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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim

Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the race on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the race on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.
Photo Credit: YY

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It hasn’t been a long night. Around 10 PM Eastern, someone on one of the channels I had been following said that President Obama’s motorcade was getting ready to take him to his election center, in Chicago. It meant that the Democrats were certain about their presidential win.

I could feel the anguish emanating from our own chat line here, at the JewishPress.com. I was hearing similar cries of woe from a few open Skype lines on my desktop. Towards the end there, I think many of us started believing that a Romney win was a real possibility. A Dick Morris prediction of a Romney landslide win we ran here got close to 30 thousand page views in half a day. Regardless of its very loose connection to reality on this planet, the story expressed the yearnings of so many who flocked to our website in search of a voice to reflect their own.

The Democrats have retained control over the Senate, with 51 seats plus two independents. Not the kind of numbers that can break a filibuster. The Republicans will keep the House, with a net loss in the single digits. This means Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself. He has won better than 300 delegates to the Electoral College, but that does not mean that he received a mandate from the people. He won by a squeak.

I believe the Republicans have achieved their most basic goal this time around, namely, that their presidential candidate—who was destined to lose to an incumbent—wouldn’t perform so atrociously that his defeat would coat-tail the Republican House with it down in flames. Remember Governor Perry? Speaker Gingrich? Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? So Romney delivered the bare minimum that was expected of him: Don’t make matters even worse. That was the reason the party leaders, along with the Bush clan and Karl Rove were so adamant about supporting Romney – they and the billion dollar budget they brought in with them.

The fact that Romney almost won the presidency while he was at it was above and beyond their initial expectations. I think Romney spent much of the campaign playing to tie rather than win. It was only when he met the enemy in the first debate and drew blood that he realized he could actually make it. That’s my hunch.

Political Science majors should take note of the miracle performed by Obama Tuesday. Until this year, no incumbent president since FDR in 1940 has won re-election with unemployment over 7.2%. Well, Obama has broken the mold, winning despite unemployment hovering at between 7.6 and 7.9%. This means there were additional circumstances that weighed in his favor. I believe two factors were in play:

1. America is losing its White majority. It is sinking fast, and this year it is 72.4% White. Back in 2000, it was 75.1% white (In 2011, White new births were outnumbered by non-White 50.5% to 49.5%). Since Romney lost by such a small margin (roughly a million votes nationwide), it means that had this election been held in 2004—all other things staying the same—it would have been a Republican victory.

A good friend suggested to me early Tuesday morning that the Republicans were experiencing the broken glass effect, meaning they would crawl over broken glass to vote their choice, that’s how much they hated Obama. But my wife commented that, judging by the images of long lines of African American and Hispanic voters standing in line in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, it appears they, too, would be perfectly willing to take the crunch. That’s how much they feared Romney.

2. The Republican Party has to regain the center for real. Let’s face it, Romney was working hard to appear like a benign centrist, but you can’t be against the Dream Act and against abortion rights in this country and hope to be considered a centrist. I’m afraid that with its zeal to embrace the authentic Tea Party candidates, the Evangelicals, and the NRA crowd, the GOP has edged out the last of its liberal and moderate stars. This works well for the red states and even for local races in many blue states, but if the GOP wants to govern, it has to rediscover its businessmen/women, its bankers and its moderate intellectuals, or it won’t stand a chance to win presidential politics ever again.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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195 Responses to “Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim”

  1. Avner Garbi says:

    Yori Yanover you delusional he won big we didn't count Florida yet he won the popular vote and the Electoral vote that's not a squeak. face it you lost!

  2. Myriam Obadia says:

    I am aware that many Israelis are disappointed by Obama's reelection. still, how can someone get over 50% of the popular vote and a large Electoral College margin and his win be considered "close"?
    Had the GOP fielded a moderate ticket willing to heal the rancor and reach for consensus, most American would have voted against Obama.
    The GOP chose, on the contrary to go Medieval Inquisitor on women and immigrants, and pull the rug from under the young, the elderly, and the poor. They lost because no one in America wanted to wake up with less civil rights and economic safety net than they had, going to bed the day before. The only reason this will not happen in Israel is that our Left has deserted its responsibility to Am and Eretz Israel and we either vote for the Right or vote ourselves out of a country and into exile again.

