The 2012 US Elections have shown the shift in the country's voting electorate. In short, it shows how voting blocks and groups of voters play a predictable and unpredictable dynamic.
In the United States, political elections can be considered some of the most interesting in the world. The recent 2012 United States Elections are by no means any exception. Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, defeated GOP rival Mitt Romney to be re-elected as the President of the United States. As a result, Obama will be leading the United States for another four years. Keep in mind that there are the upcoming 2014 elections where Senate, House, and governor's seats are going to be up for grabs. One also has to look at the mayor's races in the major cities such as New York City.
The 2008, 2010, and 2012 elections have shown the dynamic of different voting blocks at play. They could either Republican or Democrat. While Republicans maintain control of the House, Democrats maintain control of the White House and the Senate. Pundits and people associated with the media have said that the GOP has taken huge hits. For the most part, it seems to be seemingly true.
While the GOP still has control of the US House of Representatives, there is one seat that could go blue soon. This is the US House race in Florida between Tea Party-backed GOP incumbent Allen West against Democratic rival Patrick Murphy. Polls have predicted that Murphy was to win; but, West isn't giving up with out a fight. Allen had asked for the ballots to be impounded and recounted. However, Palm Beach Circuit Judge David Crow denied the motion and said it was “premature.” Crow said that the courts shouldn't get involved in the election process. According to conservative radio talk-host Joyce Kaufman, West ran a poor campaign.
CNN reported that minorities and women have helped Obama secure his second term into office. One Latino who identified himself with the GOP was trying to get Latinos in Denver to give the party a try. In short, the article said that the country is becoming more non-white than white. In short, the demographics of political power is changing. The Electoral College, which is used in the elections, has been criticized for disenfranchising voters. However, that may become a weaker argument. At the same time, those who may no longer benefit from the electoral map may be the ones arguing about this method being unfair.
According to the Pew Research Center, minority groups will become the majority by 2050. It adds that the Republican Party remains mostly of white males. This article talks about two of Obama's crucial voting blocks: women and Latinos.
On May 24, CNN posted an article talking about problems that the GOP has. One problem is listed is that the main voting block is getting older. In the article, CNN talked with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. This article focused on the Latino voting block.
One also has to think about the black voters, which has been helpful to Obama's victory. According to Roland Martin's opinion piece on CNN, voter suppression tactics backfired on the GOP. Instead, according to Martin's op-ed piece, there was a large turnout of black voters due to voter suppression attempts. Martin pointed out to Florida, where recently early voting on Sundays before Election Day was stopped.
An article on Forbes, by Rick Ungar, also talked about GOP voter suppression. According to the piece, minorities used the power of the great “American spirit.” Keep in mind, Ungar supposedly writes from the political left. Still, that could bring up debate in the future on defining what the "American spirit" really means.
According to an article on the Christian Science Monitor, GOP strategist Karl Rove said that it was Obama who was suppressing the vote. Rove said that Romney lost because the Obama campaign was suppressing votes. Under the administration of then-President George W. Bush, Rove served as Chief of Staff.
Also, you have look at the Republicans that identify themselves as being part of the Tea Party. The news site called Mother Jones talked about those that lean towards the far right. In the piece, it said that the Tea Party had become the Republican Party itself. It leaves the GOP with a few options options: become moderate, move the GOP further to the right, or cease to exist? The article mentioned GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina saying that there's no enough “angry white men” being generated.
An op-ed piece on CSM had things to say about the Tea Party as well. The piece started out by saying that the Tea Party started out as an angry response to the policies of Obama who was first elected into office in the 2008 Elections. Like the piece in Mother Jones, the CSM op-ed said that the Tea Party had an impact; but, it was the opposite of what they expected for 2012. It uses information from the exit polls. On one hand one could say Romney wasn't conservative enough; according to CSM, the exit polls say that Romney wasn't getting enough moderates.
It gives the implication that one should pay attention to the future GOP primaries.
