AND BY stupid I mean former Governor Haley Barbour’s assertion that Sandy cost Mitt Romney the presidency. I made the case preemptively that Romney couldn’t blame losing on Sandy, knowing what was bound to come in what I believed (and wrote) would be a big win for Obama.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour asserted this morning on NBC’s TODAY that “Hurricane Sandy saved Barack Obama’s presidency.”
But did the president’s perceived leadership during the immediate aftermath of the storm really move 2.9 million votes? That’s highly unlikely.
In fact, Sandy may have actually cost the president 800,000 votes.
Let me add, on the demographics, which Jim Messina, David Axelrod and David Plouffe talked about in the last OFA conference call with media this afternoon. Obama won a record high 47% of the Cuban American vote (10 points higher than he did in ’08) to Romney’s 50%. Additionally, 81% of the electorate sided with Obama on the subject of whether he “cares about someone like me”; 60% sided with him on taxes; with 56% of moderates voting Obama’s way. Jim Messina clearly made the case that the voters had given Obama a mandate.
But make no mistake: 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. The trend also played out in the key battleground states: The president won about 70% of the Latino vote in Colorado and Nevada, and he won 60% of it in Florida (a high number given the state’s large GOP-leaning Cuban-American population). On Monday, we wrote that demography could determine destiny. And that’s exactly what happened. While the campaign’s turnout operation deserves all the credit for getting these voters to the polls, the most significant event of this presidential contest might very well have been the 2010 census.
The other issue is that Republicans from Hannity to Barbour are contending that Team Obama was more negative than Romney. Living in battleground Virginia I can state that’s an absolute fantasy. The negative ads against Obama here were over the top, as were the ads against Romney. When Republicans talk about Team Obama targeting Romney personally, I have two words for them: John Kerry. These are the same people who swiftboated a Silver Star Vietnam veteran, as well as compared Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. So don’t whine about dirty campaigning. It’s offensive.
In more statements of stupidity, Sean Hannity today lamented Sarah Palin not being involved more, positing on his radio show that this “star” could have revved up the base. He was commenting that Romney got fewer Republican votes than John McCain. You can speculate why that was so, but it’s as irrelevant as Mitt Romney.
Right wing radio is having a really hard time dealing with the demographic issues. Whitey can’t come to grips that the country is multi-colored. On Hannity’s Fox show, Patrick J. Buchanan was a guest in a segment on the subject and he looked positively suicidal about it.
“We don’t have a demography problem, but Republicans think we do.” – Rush Limbaugh today makes my day! Keep denial alive, baby. #tcot
— Taylor Marsh (@taylormarsh) November 8, 2012
This column has been updated.