In what was called the “final press call” of the Obama for America presidential campaign, Campaign Manager Jim Messina and former Campaign Manager David Plouffe, among others, broke down how President Barack Obama was able to pull a decisive win over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, to the press. NewsOne was in attendance.
Before getting to the hard numbers of blue states that effectively delivered the President to the finish line, Messina made sure to clarify that the wins they earned were inspired by people on the ground who identified and were moved by the President’s message, rather than some sort of high-level algorithm that other election campaigns can copy for winning results.
“On Election Day, we hit over 7 million doors. We had over 109,000 people canvassing on doors, double that on the phones, and they executed a historic ground game.
“But the reason they did it, goes back to what [David Axelrod] talked about. The reason they were motivated to do this wasn’t because of any check product we gave them, or some analytical tool. They were working to build this campaign because they believed in Barack Obama and his message, and the policies that he moved forward to move this country forward, and that’s what won in this election.”
While stats and percentages are usually boring to everyone but statisticians, the data released by the Obama campaign gave fascinating insight in to how Obama precisely won this nation.
Total minority votes increased to 28 percent. Our coalition turned out in massive numbers with massive support, women made up about the same portion of the electorate as in 2008. And our support remains strong. We’ve got 55 percent of women voters. Youth actually increased as a percentage of the electorate. So for lots of reporting about youth, they turned out again and continue to take control of their future. We won them again at historic margins over 3 to 2, explained Messina.
One state that’s good to point out is Virginia, where we increased our youth percentage. In Florida, youth voting rates increased from 15 to 16 percent, and our share of the youth electorate in Florida, we had 61 percent of youth voters in ’08, we got 66 percent in 2012.
As NewsOne underscored on Thursday, the Black and Latino vote made all the difference in this election, with both groups voting at record-breaking levels:
African-American turnout and support was as high or higher than ever. In Ohio, for instance, African-American turnout increased from 11 to 15 percent, a dramatic increase. We again won somewhere between 90 and 97 percent in every battleground state.
Latinos: the President won 71 percent of the Latino vote, the highest percentage of Latino votes since 1996. In raw numbers, we won more Latino votes than any other presidential candidate twice. The vote share increased to an all-time high of 10 percent in Florida. It increased from 14 percent in 2008, to 17 percent in 2012. And we increased our vote share in Florida from 57 to 60, which appears to be a high mark for any Democratic candidate.
One surprise was the Cuban vote. Cubans have traditionally voted Republican, but according to the Huffington Post, young Cubans are breaking from their elders to cross party lines and recent Cuban immigrants also tend to be less Republican.
“The shifting tide among Cuban-American voters is being propelled by two factors: youth and immigration, said Miami’s Bendixen & Amandi International, who conducted a survey on voting in Florida’s Hispanic community. Young Cuban-Americans born and raised here are not sure-bet Republican voters as their staunchly anti-Castro elders were.”
Case in point, Messina said that Cubans voted for President Obama in unprecedented numbers, “We also, for the first time since the Revolution, won a majority of Cuban voters in Florida, which marks a dramatic realignment in the politics of that state.”
As for how voters responded to the President’s landmark Affordable Care Act and increasing tax rates for the wealthy, Messina added that only 25 percent of voters wanted to see Obamacare repealed, while 60 percent agree with Obama’s tax plan.
Plouffe also chimed in to address swing voters and how they bolstered the President’s campaign. Swing voters or also called “moderate voters” are considered one of the key voting blocs a candidate needs to win a presidential election. As their name implies, moderate voters can go with either candidate because they are not too far right or left. Luckily for Obama, enough of these voters came to bat on Election Day.
I think, a very important number with this 56 percent of the moderate voters in the country supported the president. That’s important.
Hillsborough County, Florida, the President won – actually with a larger margin than we did in 2008. Loudoun County in Virginia, quintessential suburban county. Bucks County in Pennsylvania where Governor Romney actually went and had his event over the weekend, the President won. Hamilton County in Ohio where we both spent probably an inordinate amount of time. Jefferson County and Arapahoe County in Colorado, and Washoe County in Nevada, Plouffe said.
And I think that speaks to, while obviously the campaign and our volunteers did a tremendous job of identifying and turning out core supporters, the President also showed a great appeal in these moderate suburban counties that determine presidential elections.
Getting right back to work, with barely a break from his exhausting re-election campaign, Obama will discuss the controversial “fiscal cliff,” which will address Congressional Republicans’ resistance to taxing the rich, on Friday afternoon.