However, the Tea Party is still around. They are still relevant to US politics; especially, since the GOP still has control of the US House. AFP interviewed Brigette Nacos. Nacos teaches politics at Columbia University. She's been tracking the Tea Party movement. According to Nacos, the GOP could find itself in a political civil war.
An op-ed piece on the Star Tribune by Melinda Henneberger said that the GOP needs to stop replying on and courting “angry white men.” Henneberger said that this is not a winning strategy for the GOP. It gives the forewarning that any future GOP candidate utilizes that strategy will use. This can be grouped with the piece on Mother Jones laying out the possible options for the GOP.
Michael Barone, a conservative political analyst, weighed in on the 2012 US Elections. Barone didn't mention the Tea Party by name; but, there was the implication that they were responsible for the loss of Senate seats. He said that you get talent but get “nut jobs.”
Condoleezza “Condy” Rice, the former US Secretary of State under former-President G. W. Bush, spoke on CBS This Morning. Rice too said that the GOP needs to adapt to the changing demographics of the country. According to Rice, the Republicans sent out “mixed messages” in regards to issues that were important to minorities and women.
This brings up notable races in which people such as Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock talked about banning abortions even in the case of rape and incest. Akin talked about “legitimate rape” and how a woman's body has ways to shut down the pregnancy. Mourdock made the same play as Rick Santorum on rape babies are “gift from God.” Santorum was one of the candidates in the GOP primary.
According to Matt Taibbi, the GOP “lacks self-awareness.”
Then, you have the voters that make up the Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The OWS can be seen as an opposite to the Tea Party. However, the OWS movement neither identifies with Republicans or Democrats. Perhaps that's going to become a crucial voting block come the 2014 and 2016 elections. That could grow to become an influential voting block in the future. Currently, OWS is unveiling “Rolling Jubilee” which is the pooling of money from donations to buy distressed consumer debt which it will forgive instead of collect. It'll start out with buying medical bills and student loans.
OWS ran on the theme “We are the 99 percent.” It was the “99%” versus the “1%” as it focuses on how a good chunk of America's wealth belongs the that 1%. Joel Stein, in a piece on TIME, talks about voting that that one percent. Stein briefly talked about Romney's remark on the “47%” in regards to entitlements. He said, nobody expects freebies as much as the very rich people. Voting blocks and incomes continue to play a dynamic. Perhaps that will remain a constant in political science let alone in future US elections. In 2016, Obama cannot run for a third term.
An article on TIME's news feed talks about ways women played a major role in the 2012 elections. This goes back to talks about the changing electorate. It mentioned the following: New Hampshire's first all-female congressional delegation, white men being the minority in the House Democratic Caucus, and recent newcomer wins.
Such notable wins are Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Warren defeated GOP incumbent Scott Brown and reclaimed the seat that was once blue under the late Edward Kennedy; also, she is Massachusetts' first female US Senator. Hirono is the first Asian-American female to serve in the US Senate. Gabbard is the first Hindu-American to serve in Congress. Baldwin will be the first openly gay US Senator.
It also points out the losses suffered by Akin and Mourdock on their stances and remarks about rape.
One can never forget another group of voters: US servicemen and women. An article on TIME's Swampland examines if they vote either conservative or liberal. According to the piece, the officer corps tends to vote for GOP candidates. However, the piece said that the military isn't a monolithic voting bloc. One Army sergeant interviewed said that officers tend to lean towards the right while enlisted tend to lean towards the left. It also said that the military, which is an all-volunteer force, is increasingly recruiting from the Sunbelt states. In this respect, military voters aren't exclusive to either the GOP or the Democratic Party. They could even be giving their support towards third party candidates.
With everything together, the United States voting electorate has a lot of dynamics in play. There are many constants and variables. For the 2012 Election, it seemed to benefit the Democrats. Come future elections, this can either help or hurt both parties. It depends on what direction either party takes. Perhaps third party candidates can take advantage in the future. While 2012 election cycle has passed, what can we expect in 2014? What can we expect in 2016, 2018, and so on?