Paul R. Hollrah
November 9, 2012
Over the past six months I have published several columns in which I have predicted that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 presidential election with somewhere between 295 and 325 electoral votes and that he would win the national popular vote by 69.40 million to Obama’s 59.98 million votes. And when the nation’s two most astute observers of the political scene, Dick Morris and Michael Barone, agreed, I felt quite comfortable with my prediction.
In arriving at my estimated Obama vote, I assumed that 90% of the 2.4 million veterans who switched from the Bush column in 2004 to the Obama column in 2008 would, because of Obama’s anti-military stances, return to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012. That reduced Obama’s total popular vote estimate, using his 2008 vote total as a base, to 63.98 million votes.
Then, looking at the independent vote, with the CNN/Opinion Research poll showing a 15 point swing away from Obama in 2008 to Romney, Obama’s popular vote total would be reduced by another 2.71 million votes, bringing his 2012 total to 61.26 million.
Finally, with the black pastors across the country urging their congregations not to vote for Obama because of his embrace of partial birth abortion and same-sex marriage, I assumed that he would lose, conservatively, approximately 5% of the black vote, or 1.28 million votes. That would bring his popular vote total to 59.98 million votes. Reports from across the country tell us that he received 59.90 million votes on Tuesday. So my estimate of the Obama popular vote was off by 0.13%, or just over one-tenth of one percent.
However, on the Republican side of the ledger, I estimated that Mitt Romney would pick up 90% of the 3.7 million Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008, plus 90% of the 2.4 million veterans who had finally concluded that Obama was anti-military. Using John McCain’s 2008 total as a baseline, that would bring Romney’s popular vote total to 65.42 million votes. Add to that the 4.22 million independent votes that were expected to move from Obama to Romney, and assuming that the 1.28 million black voters who would abandon Obama would just stay home and not vote for Romney, that brought Romney’s estimated total to 69.64 million votes.
All of these estimates and assumptions are, I think, quite reasonable and conservative. However, when we look at the total popular vote for last Tuesday, we are told that Romney achieved a popular vote of only 57.20 million votes...12.44 million votes less than my estimate and 2.73 million votes less than John McCain received in 2008.
The Romney figures fly in the face of reason, to put it mildly. How could any astute observer of the political scene underestimate the Republican turnout by nearly 18% unless someone has seriously “cooked the books?” How could the most lackluster candidate the party could possibly have chosen in 2008, running against a self-proclaimed messianic rock-star, outpoll a man in 2012 who came very close to being the ideal candidate. Where are the 3.33 million Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008? Where are the 2.4 million veterans? Where are the 4.22 million independents? And where are all the millions of Roman Catholics who have been told by their bishops that they would be endangering their immortal souls by voting for Obama?
Was it evangelicals...those who support Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s concept of “legitimate rape,” who agree with Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s view that a pregnancy resulting from a forcible rape is “God’s will,” and who consider Mormonism to be a cult religion...who stayed home rather than vote for Romney? Given the long lines at polling places across the country, and given that conservatives and Republicans were far more energized in this election year than they have been in any presidential election in the past century, that is highly unlikely. The numbers just don’t add up and I do not believe them.
What is so sad about all this is that this election was without doubt the most important election in American history because the country had arrived at a tipping point from which it had only a very slim chance of recovery. Now we are “in the soup” and the Republican leaders of the House and Senate are going to have to develop spines of steel because the very future of the republic rests on their shoulders.
What we must try to make some sense of is how the people could reelect a man who had zero qualifications for the presidency when he arrived on the scene, who had less knowledge of economic principles than any 12-year-old running a sidewalk lemonade stand, and who had proven himself to be far more incompetent than even Jimmy Carter.
Obama has shown that he does have certain abilities. He has a talent for stirring class envy among those who see themselves as have-nots. He has a talent for tapping into racial sensitivities, making blacks and Hispanics feel as though they are put-upon or oppressed by white males. And he has a talent for making the blue collar worker feel as though he’s not getting his fair share of the national economic pie. In other words, the “millionaires and the billionaires,” the lobbyists and the “special interests,” and those who “fly around in corporate jets,” are enjoying their extravagant lifestyles because of the sacrifices of the working class.
It all points to one major weakness that has been growing in our country for generations. What the Obama political success tells us is that there is not a single problem we have that cannot be traced back to the poor quality of public education. The American people are just too ignorant of basic economics to understand how our free market economy works. Yet now we are being told that, if Republicans are to recover from this debacle, they must learn how to “reach out” to blacks, women, the young, and Hispanics. What they are saying is that Republicans must learn how to buy the allegiance of those groups by offering them more “goodies” than the Democrats offer. That is simply not going to happen.
What is far more likely to happen is that Obama and congressional Democrats will drive our economy so far over the cliff that most Americans, of all social and economic classes, begin to feel some real pain. If congressional Republicans can finally learn to play the PR game, and if they can get smart enough and tough enough to play their cards well while Obama occupies the Oval Office, they can literally destroy the Democratic Party. All of the elements are there.
But it’s not just congressional Republicans who will have to show some steel. The business community, big and small, must do their part to tame the mainstream media. Is it possible to have a free country without a free press? No. Do we have a free press? No. The media rely on advertising dollars for their very existence. It’s time that business advertisers let the major media outlets...TV, radio, and print media...know which side their bread is buttered on. It’s time that the business community tied advertising dollars to media fairness.
For example, Barack Obama showed up in New Jersey for a few hours to look at storm damage, for which great praise was heaped upon him by mainstream media reporters. But what if the reporters had asked, “Mr. President, you have said that the minute you learned that our people in Benghazi were under attack, you gave the order to ‘secure our people.’ If you gave that order, Mr. President, why did Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey disobey that order? And if they did disobey a direct order from you, why are they still in their jobs?”
It is clear that someone...either Barack Obama or Leon Panetta...is not telling the truth. Had that question been asked four or five days before the election there is a very good chance that Mitt Romney would be getting fitted for a new swallowtail coat and a top hat today.
Yes, it is the economic ignorance of our people that has destroyed us...the feeling among nearly half the U.S. population that there is such a thing as a “free lunch” that no one has to pay for because it comes from the federal or state government. If we were to start today to teach our children basic free market economic theory; if we started today to teach our children the basics of American history and government; and if we started today to require that the black history courses in our schools actually teach black history, instead of politically correct black fables, it would take at least three generations to correct the damage that has already been done.
My fear is that we have waited too long. We have run past the tipping point.
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