Washington: President Barack Obama’s dramatic re-election victory was not a sign that a fractured nation had finally come together on Election Day, but it was a strong endorsement of economic policies that stressed on job growth, health care reform, tax increases and balanced deficit reduction — and of moderate policies on immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage.
According to the New York Times, it was repudiation of Reagan-era bromides about tax-cutting and trickle-down economics, and of the politics of fear, intolerance and disinformation.
The president’s victory depended heavily on Midwestern Rust Belt states like Ohio, where the bailout of the auto industry — which Obama engineered and Romney opposed — proved widely popular for the simple reason that it worked, the report said.
More broadly, Midwestern voters seemed to endorse Obama’s argument that the government has a significant role in creating private-sector jobs and boosting the economy.
They rejected Romney’s position that Washington should simply stay out of such matters and let the free market work its will.
According to the report, the Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to steal away Pennsylvania by stressing unemployment was a failure there and elsewhere. Voters who said unemployment was a major issue voted mainly for Obama.
Romney, it turns out, made a fatal decision during the primaries to endorse a hard line on immigration, which earned him a resounding rejection by Latinos.
By adopting an insensitive position that illegal immigrants could be coerced into “self-deportation,” and by praising Arizona’s cruel immigration law, Romney made his road in Florida and several other crucial states much harder, the report said.
Only one-third of voters said illegal immigrants should all be deported, while two-thirds endorsed some path to legal residency and citizenship. The Republican approach, if unchanged, will cost them dearly in the future, it added.
According to the report, still, Obama’s victory did not show a united country. Richer Americans supported Romney, while poorer Americans voted for Obama.
Romney’s strategy of blaming Obama for just about everything, while serenely assuring Americans he had a plan to cut the deficit without raising taxes or making major cuts in Medicare, simply did not work, the report said.