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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.