  3. Justin Stern says:

    Why would you go out of your way to say that you weren't proud that the U.S. had elected its first African American president? That is a ROUSING achievement. People talk about "American exceptionalism," but by most counts we are not that exceptional. We're not the smartest and we're not the healthiest anymore–and we're also not the only ones that democratically elect their government, despite what Fox News might have you believe. What we CAN claim is that we are the first western nation to have elected a black man president of the country that was built on the black of African slaves.

  4. Edward Lobel says:

    Cris ortiz, No matter how wrong you are you are entitled to your own opinion, but you should be more carefl when you say things especially when they are wrong! NO ONE in thi country favors abortions up until the time of delivery! Secondly, the MAJORITY of Americans favor a woman's right to choice! Thirdly,The United States is NOWHERE CLOSE to bankruptcy! That is a blatet Lie started by repubs and tea baggers. If you knew anything about the situation you would know that the credit raing companies ALL said the reason they downgraded the debt was because the repubs would not increase the ceiling and that there is PLENTY of money available to pay off the debt!

    As for Hispanics playing an imprtant role in the election, you are correct! You have to ask yourself why that happened. The reason they overwhelmingly support President Obama was because he talks to the Hispanics and did indeed make it possible for many of them to stay here even though willared and the foolharty repubs want them out!

  5. Justin Stern says:

    This is the United States of America. It's not reasonable to judge a government based on how it treats one other nation. This guy has won the popular vote now twice–that means the MAJORITY of Americans approve of what he's doing.

  6. Justin Stern says:

    I voted for Romney, but this consistent bashing of the President is really shameful. We survived GWB and we will survive Obama, too.

  7. Edward Lobel says:

    Charlie Hall – have to disagree with you, winning by well ove 100 EV is a landslide by anyones deffinition.

  8. Edward Lobel says:

    Foolish! Alol those evangelicals who listen to robertson or Jews who listen to bibi or shmuley also have much hatred ion them so how can you say someone you did not know anything about would breed hatred! And if you think President Obama has bread hatred over the last four years not only are you wrong, but now everyone knows how foolish you are!

  9. Edward Lobel says:

    Lori Lowenthal Marcus not only are you showing how foolish and full of hate your are, but to say he is not pro Israel is a down right Lie and you hould be ashamed of yourself!
    Just what do you know about being a Amrican?
    President Obama has had the same policies as had every other U.S. President. He will defend Israel should the need arise. He has given Israel tremdous defense capabilities with missle shields. Today Bibi said Presient Obama was a great friend to Israel! I suppose you now think Bibi is "un-Israeli" or hates America?
    I personally think you do know have a clue about what you are sayingand say it to stir up controversy

  10. Edward Lobel says:

    Caryn Lipson If you had a clue as to what you are saying you would be ashamed of yorself!

  11. 70% of American Jews voted again for Obama— If Iran acquires nuclear weapons and uses them against Israel, the Jewish blood will be on their hands as aiding and abetting in the destruction of the Jewish People.

  12. Edward Lobel says:

    Lynne Bishop Let's tell the truth here, you like Israel but HATE JEWS! The only reason you like Israel is in your version of the rapture, all the Jews have to be in Israel for the rapture to begin! Once it begins all Jews will have to convert or go to the fires of hell. If all the Jews are not in Israel, then there can be no rapture!

  13. Edward Lobel says:

    Caryn Lipson there are idiots no matter where you go. there were senate candidates here who said it was g-ds will for a woman to be raped and get pregnant from that rape, does that mean it is true or you should go around spreading stupid things!

  14. Edward Lobel says:

    Michael D Blum – even though it is early I read in a few stories today that is was between 790-75% which is pretty close tonormal.

    After reading some of the foolishness that LoriLowenthat Marcus has had to say, I WOULD BE VERY LEARY IN BELIEVING ANYTHING SHE HAS TO SAY!

