Election 2008: Crunching the numbers
On December 15, 2008, in the interest of civil order, let us all hope that Barack H. Obama can prove to the Electoral College that he is a “natural born” citizen of the United States. (See: U.S. Constitution: Article I, Section 1, Clause 5, and the 14th Amendment.) If so, he faces a rather low hurdle on January 6, 2009, when the Democrat-controlled Congress either accepts or rejects the decision of the Electoral College.
If Barack Obama meets the tests of December 15th and January 6th, then all Americans should get behind President Obama as our commander-in-chief. Of course, in a free society, some dissent will still be heard; however, Republicans, by and large, will not act toward the new commander-in-chief as the Democrats have behaved toward President Bush, i.e., eight years of the Left demonstrating what a class-less society looks like.
Enough polling data are now available to tell us how this particular election compared to previous elections. Younger voters did not vote in the predicted numbers; however, those who showed up voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Surprisingly, in a race between a distinguished war veteran and a candidate with no military experience, 2.7 million fewer veterans voted. Moreover, 4.1 million fewer Republicans voted in 2008 than in 2004. Among regular church-goers, their vote was down by 4.1 million.
While the addition of Governor Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket brought more pro-family-values conservatives to the polls, the underperformance of veterans, actual Republicans, Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs) and church-goers suggests the McCain campaign failed to motivate key components of the traditional Republican coalition.
Blacks voted in overwhelming numbers for Obama. The GOP share of the Hispanic vote dropped from 44- to 32-percent. Politically, Obama will be encouraged to throw open our southern border and to legitimize the illegal aliens who are already here.
According to the Rasmussen Reports ™, until the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac mortgage meltdown, John McCain was leading by five points. But, as the economy tanked, Obama gained a five-point lead that lasted through Election Day.
The larger questions go back to the Primary Election: How did a woman with a long and distinguished record of public service barely lose the Democrat nomination to a relative unknown with a comparably razor-thin resume? Or, how did Republicans end up nominating a very good person with a long and distinguished record of military and public service who was such a poor candidate? By contrast, Barack H. Obama is a person about whom the voters knew very little, yet he made a highly effective candidate.
According to Rasmussen, Obama was able (following the Lehman Brothers collapse), to convince the late-deciders that he offered more tax relief than John McCain. But those who voted on the basis of Obama-promised tax relief may be sorely disappointed.
You see, in 2001 and 2003, President Bush got a GOP-controlled Congress to enact across-the-board tax cuts totaling $2.1 trillion dollars. But the Democrats insisted that the Bush tax cuts expire in 2011. Now, Obama faces a taxation time bomb that will blow up in his face in 2011. Unless, of course, the Democrat-controlled Congress extends Bush’s across-the-board tax cuts which the Democrats have vilified ever since 2001. Catch-22 for the Democrats.
The title of one of Ann Coulter’s outrageously funny books is: If Democrats Had Any Brains, They Would Be Republicans. Today, a better title might be: If Republicans Had Any Brains, They Would Be Conservatives.
Beginning with the Reagan Revolution, Republicans began to win elections as long as Republicans acted on the conservative principles of: the protection of individual rights, protection of free enterprise, reduction of government to the lowest practical level and the practice of fiscal responsibility. (See: Alfred S. Regnery’s Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism.)
But when Republican office holders govern like big-government, pork-laden, Democrats-Lite, Republicans lose. Deservedly, so.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
©2008. William Hamilton.