Republicans didn't know you would be voting
Rick OutzenThe worst thing that happened to the Republican Party and its presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 general election was that the people voted.
Published: November 11, 2012
Published: November 11, 2012
Before the votes were cast and counted, the Republican strategists, like Karl Rove, could beat their chests and proclaim the American people were unhappy with President Barack Obama and overwhelmingly believed in their conservative views of the country.
In GOP/tea party world, the rich and businesses pay little or no taxes. People don't want Obamacare. Women don't have any rights to privacy when it comes to their bodies and pregnancies. Government should regulate marriage, but not oil and coal exploration.
When the Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner (R-Ohio) campaigned in Northwest Florida for Romney and Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Panama City), he told the faithful that the minorities and young voters had lost their enthusiasm for Obama. Romney would win because Republicans cared more about this election than the Democrats.
Rove agreed and saw Romney winning by a landslide and the GOP taking over the U.S. Senate. He raised an estimated $300 million for his political action committees to make it happen.
To support their position, Boehner and Rove could point to the 2010 mid-term elections when the Republicans seized control from the Democrats. The minority voting percentage dropped from 26 percent in 2008 to 23 percent in 2010. They believed the decline would be even steeper this year.
They were wrong.
The minority figure jumped 5 percentage points to 28 percent of the voters, according to the Center for American Progress. Young voters were seven percentage points higher than 2010, 12 percent to 19 percent, and one point better than 2008.
Meanwhile at the other end of the age spectrum, seniors' turnout was 16 percent of the voters, the same as in 2008.
Exit polls showed that liberals were 25 percent of voters in 2012, up from 22 percent in 2008. Conservatives comprised 35 percent of the voters, up 1 percentage point from 2008, but down a massive 7 points from the 2010 mid-term elections.
Romney and his strategist thought they had simply to sell their Norman Rockwell vision and Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan philosophy to an older, white audience to boot an African-American, progressive president from office. Blacks, Hispanics and young voters might complain, but they didn't matter because, in GOP/tea party world, they wouldn't be voting.
Of course, Boehner, Rove and their cadre were wrong. It was Obama who had the landslide victory. Also, Democrats won nine of the 10 Senate races in which Rove's PACs spent the most money
Democracy worked as it was supposed to. The people of this very diverse nation decided who they wanted to lead them for the next four years.
Rick Outzen is the publisher, editor and co-owner of the Independent News in Pensacola.