’re still here, and we’re going to get a lot angrier. As we should be at the fraud and dishonesty that underpinned this Chicago thug’s election.

    You should better think about where your deceit is going to take you and how you’re going to deal with the outcomes it is so obviously leading to.

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  75. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    Hey Wed-Baiter:

    Obama Won.

    Mitt is just some Romney we used to know.

    Eat that.

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  76. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    We’re still here, and we’re going to get a lot angrier.

    Oooh please do! :-)

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  77. KevinH (1,129 comments) says:

    Fear was the reason Romney lost. He scared the hell out of the latino/black electorate with his plans to attack welfare and health care. Romney appealed to the white middle class conservatives but there aren’t enough of them to carry him all the way into the White House.
    If any politician anywhere, puts the boot into the underclasses, he will lose.

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  78. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “So Griff, now that I have ‘linked’ my ‘claim’ to an ‘untainted’ source that is not ‘opinion pieces from the conservative right’ will you accept that my opinion is now a ‘fact’.”

    He asked for it.

    You supplied it.

    He went away.

    Most liberals on Kiwiblog are just not worth the effort. Steeped in ignorance and bigotry, and with their opinions fed to them by the commie media, its far too late for reason to make any entry into their shallow little one dimensional worlds.

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  79. OneTrack (1,979 comments) says:

    The table looks like it says it really IS all about the colour of your skin.

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  80. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “The table looks like it says it really IS all about the colour of your skin.”

    Well exactly. And it’s a bit of a nonesense. Charles CW Cooke pointed out that:

    “As should be obvious to anybody with even a vague grasp of American history, Republicans did not win every election prior to 1970 — in which year BuzzFeed curiously considers America to have achieved “universal suffrage” — and Democrats did not win every election after that year, either. In fact, in the first election that enjoyed BuzzFeed’s definition of universal suffrage, the Republican — and much more “conservative” — candidate won 49 out of 50 states.”

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  81. Kimble (4,095 comments) says:

    Jeez, you free the slaves and THIS is the thanks you get?

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  82. SHG (321 comments) says:

    Cato said:

    Here’s Gallup from this year too: “Half of Americans, 51%, consider abortion morally wrong and 38% say it is morally acceptable — nearly identical to the results in May 2011.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/154838/pro-choice-americans-record-low.aspx

    Gallup has now significantly mis-called three elections in a row, and was the most inaccurate – 23rd out of 23 – polling company in fivethirtyeight’s post-election roundup.

    Basically, what I’m getting at is… just because Gallup says something isn’t a good reason to believe it.

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  83. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Most liberals on Kiwiblog are just not worth the effort. Steeped in ignorance and bigotry, and with their opinions fed to them by the commie media, it’s far too late for reason to make any entry into their shallow little one-dimensional worlds. :lol:

    Red have you ever looked into a mirror ………………….

    Anti-abortion is not a popular idea the christian conservatives in the republican party seek to ban abortion the majority do not
    even among republicans.

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  84. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Yes Gallup got the Prez election wrong this time (as did Rasmussen) but there’s no way they’re 13 points off. Look, it’s entirely non-controversial that most Americans favour restrictions on abortions – there are plenty of polls that show that and I’ve just cited two. And in any event, the demographic trend towards an anti-abortion stance is strong and measurable.

    That shouldn’t be surprising to any person who doesn’t get most of their political knowledge from sit-coms and legal or medical dramas.

    In one of his more pathetic moments DPF cajoled people into supporting gay marriage so that they wouldn’t be on ‘the wrong side’ of history. The idea that history works in such a linear way was wrong then and it is now. However, if you’re worried about being compared to slave-owners by future generations I would be much more worried about it if I was pro-abortion rather than anti-gay marriage.

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  85. Ross Nixon (599 comments) says:

    I wonder how much the illegal ballot stuffing, double-counting and other frauds swung the election to the Democrats?
    http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/did-obama-really-win

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  86. V (660 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen,

    The national debt is stable? What planet are you living on, the deficit is 1.4 trillion. ‘Mandatory spending’ plus interest on the debt now exceeds tax revenue
    The debt will be north of 20 trillion by the time Obama departs.

    Stable?

    Sure it’s denominated in $US, but that doesn’t mean it will buy anything. Per capita income in the US is declining

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  87. Scott1 (357 comments) says:

    People do vote for people in the presidential election. the demographics matter – but they are not everything.

    the big issue the republicans face is that they need to jump to the right for their primaries then to the left for their election. It makes then sound like they are dishonest (which being politicians is a little too true). one has to ask why the republican primary seemed so disfunctional with so many candidates who appear to have been so unsuitable.
    Maybe there are very few people who can stand the heat of a primary election but one would think the republican party could find a few more.

    I think Obama was the better candidate in the end.
    For comparison – the race between obama and hillary was a good one as i think both were strong candidates (I mean strong at being candidates).

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  88. Azeraph (598 comments) says:

    They’re in a state of change and this election shows it. When we talk about them we must be pc about it,Call an American an American, when we talk about the different racial groups that make up America then say there colour or race first, Black American, White American, Asian American, Indian American, Hispanic American. They’re a group of people that make up a country not the remnants of the roman empire steeped in the tradition of the first 100 families dominated by royal white blood lines, change the cultural perpspective rather than show your obvious picked up expressions from a dead system.

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  89. Scott1 (357 comments) says:

    fraud is going to tend not to win you elections in the US system.
    why? well the places you are most likely to get semi coordinated fraud are areas where you have a lot of power – that is for examplethe case they mention where obama beat romney by 99% or so. probably that made 0 difference in the election because Obama was winning that one anyway. woohoo they changed the popular vote numbers.. no big difference.
    Any conspiracy likely to have an effect on the election would need to be huge and therefore be very difficult to hide.

    but in the above i am excluding the legal gerrymandering by parties…
    There are all sorts of ‘legal’ gerrymandering going on like design of districts for the congress elections an into this bucket fall the debatable policies like requiring ID which is obviously a trade off between security against fraud and discouraging voting in a already low voting rate country. keep in mind that if every person voted it is highly likely the republicans would be crushed in the election by 10% or so. So voters not turning up already outweighs fraud by about 8%.

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  90. Scott1 (357 comments) says:

    here we go.. some research on unlikely voters
    http://www.suffolk.edu/offices/52955.html
    I think my guess was good – 20 point margin on 40% = ~8% extra

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  91. mikenmild (8,904 comments) says:

    The whole voter fraud thing is specifically about discouraging turn-out though, isn’t it?

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  92. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    mikenmild (5,476) Says:
    November 14th, 2012 at 7:24 am
    The whole voter fraud thing is specifically about discouraging turn-out though, isn’t it?

    Only if you are a drone for the left wing media.

    For normal people it is one of the most serious crimes in a democracy and it is a concern in America as it is all democracies. Which is why plenty of Democrats have introduced voter ID laws.

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  93. ChardonnayGuy (1,024 comments) says:

    Can we at least try to turn the conversation to something practical and relevant to our own domestic priorities, rather than turgid ideological hyperbole- such as, what will be the consequences of Obama’s re-election for our envisaged free trade agreement with the United States and other Pacific Rim nations?

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  94. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    ChardonanayGuy if you want to talk about what you want to talk about why don’t you go start your own blog?

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