  15. Anonymous says:

    It has been the SECOND TIME IN A ROW that the GOP lost the Presidential Election by having a VERY MODERATE CANDIDATE that did not express real Republican themes and DID NOT GATHER THE ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT OF TRADITIONAL REPUBLICAN VOTERS.
    He was a bit better than MacCain, and in fact he got more votes and almost made it; but he was FAR FROM THE GALVANIZING STANCES TAKEN BY RONALD REAGAN even against an opposer who was not better than Carter.
    It is NOT by BECOMING MORE SOCIALIST or MULTICULTURALIST or by ADULATING ISLAM and BEING TOLERANT TOWARD ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION that Republican candidates can win the Presidency. Just as much as it is not by spreading, condoning or even not condemning VERY VOCALLY witch-doctor pseudo science canards like "Legitimate rape doesn't cause pregnancy" [sic!], nor it is by adulating a LYING President on his foreign policy B.S.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Rc Fowler, Torah is not only TaNa"Kh!
    That is Protestantism.
    You can find what Mr. Yanover said even in the Mishnah (Ohalot), which is TORAH LE-MOSHE MI-SINAI, Torah of Moses from Sinai, that is BINDING ON ALL JEWS, and which was not given to non Jews.
    Torah has only ONE penalty for murder, and that is DEATH.
    The TaNa"Kh itself teaches that causing an abortion by hitting a mother is punished with monetary compensation, that is as a damage, which would NOT be the case were the fetus considered a person, which is NOT, until the head is completely out of the birth channel, as explained VERY WELL by RaMba"M, Maimonides, the most important decisor since Moses, who actually goes into very fine details on how to perform a late term abortion to preserve the mother's health and describes how the fetus must be cut inside the womb.

  17. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    thanks guys – but of course, I didn't make any predictions, I just report. And for some reason the story hasn't gone live here yet, but yes, according to the RJC, Obama received 60% of the Jewish vote. And Edward, Leary was a Harvard professor who dabbled in LSD, I think the word you were reaching for is leery, and you should be leery about, not leery in.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Obama won by about 1% in 2012.
    He had won with over 10% in 2008.
    Obama won by less than 2 million votes in 2012.
    Obama had won by almost 10 million in 2008.
    Swing states were won by Obama by small percentages, contrary to what had happened in 2008.
    A landslide is what Reagan had: carring 49 states against Mondale in 1984. The heartland of America is more pronouncedly "red" than before, and the GOP has advanced even in traditionally VERY "blue" states.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Liad Bar-el, don't confuse Jewish Law, that is TORAH, with internet B.S. spread by black-clad extremists who LIVE by and teach chumrot and don't know DINIM.
    To begin with, the idea itself of a "civil law" as something different from Torah Law, is FOREIGN TO TORAH-TRUE JUDAISM, and is a Greek idea!

  20. Felisha Witt says:

    this is not a smart a** question-but I really want to understand how any Jewish person could vote for obama-to me he doesn't stand by Israel and will not back her against iran-he has not even been there since being president-yet visits surrounding countries-he slighted Bibi at an important time and clearly supports the muslim brotherhood and islam.can some please explain this to me?

  21. William A. McLaughlin says:

    Last I heard 67-69%

  22. Edward Lobel says:

    Obama won 2012 by over 2% but that doesn't matter, what matters is that there were a significantly less votes cast overall! In 2008 there were over 130,000,000 votes cast for president. in 2012 there were less that 120,000,000 That should be suprising! Obama won 332 electorial votes and willard won 206 that can be considered a "landslide"

  23. Charlie Hall says:

    Obama's victory margin in 2008 was 53%-46%, a margin of 9.5 million votes; 365-173 in the electoral college.

    Obama's victory margin in 2012 was 50%-48%, a margin of 2.5 million votes; 332-206 in the electoral college.

  24. Edward Lobel says:

    Lori Lowenthal Marcus, picky, picky, picky. (LOL) maybe I was remembering when Tim and I got together, but that's another story!

  25. Charlie Hall says:

    Romney was a moderate governor of Massachusetts. But he had to position himself as an extremist to win the Republican nomination. He could not erase those positions he had adopted. McCain got 3.5 million more votes than Romney. In fact, McCain got more votes in 2008 than Obama did in 2012.

  26. The Jewish Press really can't deal with an Obama win, can it.

  27. Ethan Allende says:

    Apparently I missed when Israel suddenly went to the extreme fringes of the right

  28. He should support Islam as most of the religion is normal. It's the 1% of radicals that are…. well, not. He has stood by Israel, perhaps not in the way we'd exactly love him to but you can't say he hasn't been supportive.

  29. Felisha Witt says:

    so you really think when iran gets the bomb that obama will stand by Israel? I am afraid he won't.but i do believe where in the Bible it says God will protect Israelfrom her enemies.

  30. Felisha Witt says:

    I am having a hard time dealing w/it myself-we'll just have to double up the stocking on supplies and ammo.

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