Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

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Paul Ryan’s Future

Even though he isn’t the Vice President in waiting, Paul Ryan’s time on the spotlight may serve him well for another run in the future.

The Alaska Dispatch reports how his run with Governor Romney will help him,”Even though Congressman Ryan will not step into the No. 2 position at the White House, his three-month campaign on the national ticket gave him in spades what most public servants seeking higher office spend millions to buy: name recognition.”
ABC News explores Ryan’s journey to where he is now and how his fiscal conservatism has won him supporters, “Ryan rose to prominence in Congress during his seven previous terms there, serving most recently as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He drew praise for his budget proposal, which became a controversial part of the Romney campaign when Ryan was announced as his running mate in August. ABC News

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Minority Voter Turnout

Minority voters turned out in historic numbers on election day once again.

The Independent reports on black voters in swing states,”Black voters responded with a historic turnout here in Ohio and strong showings across a range of battleground states, according to exit poll results. Buoyed by a sophisticated ground operation by the Obama campaign, African Americans helped provide the edge in Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and perhaps Florida, which remained too close to call Wednesday. Their support narrowed President Obama’s losing margin in North Carolina.
Minority votes have historically been marginalized, and according to the Star Tribune the Supreme Court is assessing the Voting Rights Act again,”In an order Friday, the justices agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the landmark Voting Rights Act that requires all or parts of 16 states with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.”

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Latino Vote Increasingly Important

Along with the youth, black, and female vote, Obama tapped into the Latino vote to secure his victory.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on his capture of this growing and important voter group,” Obama won the Latino vote by about a 3-to-1 margin, clobbering Romney in states like Nevada and Colorado, and it is forcing Republicans to do some serious soul-searching regarding the issue of immigration. Republican Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, an outspoken critic of hard-liners on immigration, said a good entry point for the GOP could come as soon as 2013 with Dream Act legislation in Congress.”

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Can Obama Magic Be Transferred To 2016?

The Obama campaign managed to churn out Part 2 of a brilliant presidential campaign. While the reality of each election was much different, the president still garnered historical support the second time around.
Because he will be ineligible to run again in 2016, Democrats are beginning to wonder how to maintain the momentum he possesses. Reuters reports on this concern,”U.S. President Barack Obama’s first campaign famously left offices open in swing states after 2008 to boost his re-election effort in 2012. So what happens now to all of the infrastructure that helped secure the Democrat two terms in office?”

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The GOP’s Reality Check

The success of any political party is its ability to mobilize and engage voters. Unfortunately for the Republican party, it might have more trouble doing this. The New York Times reports the recent changes in Congress and what that means for the party:

“In the next Congress, women and minorities will hold a majority of the Democratic Party’s House seats  — white men, in other words, for the first time in history, will not make up a majority of a party’s delegation to the HouseEvery member of the House and Senate from New Hampshire will be a woman and the total number of female senators will jump from 15 to 20 in 2013.”

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The Impact of Romney’s Faith

Much was made of the impact that Romney’s faith would have on his White House hopes.

The Hill reports of Romney’s broad appeal across religions,”A post-election poll by the Pew Forum showed that President George W. Bush actually garnered a higher percentage of the Mormon vote than Mitt Romney, the first major party candidate of the Mormon faith. But Romney posted substantial improvement among Jewish and Catholic voters, evidence Republican efforts to target those two demographic groups were not for naught.

While the Romney campaign shied away from sharing his faith, had his experiences been shared earlier it may have had a more positive impact than previously thought.

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A Divided America

While the presidential election has come to a close, the divisiveness of this campaign cycle will endure.

The WCF Courier reports on the divide between parties.

“There is not only a cultural split in the nation, there is also a very strong ideological divide. This schism is profound and should not be taken lightly by Obama supporters. I know numerous people who, in deepest sincerity, cannot fathom how any independently thinking person could have voted for Obama. It is totally incomprehensible.”WCF Courier
Read more here.