Many Americans found the 2012 presidential election results surprising. I was very happy with the results, but shocked that President Obama took all the “battleground” states with the exception of North Carolina. The Republican Party proved to be very entertaining in broadcasting their reasons for why the results turned out as they did. In this blog post, I will be examining some of the reasons given by Republicans for the presidential loss.
The media/fact checkers
Many Republicans adamantly believe the media has a liberal bias. Sarah Palin especially made this newsworthy in the 2008 presidential election, coining the term “liberal gotchya media.” Rich Noyes of the conservative Media Research Center slammed the “media’s biased gaffe patrol” for only magnifying every alleged Romney gaffe while failing to treat the president’s missteps equally. “When Obama infamously declared, ‘You didn’t build that,’ ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t report the politically damaging remark for four days,” Noyes wrote. In contrast, the Republican National Committee pounced on the remarks, used them in advertising, and even building an entire convention theme around the out of context quote. Noyes also says the “fact-checkers” which were very popular during this presidential debate season were bias and pointed out Romney and Ryan’s errors more so than President Obama’s and Vice President Joe Biden’s.
Hurricane Isaac/Sandy/Chris Christie
Republicans also gave Mother Nature as a reason for the defeat, blaming not just Hurricane Sandy, which hit right before Election Day, but Hurricane Isaac as well. Hurricane Isaac hit Florida just as the Republican National Convention was descending on Tampa this August. Viewers of the national convention coverage also hit an all-time low, even being beat out by the TLC reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Hurricane Sandy arguably kept some East Coast voters away from the polls. New Jersey governor Chris Christie received most of the blame though, especially for praising President Obama’s reaction to Hurricane Sandy.
Obama suppressing the vote
Republican strategist Karl Rove explains his theory in this video.
Romney not being conservative enough
“If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn’t conservative enough, I’m going to go nuts,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a Nov. 5 interview with Politico. “We’re not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we’re not being hard-ass enough.”
Even before Romney was chosen as the Republican nominee, he was criticized by other potential nominees and the media for being too centrist, with some even saying that he wanted to “wage war” on the Tea Party. It wasn’t until the first presidential debate that Romney made clear how conservative he could be in an effort to sway undecided voters.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who Wisconsin elected in November 2010, made headlines last Thursday by blaming President Obama’s re-election on an “ignorant electorate.”
No matter which reason you like best, it is clear to most that the Republican Party needs to change their platform. Like Senator Graham said, the Republican Party really struggles to connect with voters of color and young voters. As a young voter myself, I feel that the Republican Party will not be able to connect with these voting bases unless they change their stance on social issues. Being more conservative will only make this worse. As time passes, the older voters who make up a large part of the conservative base will disappear, unless Republicans change their stance on issues like gay marriage, they will never be able to reach an entire country.