It was not. The final results had Barack Obama winning the state by about 300,000 votes -- way below his 2008 total -- but still a comfortable margin.
Looking in the rear-view mirror (which is so much clearer), the dynamic in the final days of the presidential campaign was this: The national Romney surge that began after the first debate had sputtered to a stop. The Republican candidate was trailing or tied in the nine so-called key states.
The last public polls in
The Romney campaign rolled into the state pronouncing
But, the ploy wasn't based on optimism. The Romney campaign
knew it was going to lose key states, including
In an earlier piece, I put it this way:
Forgive the analogy, but this reminds me of the Civil War, circa 1863. As Gen. Robert E. Lee surveyed the scene, he saw that the Confederates had lost the western front and were losing the South. He decided to counter with a bold offensive move into the heart of the North. Into
His goal was to scare the bejabbers out of Northerners who, in turn, might elect a peace candidate in the 1864 presidential election who would be willing to negotiate an end to the war. Lee did accomplish goal one. His defeat at
In other words, instead of being an opportunistic move (We're doing so well elsewhere we are going to open a new front!), it was a move dictated by desperation.
In fact, it likely had an effect opposite the one intended.
To Obama supporters in
It was a wake up call, especially here in the southeast, which is an Obama stronghold.
On Election Day Obama won the eight-county
Black indicator wards I have followed over time show that Obama got 99 percent of the African-American vote in the city. (Up from 98 percent in 2008.)
For the record, in the 10 black wards I watch, Obama got 65,000 votes and Romney got 800. That is not a misprint. He got only 800 votes.
The election also confirmed the broader voter trends that have turned
These state trends mirror national ones. The winning Obama coalition included young voters, women (especially affluent women), African Americans and Latinos, plus professionals who live in the suburbs. On Tuesday, he was also able to hold onto Democratic blue-collar voters, especially in the
If demographics are destiny, the GOP is in trouble, as the nation's white population declines in relation to minorities. (To cite an example close to home, the Latino population in
Being the party of the white/conservative/evangelicals is not a bad thing -- if you are running for office in
The last political party to be so relentlessly retrograde was the Whigs. Seen any Whigs around lately?
-- Tom Ferrick