News / USA

    Changing US Population Helped Obama

    Obama / 2012 VictoryObama / 2012 Victory
    x
    Obama / 2012 Victory
    Obama / 2012 Victory
    President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday, thanks in large part to the same political coalition that helped him first get elected four years ago - women, minorities and young voters.  

    The winning Obama coalition is a reflection of the evolving nature of the U.S. population; less white, more diverse and constantly shifting.

    American University historian Allan Lichtman long ago predicted the president would win a second term because of the voting coalition he first put together in 2008 and expanded on this year.

    “Women and minorities put Barack Obama over the top and there should be a big, huge red-letter warning sign for Republicans that they can not win just with their white-Protestant base.  We are increasingly becoming a non-white nation.  Women are the majority of the electorate today," said  Lichtman.

    The Obama campaign won most of the key battleground states where the election was fought because it did an effective job of identifying supporters and making sure they got out to vote.

    Exit polls of voters leaving the voting booths found whites made up 72 percent of the electorate this year, a drop from four years ago.  African-American voters remained at 13 percent, while the Hispanic vote grew from nine percent in 2008 to 10 percent this year.
     
    With their growing power within the Democratic coalition, Hispanic activists are likely to demand action on comprehensive immigration reform in a second Obama term, something that fell by the wayside in the first term.

    Republican strategist Ford O’Connell is among those who believes his party must do a better job of reaching out to Hispanic voters to keep his party viable in the future.

    “I think the Republican Party would be very wise to take part in that conversation about immigration reform, because I see a real opportunity here for the Republican Party to make inroads with Hispanics, particularly Mexican-Americans," said O’Connell.

    The Democratic coalition may have carried President Obama into a second term, but Washington remains politically divided.  Democrats did keep their hold on the Senate, but Republicans held their majority in the House of Representatives, and in some ways the political battle lines appear little changed from what they were before the election.

    Democratic strategist Christy Setzer says it is likely some form of political gridlock will continue.

    “I am not sure that really affects what the Republicans are going to do in Congress.  I believe that they have seen a strategy of obstructionism that they think is effective in ginning up [rallying] their base [supporters].  So at least in the short term I do not see too much changing in terms of [political] polarization," said  Setzer.

    But now that the election is over, some analysts believe there is at least a chance both sides will be more willing to give bipartisan cooperation a try.

    Historian Allan Lichtman says he saw a message in the election results for both parties.

    “If there is any one mandate that has come out loud and clear from this election it is that people are sick and tired of gridlock, and the country is facing big problems, and it is not going to be solved by the Republican House [of Representatives] and the Democratic president bickering and quarreling with one another," he said.

    Congress and the president must find common ground by January in order to avoid the enactment of severe budget cuts and tax increases that could result in another unwanted shock to the nation’s economic recovery.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.