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Election Aftermath: 13 Initial Reactions

Thomas Whitley

1. My map was wrong. I had Obama at 290 electoral votes and Mitt Romney at 248. I only got 2 states wrong but when those two states are Virginia and Florida, that changes the math quickly. (Yes, I know they haven't called Florida for Obama yet, but every indication is that it will go for him). 2. No, this does not mean that Obama is now coming for your guns or that he's suddenly going to implement Sharia law or Marxism. He is still a moderate evangelical Protestant Christian. And what many from the right seem not to understand is something many of us on the left have known for a long time: Obama is a centrist. And I believe he will continue to govern as one.

3. Re: a mandate election. I like what Ezra Klein said:

There's no such thing as mandate. There's only what you can get done with the Congress voters gave you.

That is, Republicans don't stop being Republican because they lost a presidential election. Both sides still have to compromise to get things done. That's part of the beauty of our system.

4. As I said last night, I really do understand Republicans being shocked and disappointed. I know I would be just as shocked and disappointed had Obama lost.

5. Conservative Christians need to get their story straight. Has God turned God's back on America or is God in control? Was it Sandy (a so-called "act of God") that cost Mitt Romney the election? Will the Billy Graham Evangelical Association now revert to their earlier views that Mormonism is a cult (after all, they did only take the claim off their website a few weeks ago)?

6. America is not all of a sudden going to shrivel up an die.

7. For those of you wanting to now move out of America, where are you going to go? Seriously.

8. I'm still not sure how much Mitt Romney's consistent lies hurt his campaign, though I do think his last Jeep ad sent him over the edge in Ohio.

9. It was a good thing that Romney's Mormonism was not a big deal in this election, but we have not completely gotten to having no religious test for office. Neither a Muslim nor an atheist could be elected President today. We still have a long way to go.

10. Conservatives' refusal to believe the preponderance of evidence produced by state level polling highlights the general anti-science stance in the party that is certainly not helping them. This was on full display last night as Karl Rove and other Fox News hosts were questioning Fox News' own experts when they called Ohio for Obama, refusing to concede, even after the Ohio Republican party had packed up and gone home.

11. It was a bad day for white male republicans who have particularly offensive views on women, rape, and abortion and astonishingly share these views with the country, as both Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Richard "God intended rape" Mourdock lost. It was, consequentially, a good day for America.

12. America will now have its first openly gay senator: Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin. Again, good day for America.

13. The Republicans have a huge demographic problem that needs to be dealt with or they will quickly become a thing of the past. First, on Obama's demographic edge:

What happened last night was a demographic time bomb that had been ticking and that blew up in GOP faces. As the Obama campaign had assumed more than a year ago, the white portion of the electorate dropped to 72%, and the president won just 39% of that vote. But he carried a whopping 93% of black voters (representing 13% of the electorate), 71% of Latinos (representing 10%), and also 73% of Asians (3%). What’s more, despite all the predictions that youth turnout would be down, voters 18-29 made up 19% of last night’s voting population -- up from 18% four years ago -- and President Obama took 60% from that group.

And what this means for Romney's (and thereby the Republicans') demographic problem:

It can no longer rely on white voters to win national elections anymore, especially in presidential cycles. Indeed, according to the exit poll, 89% of all votes Mitt Romney won last night came from whites (compared with 56% for Obama). So the Republicans are maximizing their share with white voters; they just aren’t getting the rest. And come 2016, the white portion of the electorate will probably drop another couple of points to 70%.

Now, who's excited for 2014 and 2016?