A COLUMN FOR EVERYONE INTERESTED IN THE OUTCOME OF NEXT MONTH’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
I start this column in New York City. It’s three o’clock on the morning of a public holiday we celebrate in this city: Columbus Day. It’s only fitting that I write this column today since it deals with a simple but profound prediction: Mitt Romney has no chance of winning next month’s presidential race. He will be soundly defeated. This is a general election that has been over long before the primaries started: contrary to all the media hype of it being a close race.
Back in the days of the Italian -whose name has been translated as Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus- a simple but profound theory led to a whole new worldwide awakening. Columbus said that the world was round, and if a sailor took his ships and continuously sailed westwards, then he will eventually obtain a new sea route arriving at the same enchanting eastern lands Europeans already knew about. Of course the powers that be of that time (including the Catholic Church) scoffed at his theory. Fact was that many people in the relatively “historically-ignored” world outside Europe had known the truths ingrained in this theory: long before 1492.
Since 2006, I have written around 500 columns that are still in my archives here. Back in 2007, I predicted that Barack Obama will be the next US president. Two months prior to the Iowa caucus I predicted he will win it, on the way to the presidency. I still feel deep down that were I some white-male political commentator (and not just some obscure Negro adjunct university-lecturer in politics, media and communication theory), those predictions would have been heralded way beyond Hilary Clintons’ campaign manger’s glowing tribute, at the 2008 Dems convention.
This time around I am going to give you in one word, the main reason (again) for this year’s prediction: DEMOGRAPHICS.
Now, let’s be conscious of the fact that I have written and spoken on this before. For almost two years now, I have predicted that the Republicans will nominate Willard Mitt Romney with disastrous consequences for their political party: go search my archives for the column published on April 4th, 2012 (“It Won’t Even Be Close”).
Over the last half century the demographics of the USA has been slowly changing in one main regard: the white population has been dwindling when compared to the non-white population of citizens. By non-white, I mean all those who have checked off the census form to say that there were anything but solely Caucasian (or “white”). Thus I am talking about Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, East Indians, Native-Indians, Amerindians, Multi-racial groups -like mulattoes/mixed/Obama for example-, and any other racial/ethnic groupings out there, et al, which essentially self-proclaims “non-white” as its being. It’s that simple; so let’s not complicate this. I have simply created only two categories for my selfish political-journalistic purposes: whites and non-whites. It’s easier to make my points by doing this: that’s all.
Here are the current US population estimates/projections for 2012, from the Census Bureau. There are close to 315 million people living in this country now. Sixty-three per cent are white (non-Hispanic). Thus the remainder (non-white) equals thirty-seven per cent of the population. Last year was the first time in US history that live-births of non-whites surpassed live-births of whites.
Last time around, many of the political pundits who doubted Barack Obama’s chances of being president, dwelled on the nations sordid racial history; while at the same time, congruously ignoring the country’s demographic trends, along with social, political and economic changes in post-1954-USA. They also ignored worldwide changes in communications technology, racial tolerance and socio-economic undercurrents.
They also ignored the fact that a non-white candidate -running for the presidency for the first time- would motivate non-white voters in an immeasurable way. Thus many were shocked when turnout surpassed the largest raw-vote total in history.
Well guess what? In four weeks time, that “welcome-mat” which the Republican political party refused to place at their entrance-door for non-whites (over the last half-century) is coming back to haunt them BIG TIME.
Let’s do the math as Bill Clinton loves to say. In the last presidential election, the estimates of most political scientists suggest that twenty-eight per cent of the electorate was non-white. They also estimate that Obama won this group handily.
Suggestions are that he carried way over ninety per cent of the black vote, and close to seventy per cent of the Hispanic vote. He also won the female demographic: conventional wisdom appears to be accepting that women outvoted men by about six percentage points (or more). The one demographic that all agree Obama lost was: “white-males”. Surprise! Surprise! Quelle surprise!
Let’s look inside the 2008 numbers as I move along to my main points here. Barack Obama received 69,499,428 votes: totaling 53.9 per cent of the turnout. John McCain won 59,950,323: totaling 45.6 per cent of the turnout. This was the highest raw number of votes a presidential candidate ever received in the history of this country. Obama won 28 states, plus Washington/District of Columbia. McCain won 22 states. Obama received 365 Electoral College votes. McCain received 173 Electoral College votes out of a total of 538.
As much as Obama’s victory was historical in many aspects, it wasn’t the largest margin between opponents, nor the highest winning percentage of overall turnout. Both Ronald Reagan and LBJ won higher percentages and larger Electoral College numbers. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson won 486 Electoral College votes. He won 45 states plus the District of Columbia. His opponent (Barry Goldwater) won five states and 52 electoral votes.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan won 489 votes from the electoral college against a sitting incumbent (Jimmy Carter). Four years later, his opponent Walter Mondale- a former vice president- could only win his home state of Minnesota (and barely/ it took weeks for the results to be finalized and certified). Ronald Reagan won 525 Electoral College votes that year; Mondale received 13. This is a modern day record.
