Though President Obama unquestionably earned another four years in the White House, many will be dissecting the precise numbers in the 2012 election for days, not to contest President Obama as the clear winner (he is) but to learn what we can from the state of the electorate.
With 303 electoral votes compared to Mitt Romney’s 206, President Obama is indeed the uncontested winner as votes continue to be counted. However, many are curious as to how the popular vote (the raw number of votes) came out as well. Did Obama regain the mandate he had in 2008?
With a 2.6 million popular vote lead over Mitt Romney as of this posting, it seems as though President Obama has indeed regained the 2008 mandate, a green-light for him to proceed with his vision of the United States.
However, keep in mind that the GOP retains control over the House of Representatives despite historically low approval ratings for Congress, meaning that at the end of the day, the political climate of the next two years won’t be so dramatically different from the policy lull of the last two.
Additionally, though the final numbers are not yet in, voter turnout is said to have dropped by roughly 11 percent since 2008, meaning that the voter spread in 2012 was somewhere between 2008 and the mid-terms in 2010.
It’s hard to say exactly what the country is thinking or how the electorate feels in 2012. It’s readily apparent that the country is still deeply divided. Obama’s 2.6 million lead over Mitt Romney with the popular vote sounds like a lot on its own, but the actual numbers make it look a lot closer. As of this posting:
Be wary of the numerous media outlets (or haughty Facebook friends) who call this election a clear endorsement of President Obama or a particular policy of his. If anything, the 2012 election was a rejection of Mitt Romney, not necessarily of the GOP. If the closeness of the popular vote (as of now) means anything, it’s that President Obama didn’t get a green-light from the nation this time: It’s a yellow.