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article imageOp-Ed: Demographic shifts help Barack Obama win his 2nd term

By Nancy Houser     Nov 9, 2012 in Politics
President Obama and Vice-President Biden have won their 2nd term, due to a strong demographic shift that caught many people off guard. The Republicans had assumed they would be rid of President Barack Obama, paying billions to make sure it would be done.
Republican confidence to remove Obama from office was mainly due to the president's record during his first four years:
* The worst recession since the Great Depression
* Bank and auto bailouts
* Highest unemployment rates since Franklin D. Roosevelt
* Very slow rate of job growth in his administration
* A high rate of war and foreign policy issues: (1) Afghanistan; (2) Iraq; (3) Libya; (4) Syria; (5) Iran; (6) Palestine and Israel/Arab Peace Initiative; (7) terrorists were found in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran; and (8) North Korea.
Catholics and Jewish people support Obama
With a high win of electoral votes and the majority of popular votes, Reuters reports that votes showed that many of Obama's supporters were Catholics and Jews.
Denying this, the Catholic Church stated that most Catholics who voted for President Obama did not attend church, even though many of the Catholic voters were split between Hispanic and white.
Power of the growing Latino and Hispanic votes
It was obvious from the beginning that Hispanics and Latinos gave Obama the winning margin in many of the key states. The Chicago Tribune stated that Obama won all of the key U.S. swing states except North Carolina, giving him 332 electoral votes over Romney's 206.
When President Obama winning Florida, his Dream Act was seen as a major factor in the decision-making process, with immigration a huge factor in the minority votes. Huffington Post stated that, "in every state polled by impreMedia and Latino Decisions, immigration was a major factor in the decision-making process. Most Latino voters support the president's policies on the issue, even if he has not succeeded in enacting many of them."
In comparison, the Republican Party in 2010 took a hard line stance with the "self-deportation" of immigrants, vetoing the Dream Act and making life extremely difficult for undocumented immigrants until they were forced out of the United States. Romney's Republican Party helped defeat the Dream Act in 2010, focusing on legislation in Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Arizona. It was at this time the election picture was formed by Latino groups and immigration activists, siding with the Democrats and Barack Obama.
Barack Obama won 75% of the Latino votes, according to Huffington Post, that helped him with his sweeping win over Mitt Romney. Records show that near-record levels of support had arrived from the growing Latino population, spelling future trouble for the Republicans if they do not change their ways. Not only are the Latinos part of the growing diversity in the United States, but the Asian population is growing at an even faster rate.
"According to exit polls, 77 percent of Latino voters supported the president; the impreMedia-Latino Decisions put that support at 79 percent." A lot had to do with most Latinos feeling the President and the Democratic Party sincerely cared about them and their votes. In Colorado, "the 'election eve' poll found that 87 percent of Latino voters planned to vote for Obama."
According to the New York Times, the Republicans’ Southern strategy of appealing mostly to white voters has run them into a demographic wall. The Republican Party needs to become more tolerant of the diversity growing in the United States, and learn to appreciate the needs and concerns of the country's middle classes.
Strong votes from women and young adults
CNN reports that Obama won the majority of women's votes while Romney won the majority of men, showing that women are motivated differently than men.
One strong factor for women in the election was how hurricane Sandy was handled."A Washington Post Tracking Poll seemed to confirm this: 26% of women nationally -- more than men, at 18% -- reported that Obama's handling of the hurricane response would be a major factor in determining their vote for president." The image of Obama and Christie won most women's votes, showing they approved of strong leaders working across party lines in extreme emergencies, offended by those against it.
Women and young voters voted for Obama because of their concern over the social safety net of the country, not to decrease federal control over the country. This involved programs like Medicaid, school lunches, child nutrition programs, and Supplemental Security Income for the elderly and disabled. It will be these programs that will concern many of the Democratic voters as the watch President Obama and Congress work on a deal to save the country from falling off the fiscal cliff.
But more important than anything, women and young voters were concerned about issues that involved their own health and welfare, including their families and their country. Any candidate that was extreme on abortion issues or contraception issues were denied their votes, especially those who refused to support women's rights to control reproductive decisions and on the subject of rape.
President Obama wishes for a country where everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules. " It's time to finish what we've started -- to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity -- to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try." Hopefully, with supporters wishing for the same, it can be done.
Directly from the White House: President Obama is calling on lawmakers to extend the middle-class tax cuts that are set to expire in 2012 so that 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses don’t pay higher taxes next year.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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