What We Learned Last Night
Obama's win reveals a lot about the electorate, the race
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 7, 2012 7:49 AM CST
Updated Nov 7, 2012 7:57 AM CST
President Barack Obama with first last Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden celebrate on stage at the election night party in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The dust has cleared, the votes have been counted, and Barack Obama stands victorious. What did we learn? What did this entire long election drama mean? Politico and CNN break down some takeaways from the big night:

  • Team Romney was bluffing. Romney's campaign said it had a chance in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan, but it turned out to be smoke and mirrors: It had no real ground game in any of them, and the tallies of voter contacts it presented to the press included unanswered phone calls and door knocks.
  • The youth vote is here to stay. The big youth turnout in 2008 wasn't a fluke. Voters aged 18 to 29 made up 19% of the electorate this year, inching up from 18% in 2008 and 17% in 2004.

  • Republicans might want to avoid abortion. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock both lost winnable races, helping to keep the Senate in Democrats' hands thanks largely to their controversial abortion-related comments.
  • Labor isn't dead yet. And last night, it went for a walk, helping Obama win Nevada, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Speaking of Ohio…
  • The auto bailout mattered. Nearly 60% of Ohio voters said they approved of the government's handling of the bailout, and exit polls show that Obama won three-quarters of those voters.
  • Paul Ryan didn't. Unlike Sarah Palin, Ryan didn't wrap the race around him. He emerges more or less unscathed, having neither particularly hurt nor particularly helped Romney's chances. And, one strategist tells the Daily Beast, he's "immediately on shortlists for 2016."
  • Republicans have a serious Latino problem. Latinos expanded their share of the vote to 10%, and 71% of them broke for Obama, up from 67% in 2008. That trend that could eventually put Arizona and Texas in play. For more on GOP demographic woes, click here.
  • Bush still haunts Republicans. Exit polls show that the majority of voters still blame Dubya for the weak economy.
  • The big donor model didn't work. The Romney camp prided itself on its efficient fundraising strategy—it focused more or less exclusively on big donors—but it forced him to spend too much time at donor retreats, and left him more or less broke by August.

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Nov 7, 2012 5:03 PM CST
Failure. Just sit back and watch it all fall apart while the democrats have the reins. Our debt will continue to rise, we'll have to borrow more money from China. The American dollar will continue heading towards insolvency; for the record I don't think Romney would have done much better at reining in the government spending. The American people just don't get it, we don't have the money for anything except entitlements (barely), but apparently 48+ million of them want more government. More government paid for with a credit card, from the Bank of China. Good luck Obama.
Nov 7, 2012 4:36 PM CST
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Romney have the majority of the public vote and the "Electoral college" voted in who the wanted in the first place? If so, then what's the point of all the people in this country voting anyway?
Nov 7, 2012 2:21 PM CST
Wonder where USLady is? She was so sure Romney was going to win. Told some pretty tall tales which were right-wing lie.