I don’t expect Obama to break the records established by LBJ and Ronald Reagan; but I am certain that he will handily defeat Mitt Romney exactly four weeks from tomorrow. Here is why I feel so strongly that Obama will be re-elected: DEMOGRAPHICS (again).
So what do I mean by demographics? Simple: the Republican Party has failed to respond to the changing demographic over the past half-century. As such, they haven’t recruited enough non-whites to their party. Not enough to dampen the margin that non-whites will provide Obama next month. Not enough to be even competitive in the race.
One republican senator recently acknowledged that there aren’t enough angry white males for the party’s long-term health. This statement was barely carried in mainstream media. It was a concession speech of sorts. Believe me when I tell you that those big-dollar republican think-tanks are aware of the demographic problem. This is why we have seen the orchestrated attempts by republicans, to discourage voter-participation (by non-whites) through various reform-attempts at one-sided voter-requirement(s) legislation: all over the country. Voter-identification requirements are meant to dampen participation by non-whites, since this demographic lags far behind whites, relative to possessing government-issued identification documents. This is a fact.
As a democrat, I am probably in the minority on this issue. I feel strongly that each voter should bring to the poll-site some type of official (government-issued) identification document. However, let me hasten to add, that these contemporary (rushed) attempts at changing the ways people have voted for decades, has been done for sinister and nefarious purposes. The political compromise should have been to usher in new rules for the next election cycle, so that voters would have had ample time to obtain needed documents to supplant and/or supplement their voter registration cards.
Here is the reality facing Romney and the republicans: at least thirty per cent of the turnout this year will be non-white voters. Remember that this demographic is naturally thirty-seven per cent of the overall population. Obama will carry anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of this demographic. He can arguably go higher this time around. When he appointed Ms. Sotomayor as the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court, he had locked down quite a few Hispanic voters for this election. And when he signed an executive order allowing undocumented people -who were brought to this country as minors- a path to legalization; he nailed down the majority of Hispanic voters. Add to all this, the fact that Repugnicans have treated minorities with “benign neglect” over the years, and you will find that “payback will be a bitch” come Election Day.
Obviously, in his re-election contest President Obama will start off with 20 to 25 per cent of the overall vote, compared to Romney (5 to 10); when that thirty per cent non-white vote is set aside from the outset. Therefore the white vote will be around 70 per cent of turnout, and all Obama has to do is carry two of five white voters and victory is assured. Do note that the magic number to victory is nearer 48 or 49 per cent: because minor candidates always soak up a few percentage points of the overall vote. So don’t be confused into thinking that 50 per cent is the magic number for assured victory: it’s less.
Any reader at home can do his or her own models relative to turnout. It is conceivable that if the non-white vote gets up to one-third of the turnout (or closer to its natural number within the census) then Obama can probably still win by getting only about 35 per cent (or even one in three) of the white votes: once he carries the non-white demographic convincingly. This is how bad the scenario is for Romney. Remember that democrats already outnumber republicans in registration (and now vocal identification) by a few percentage points. Furthermore, Romney appears to be having trouble making headway amongst independents; and this is largely because the republican brand is gravely wounded.
Romney’s only chance may lie in a non-white turnout under twenty per cent of the total vote. Guess what? This is never going to happen. Non-whites already feel that Obama’s presidency has been disrespected from day one. Non-white turnout will arrive at record heights. Non-whites are quite aware of the persistent racism still existing in this country despite convenient white (especially males) amnesia, and conscious attempts to ignore its ugly legacy and continuity. Right now, non-whites are more motivated to vote for Barack Obama than most in the world of talking-heads would want to admit. Too many of them just don’t get this; and that’s why they keep insisting the election is close: that’s horse shit.
The higher the non-white turnout, the lesser Romney’s chances of winning; and this is an epic of things to come in the immediate future, relative to republican chances of winning the presidency. You cannot ignore a third of the electorate without serious consequences and major political repercussions. You cannot routinely and crudely cast aspersions on a large segment of the population without chickens “coming back home to roost”. Over the years, the Republican Party has dug so large a hole for itself that they are going to bury presidential candidate after presidential candidate in the immediate future: unless they change their overall attitude towards non-whites. In politics, deliberate exclusion of any group is no virtue.
Watch Sean Hannity of the Fox News Network get a conniption on the night of the election. I hope a doctor is in the studio just in case he gets a heart attack or a stroke. I also hope that when it’s over, he will admit that his overall analysis has been faulty, one-sided, slanted and dishonest from Jump Street.
Anyone of integrity, who has been studying the electoral college map for the past four years, must concede by now, that for Mitt Romney, the electoral-college path to victory is damn near impossible. He may have to run the table in all the swing states. It’s that bad now. Right now he seems incapable of regaining North Carolina and Florida; and those are states I personally conceded to Republicans after Obama’s “same-sex marriage” stance.
Look at the polls over the last two years. Head to head match-ups between Obama and Romney are instructive in many ways. Obama has come out ahead (or tied) in almost nine of every ten (both national and in swing-sates). In states where non-white populations are high, Romney is being soundly defeated: for example, see California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York -with their relatively large electoral numbers.
