In the wake of the mid-term election on November 4, in which Republicans gained control of the U.S Senate and retained a majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats are bound to begin analyzing just where they might have gone wrong. President Barack Obama appeared reconciled with the defeat when he said "Obviously, the Republicans had a good night." He did not, however, signal any change in course or policy. During the course of the campaign, many Democrats appeared to be unwilling to receive the president's endorsement, or a visit from the unpopular Chief Executive. Voters appeared to agree with Republicans that Obama has appeared disengaged or aloof from negotiating with his political opponents.
Obama said of the Republicans, "And they deserve credit for running good campaigns. Beyond that, I'll leave it to all of you and the professional pundits to pick through yesterday's results." During the post-election news conference on November 5, Obama appeared to suggest he may have gotten the message from most Republicans and some Democrats that using his pen and his phone to get around the will of Congress is but a euphemism for disengagement. "As president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work," he said. He appeared to downplay the results of the devastating loss for Democrats, saying that he had heard the voices of those who voted and of "the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process."
An article in The Atlantic opined that there were times during Obama's exchange with the media that it appeared as though he had been unburdened by the loss on the part of the Congressional Democrats. With Republicans at the helm of Congress, Obama appeared to suggest, he can react to the actions they take. "I look forward to Republicans putting forward their governing agenda," Obama said. "I will offer my ideas on areas where I think we can move together to respond to people's economic needs."
Voluble Bill Donohue, a sociologist and president of the Catholic League, reacted to the Tuesday election by saying Catholics - who had once supported Obama by a margin of margin of 50 percent to 48 percent - now appear to have abandoned the Democratic Party. In this elecition, Donohue said, 54 percent of Catholics voted for Republican candidates and 45 percent went for the Democrats (60 percent of white Catholics chose GOP candidates). He said "What is most startling about the Catholic vote is that it represents an exact turnaround from 2008: 54 percent voted for Obama and 45 percent cast their ballot for Senator John McCain." Similarly, a majority of Catholics voted for Bill Clinton during the 1990s.
Said Donohue in a release, "Catholics are pragmatic. Until the McGovernization of the Democratic Party in 1972, they were among the most reliably Democratic voters in the nation. Since that time, they have been politically homeless, which is why both parties vie for their vote so aggressively. Catholics are a bellwether: whoever wins their vote, generally wins the election. By contrast, Protestants vote Republican and Jews vote Democrat."
Donohue signaled that other voting blocs are also up for grabs between the contending parties. "Asians are another group to watch," wrote Donohue. "Not only are they the fastest growing minority in the U.S.—they constitute 3 percent of the electorate—they are up for grabs by both parties. In the last presidential election, Obama captured 73 percent of their vote. But not this year: Asians voted 50 percent to 49 percent, choosing Republicans over Democrats. This is a huge turnaround in just two years."
"Some things never change. Most Americans are either high school graduates, have attended college, or are college graduates: they voted Republican, by a wide margin. So who voted for the Democrats? High school dropouts and postgraduates. That would make for a great "60 Minutes" segment: Why is it that those who know nothing have so much in common with those who think they know everything?"
Donohue also noted that Sandra Fluke - woman who was lionized by Democrats and sexual activists after she was criticized and called a "slut" by radio personality Rush Limbaugh, lost her primary bid against fellow Democrat Ben Allen in California's 26th District. An activist in favor of abortion and contraception, she lost by 22 points in her bid for the state senate. Fluke, an attorney, has been a supporter of President Obama. She is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University law school.
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