2012 Election Results: The Mandate
Elections have consequences. President Obama's stunning re-election victory came dramatically from the same emerging majority coalition-- a rainbow coalition -- brought him to the presidency in 2008.
At its heart are minorities (exit polls report the president won 93 percent of black votes, 73 percent of Asian-American votes and 71 percent of Hispanic votes), young people (the president won 60 percent of those under 29), single women (the president won 62 percent of the unmarried vote) and union households (the president won 66 percent of union members).
What do they want? These voters reflect America's diversity. But they share one thing in common: They were the hardest hit by the recession and have had the hardest time recovering from it.
Although it gets little attention in the press, the president's vote directly tracked income levels. He won a large majority of those making less than
What do they want? They want action on jobs. They want action on wages, with overwhelming support for raising the minimum wage. They want investment in education and opportunity, so that their children can get a good public education and can afford to go to college. They want high-speed rail public transportation put back on the table, which was rejected by the governors in
These are the most vulnerable of Americans, so when
Obama's majority came significantly from our cities. He won 69 percent of voters who live in cities with a population of more than 500,000. He split the suburbs, but lost big with voters from rural areas and towns of less than 50,000.
What do urban residents need? They need a plan to rebuild America's cities. They suffer from a decrepit and outmoded infrastructure -- aging sewers, inadequate and costly mass transit, vulnerable electric grids, underfunded schools and inadequate public parks and programs. They need affordable housing that is energy efficient. They need jobs desperately, as their young people suffer destructive unemployment rates.
The president's real mandate -- and his real opportunity -- is to lay out a plan for revitalizing our cities. This will help get the economy going and put people to work. It will decrease poverty, despair and the hopelessness that feeds drugs and depression. And as people go to work, they start paying taxes and stop collecting unemployment insurance -- and that helps bring deficits down. As the president said across America, you can't cut your way to prosperity. You must grow your way out of deficits. Clearly, the big issues of poverty, racial disparity, gender inequality and violence will not go away on their own. We must drive them away with opportunities of hope as the live alternatives to hurt, hatred and despair.
The president's voters want jobs, not cuts in vital programs. They want a plan to rebuild our cities -- not a plan to cut vital security programs and continue to starve vital investments in our cities.
These voters have stood up for the president, now the president has a clear mandate to stand up for them.
Read the latest political news.
- Corporate Bosses Gone Berserk
- The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate
- The Real Problem with Military Spending
- Without Unity, We'll Tumble Over the Fiscal Cliff
- The Classy Election of 2012
- Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser in Politics
- Will the Supreme Court Dismantle the Voting Rights Act?
- The Pollution of Political Discourse
- The Sad State of Zealots with Microphones
- Mitt Romney's Uncertain Legacy
- Obama's Re-Election: Oh, We Forgot to Tell You ...
- Republicans and Democrats Playing Game of Economic Chicken
- Petraeus Yet Another High-Ranking Military Official Mired in Scandal
- David Petraeus: Sex and the City (of Washington)
- David Petraeus: What Obama Did Not Need to Know
- David Petraeus: The Public's Need to Know or Not
- The French View of The Petraeus Sex Scandal
- Mitt Romney's 'Gifts' Gaffe
- Mitt Romney Self-Destructs Again
- Ballot Measures Reveal Electorate No Longer in a Tea Partying Mood
- Real Facts Catch Up with the GOP Spin Doctors
- 2012 Election Results: Changing America
- 2012 Election Results: The Right Is Not Waving a White Flag
- Whither the GOP?
- GOP's Biggest Problem is Itself
- 2012 Election Results: Compassionate Conservatism Redux
- Election was a Turning Point for Latinos
- Republicans Need to Rethink Future; Latinos Here to Help
- 2012 Election Results: Once Again, Florida is the National Punchline
- GOP Defeated by Single Women
- 2012 Election Results: The Mandate
- 2012 Election Results: A Victory for Creatures of the State
- Let's Make Sure Every Vote Matters
- Obama Re-Elected as President
- Obama Victory Speech Talks About Reconciliation and Hope
- Romney Ends Presidential Run, Congratulates Obama's Election Win in Concession Speech
- GOP Retains House Majority But Democrats Keep Control of Senate
- Obama Re-election the Result of Increasingly Diverse Electorate
- Voters Said No to 'Politics of Pitchforks'
- Obama Presses On
- Four More Years of Decline
- An America Yet to Be Born
- Democrats' Medicare Offensive Falls Flat Against GOP
- Federal Deficit Talks Could Impact Obama's Moves On Health Law
- Groundhog Day in America
- 10 Reasons Latinos Voted for Obama
- The New American Civil War
- What's Next?
- Nate Silver's Numbers Racket
- Florida Voters Won't Be Fooled Again -- or Will We?
- A Date with History: The Cuban Missile Crisis
- United States Presidential Elections in Perspective
- Early Latino Turnout Could Swing Vote
- A Letter to Women Voters
- The Final Days, The Biggest Issue and The Clearest Choice
- Another Electoral College Nightmare?
- Why We're Still in Deep Trouble No Matter Who Wins The Presidency
- FEMA vs 'Romnesia'
- An Unscripted October Surprise
- Stormy Weather Politics
- Storm Saves Obama From Himself
2012 Election Results: The Mandate | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc