President Barack Obama won a second term this past November defeating Mitt Romney. Romney represented an old Republican Party that many voters see as too extreme in its conservative views, too hostile toward the interests of working families, Hispanics, African Americans and women, and too focused on representing the interest of the wealthy.
President Obama won re-election by a comfortable margin in the Electoral College and in the popular vote. He won every battleground state with the exception of North Carolina.
While the contests for the 435 seats in House showed virtually no change, the Republicans suffered a major defeat in the U.S. Senate where they had expected to make significant gains given that Democrats had to defend 23 of the 33 seats. Instead, the Democrats increased their margin.
In Missouri and Indiana, Republicans backed by the Tea Party, lost in races where the GOP were once heavily favored to win.
President Obama rode to victory based on forging together a coalition that reflects the rapidly changing demographics of the American electorate. He won African Americans, Hispanics, women and young voters. He also did well enough among white working class men in Michigan and Ohio to offset Romney’s better showing among white men.
The anti-immigration views of Romney and other Republican candidates hurt them with Hispanics. When Republican senatorial candidates talked about “legitimate rape,” it turned off many women voters.
Republican support for Right To Work For Less laws, attacks on collective bargaining and an obvious disrespect for workers rights galvanized the labor movement.
Repeatedly disrespecting the President, Republicans vowed to eliminate the Health Care Reform law and committed blatant attempts to suppress the vote through ridiculous voter ID laws and other tactics, energizing African American voter turnout for President Obama.
An NBC exit poll believed that many voters rejected Romney because they believed he would favor policies that mainly benefit the rich. Fifty-two percent said Romney would favor the wealthy, 35 percent said he would favor the middle class and 2 percent said he would favor the poor.
The presidential campaign was long and bitter. Leaders of both parties should now begin the healing. In his victory speech, President Obama said he would reach out to Republicans in Congress, which still holds the majority in the House of Representatives.
“I am looking forward to reaching out working with the leaders of both parties to reduce the deficit and reform the tax system, President Obama said, adding, “You voted for action, not politics as usual.”
The top priority for Democrats and Republicans should be working together to develop policies that will create more jobs and reduce unemployment.
However, President Obama was not re-elected to a second term to capitulate on core principles that come at the expense of average Americans.
The fact is that Republicans will not stop seeking to aggressively push their conservative policies. The President must be equally aggressive in rejecting policies that will hurt those who voted for him. He must leave the dance with those that brought him.
American voters did not re-elect Obama for him to agree with plans to compromise away trillions in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs.
The re-election of President Obama and the Democrat’s victories in the Senate is a clear rejection of the extremists’ views of today’s Republican Party.