Apart from this, the statistical-models used in the samplings, undercount non-white turnout. Most pollsters are sampling anywhere from 22 to 25 percent as non-whites in potential turnout. This is a major flaw; a major undercount to Obama’s disadvantage; and yet he is still way ahead in poll after poll. On Election Day the margin of victory will be far wider than what most polls are showing now.
Next month, a clear majority of female white voters are going to vote for democrats. The Republican Party shot itself in the leg when it tried to introduce too many legislative pieces dealing with abortion and birth-control/contraception issues, at all three levels of government (federal, state, city/local). White women are going to easily put Obama over the top.
Unless Mitt Romney pulls out millions and millions of white males -especially those who haven’t voted in ages- you can immediately stick a fork in his candidacy: it’s done.
Beyond all this, there is another aspect to a potential Romney drubbing: the Obama ground game. In state after state, Obama has put together “pull-operations” far superior to Romney’s. If you examine all the swing states you will find that the Obama campaign doubles (at least) the number of offices the Romney campaign has set up. This Obama machine that “shocked and awed” the Billary Clinton machine five years ago, has never been disbanded: they were placed in mothballs and stored. When you add the contribution(s) many unions will make to Obama’s Election Day operations, then it’s game, set and match: without even breaking a sweat.
Mitt Romney may have won the first debate solely based on aesthetics. He appeared more passionate and in command of his position-takes, when compared to Obama’s detachment and aloofness; however the final analysis shows that Romney lied more than the average watcher was aware. This just adds to the narrative of Romney being a politician who will say anything to win: a politician without any core values. Romney can win all three debates and it still wouldn’t change the outcome of this race since most voters have already made their minds up about him (long ago).
Mitt Romney was destroyed as a viable presidential candidate five years ago when he first ran for the presidency. His republican counterparts did that. Some of his republican opponents claimed “he had no soul”. I believe this was because they felt he didn’t stand for much of anything beyond raw ambition. Obama‘s campaign only finished Romney’s destruction with some deft jabs, in ads which show him as an out-of-touch business-elite. A man who was quite willing to transfer and transport jobs overseas in order to make higher profits for his company’s shareholders. A man who was quite willing to close down US factories and plants, in order to place profits ahead of people’s needs. This action -though sound in business terms- was totally oblivious to the wishes of American workers; the insensitivity of which hasn’t been lost to working-class voters. This will be proven on Election Day.
Furthermore, Mitt Romney‘s many gaffes have only helped to cement his “likeability” issues with average voters and middle class folks. His “47 per cent” remarks were the final nails in his political coffin. It exposed the man for what he is: totally out of touch with average Americans; and clueless as to the real world challenges of middle class folks. Case in point: his thoughtless “borrow from your parents” remarks.
Last week’s official numbers revealed that the unemployment rate is down to where Obama found it on his inauguration day (7.8%). It means that the economy is slowly coming around. Add this to over thirty-one months of continuous job-growth in the economy, and you see why republicans are panicking and ridiculously claiming that the numbers have been rigged, and the books are being “cooked”. This is preposterous; but that’s what happens when a campaign starts hearing taps: desperation sets in.
These recent figures undercut the main argument of Romney and the republicans: that Obama’s economic policies have failed. The funny thing is this: Republicans in Congress have blocked near all of Obama’s policy proposals. In the senate over the past four years, there were a record number of filibusters -successfully implemented- in order to prevent Obama (and democrats) from passing bills.
Think of this: in the 200 plus years of congressional legislative history, the first non-white president encounters record filibusters to his legislative agenda. The same has been done to thwart his appointments to the federal bench and other top jobs that need senate confirmation.
Republican talking-heads fail to mention all this when they attempt to emasculate Obama. They fail to consider the lack of co-operation from Republicans in Congress in Obama’s attempts at dealing with the country’s economic woes. Where are the “jobs- bills”? Why did Republicans vote en masse against providing jobs for veterans returning from war duty?
Republican talking heads also fail to admit that key republican leaders had made Obama’s defeat an inauguration day promise (starting with Rush Limbaugh, plus their senate minority leader). Voters know all this. Just like union members who have seen the republican attempts at undermining workers rights. On Election Day the people will speak in a loud voice. Watch!
Let me be clear: Republicans have been on the wrong side of the solutions to pressing issues facing this country. And this has been going on for a long long time now. Most voters are aware of this.
I could give you scores of other reasons why Romney will be easily trounced; but I will rest my case here. One of the things not lost to voters is the fact that Romney has failed to give specific ideas to problem-solving. There are no concrete proposals to solving some of the pressing issues facing the nation. Saying “trust me, I will create 12 million new jobs” is not a policy prescription for the nagging unemployment problem. How do you create that number of jobs in your first four years in office, when the economy is growing at an anemic two percent annual rate? He must be Mitt the Magician; or maybe Mitt the bullshit artist.
If I am wrong in my overall analysis here, I will do something that most political pundits refuse to do when proven hideously wrong in their analysis/prognostications: stop writing political columns.
So those of you out there who will love to see me go into involuntary retirement; here is your opportunity to accomplish this; just root for Mitt Romney. But alas, it will be to no avail. Mitt Romney is “dead candidate walking”. It won’t even be close.
Stay tuned-in folks.