Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C. — The results of the presidential election do not represent a seismic shift but show Republicans need to work harder at wooing certain population groups, Steven Law, president and CEO of the powerful political action committee American Crossroads, tells Newsmax.
Between American Crossroads and its affiliate American Crossroads GPS, Law put nearly $200 million into beating Obama.
“Looking at the election overall, there’s a media trope that Obama won this in a walk and that Republicans are consigned to demographic oblivion,” Law says. “The reality is that this was a very narrowly won, closely fought race.”
While Obama won, he “lost considerable market share in virtually every demographic group with the exception of Latinos, and lost total votes in each of the battleground states with the exception of North Carolina,” Law says.
One perplexing aspect of the election was the number of people who were disappointed in Obama but voted for him anyway, Law says.
“Voters in our research were inclined to continue to give Obama the benefit of the doubt for a long time, to make excuses for his failure to perform, and to essentially defend the choice that they had made in 2008,” Law says. “They did not want to see it as something where they had been mistaken.”
At the same time, “The bigger issue is whether there should have been an earlier and more vigorous defense of Mitt Romney against Obama campaign attacks that were clearly false and toxic,” Law says.
However, “The Romney people are correct in saying that it was an issue of resources as much as anything else, and that was a challenge, but there’s no question that the vilification campaign launched by President Obama had a significant amount of success.”
All along, the Obama campaign figured their goal was not so much to boost Obama and make him a more saleable candidate or to announce a new set of policies that might gain support, but rather to “simply vilify Romney and make it impossible for voters that were likely to leave Obama to turn and convert to Romney voters,” Law says.
Republicans need to take a close look at the results before deciding on any major changes. But at this point, “There are some significant tactical lessons to draw from this election in terms of our ground game and the importance of candidates defending and deflecting when they are attacked,” Law says.
Demographic changes had some impact on the election and will have a growing impact on elections in the future, Law says.
Among the changes is “the growth of Hispanic voters and the growth of non-white voters in general, which will include larger Asian populations in the future,” Law says. “We need to reach out to them and communicate better with women voters.”
This entails trying to communicate with people better to address their concerns, Law says.
“One of the findings that we have uncovered just since the election and looking at polling is that younger voters are becoming a more important segment of the electorate and older voters are becoming, by comparison, less of a major presence,” Law says. “Among younger voters, President Obama was able to rack up higher numbers, which ended up helping him overall.”
The Republican Party’s “hard-edge stance on immigration” is a significant problem with Hispanic voters, Law says.
“With respect to women voters, I do think that Republicans allowed themselves to be painted unfairly as enemies of contraception,” Law notes. “Unfortunate comments about rape in particular at least partly nationalized social issues to our detriment in a way that we haven’t seen in many years in presidential elections.”
Obama’s likeability also played a major role, Law says.
“We all tended to focus a lot, as we should have, on the electoral map firewall favoring Obama, but I think in the end the more unbreachable firewall was the likability firewall,” Law says. “It was much harder to overcome, and there were a lot of voters who in the end decided they did not want to vote for him, but at the same time they couldn’t vote against him.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times bestselling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Read more reports from Ronald Kessler — Click Here Now.
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