Barack Obama has overwhelmingly won re-election as President of the United States by winning the majority of the swing states at stake in this year’s election.
Obama thanked supporters on Twitter, saying: “We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned.”
Immediate analysis and reaction:
Republican pollster Whit Ayres says “Obama won by thoroughly and completely trashing Mitt Romney and his reputation. … It is the classic definition of winning ugly.”
Dan Balz says the real work begins. Pronto:
“After a long and arduous campaign, a newly reelected President Obama confronts his next challenge: binding together a deeply divided nation and turning from campaigning to governingIt will now be left to him to create a true mandate for his agenda and then through leadership that combines compromise with conviction, produce a political consensus in Congress and the country to put that agenda into place.”
Jonathan Chait puts Obama’s win in perspective:
Democrats will not keep winning forever. (In particular, their heavy reliance on young and non-white voters, who vote more sporadically, will subject the party to regular drubbings in midterm elections, when only the hardiest voters turn out.) Eventually, the Republican Party will recast and reform itself, and the Democratic Party’s disparate constituencies will eat each other alive, as they tend to do when they lack the binding force of imminent peril. But conservatives have lost their best chance to strike down the Obama legacy and mold the government in the Paul Ryan image.
Ross Douthat explains the Obama realignment:
“When you do it once, it’s just a victory. When you do it twice, it’s a realignment. The coalition that Barack Obama put together to win the presidency handily in 2008 looked a lot like the emerging Democratic majority that optimistic liberals had been discerning on the political horizonBut 2008 was also a unique political momentSo it was still possible to regard the Obama majority of ’08 as more flukish than transformative — or at the very least, to see it as a fragile thing, easily shattered by poor choices and adverse developments[J]ust as Reagan Republicanism dominated the 1980s even though the Democrats controlled the House, our own era now clearly belongs to the Obama Democrats even though John Boehner is still speaker of the House. That era will not last forever; it may not even last more than another four years. The current Democratic majority has its share of internal contradictions, and as it expands demographically it will become vulnerable to attack on many fronts. Parties are more adaptable than they seem in their moments of defeat, and there will come a day when a Republican presidential candidate will succeed where Mitt Romney just failed. But getting there requires that conservatives face reality: The age of Reagan is officially over, and the Obama majority is the only majority we have.”
Rod Dreher emphasizes the GOP’s need to expand its coalition:
There really has to be some way for Republicans to connect with Hispanic voters in a big way. I don’t like what that is likely to mean for immigration policy and affirmative action, but I fear that a GOP that remains principled and purist on these issues will continue to be marginalized nationally, as the country becomes a lot more Hispanic, and a lot more liberal.
Ezra Klein celebrates the changes Obama’s second term will bring:
The Affordable Care Act — the single most significant bill of Obama’s first term — is law. It’s law that mostly won’t go into effect until 2014, but it’s law nevertheless. Mitt Romney’s key campaign promise was that, on day one, he’d begin working to pass a new law that would repeal it. But Obama doesn’t have to do anything to make health reform happen. He doesn’t need 60 votes in the Senate. He doesn’t need 218 votes in the House. It’s already happening. Obama’s reelection is all that was required to for the United States of America to join every other industrialized country in having a universal — or at least very near-to-universal — health-care system.
Stanley Kurtz does not see the Tea Party laying down:
“Will America now lose it’s distinct characteristics and be transformed into a Euro-style welfare state? Quite possibly, yet there remains one way out. At this point, only a sweeping new grassroots rebellion on the model of the Tea Party could change things. In the wake of a presidential election so discouraging for conservatives, a massive new Tea Party wave may not appear to be in the cards. Yet a resurgent second-term challenge to Obama from populist conservatives is far more likely than it seems.”
Grover Norquist spins:
Obama won a smaller percentage of American votes in his reelection than in his win in 2008. America gave him less support after watching him govern for four years than when he ran promising hope and change. Normally a reelected president expands his margin of support.
National Journal’s Beth Reinhard says Romney didn’t help himself:
“… alienating the fast-growing Hispanic community by shaking an iron fist at illegal immigrants during the GOP primaries. He would have persevered over his more conservative but politically implausible Republican rivals, anyway — though as a Mormon who had spearheaded a government-led overhaul of health care as governor of Massachusetts, Romney was ill-suited to tap into the energy of the social conservative and tea party movements. He accepted the nomination as the least popular nominee from a major party in decades. Wrong guy, wrong time.”
John Sides calls the race for stats geeks:
Barack Obama’s victory tonight is also a victory for the Moneyball approach to politics. It shows us that we can use systematic data—economic data, polling data—to separate momentum from no-mentum, to dispense with the gaseous emanations of pundits’ “guts,” and ultimately toforecastthe winner.
Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker explain the strategy which paved a path to victory for Obama’s reelection campaign:
“In early spring, President Obama’s veteran campaign staff in Chicago confronted the question that would ultimately determine the presidency: how to run against Mitt Romney? The choice discussed on frequent calls between the White House and One Prudential Plaza was whether to campaign against Romney as a flip-flopper — a former centrist governor of Massachusetts who turned conservative to win his party’s nomination — or use his career as the head of Bain Capital to cast him as a protector of the privileged at the expense of the middle class.”