Here’s Jam-Rock with the topline:
Together with one of the most hard-nosed campaigns in recent memory, Obama managed to bounce back from the nadir of 2011 to one of the broadest re-election victories in recent memory. At this point, news networks have called New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, and Ohio for President Obama. Only Florida has yet to be called, where the remaining votes are in traditionally Democratic areas of the state. Compared with 2008, Obama lost only two states: North Carolina and Indiana. When all is said and done, Barack Obama will have won re-election with 332 electoral votes—a much larger margin than the last president to win re-election, George W. Bush.
And here’s Alyssa with the math on Obama’s “new coalition“:
Latino voters made up 10 percent of voters, and 71 percent of them pulled the lever for Obama and Biden. 73 percent of Asian-American voters picked the Democratic ticket. The percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 rose from 18 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2012. 2008 wasn’t a fluke: it was a fact of a generational shift, rather than once-in-a-lifetime swell of enthusiasm. It’s not easy to capture that new coalition in a monochromatic splash of red or blue. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.
And yeah. Huge deal. But. So. Much. Happened. Yesterday. Last night saw a dizzying array of historic moments — and for progressives, unalloyed victories — that it was hard to keep it all straight. On the same night that the United States re-elected its African-American president, the country moved a big stepped closer to admitting a very brown state into the Union, and watched a state decide to elect to send the first openly gay Senator to Washington.
No matter what happens between now and 2016 — and Obama will get the credit for the economic recovery, a chance to appoint at least two Supreme Court justices, bolster the Affordable Care Act and possibly substantive reform on immigration policy — the Obama presidency, both directly and indirectly, will have been an enormously consequential one.
An historic night for marriage equality: Gay marriage initiatives have never won when put on the ballot for voters to decide. But last night, three states voted to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, and they’re likely to be the first of a trend. Support for same-sex marriage is robust among younger people, and its most ardent opponents are aging quickly. It’s worth noting that Maryland’s marriage equality initiative was passed with strong support from black groups, which YES DUH DIE STUPID MEME. (More on this later.)
Another first for LGBTQ folks: Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin becomes America’s first openly gay Senator.
A browning America might get browner still… Lost in last night’s hullaballoo was Puerto Rico’s vote to become the U.S.’s fifty-first state: “In a two-part referendum, voters supported abandoning the status quo and embracing statehood — the first time such an effort has received a majority. President Barack Obama pledged in 2011 to respect “a clear decision” of the people of Puerto Rico on statehood. It is unclear if the 60 percent margin on Tuesday meets that test.”
…while the lily-white Congressional GOP gets whiter: Had she won, Mia Love would have become the first black woman the Republicans have ever sent to Congress. She did not win. Florida’s Allen West, the pugilistic, flat-top-rocking ex-Marine and Tea Party hero, lost his House seat. The only black Republican left in Congress is South Carolina freshman Tim Scott, who easily won re-election.
All they do is smoke mad izm: Washington State and Colorado both approved measures that made recreational marijuana use legal, while a legalization proposal in Oregon went up in smoke. (Yeah, I did. Fight me.) In Washington, the push wasn’t coming from spacey hippies or Snoop
Dogg Lion, but from a bunch of former federal officials who think the War on Drugs has been an unqualified failure. I have it on good authority that these measures made it onto the ballots due to the dogged efforts of the often-underestimated munchies lobby.
Calls on the right for the G.O.P. to change tack: ...from folks like Jennifer Rubin, who isn’t exactly known as a voice of moderation: In the future, Republicans will have to find a way to appeal to the non-married, nonwhite, non-religious parts of the electorate. They must find a messenger or a message that is more than a standard conservative laundry list. They must figure out how conservatism can be presented as more than an abstract theory of the free market and as a compelling approach to addressing complicated problems…Of the candidates who did run in the primary, only Romney had any appeal to speak of beyond the Republican base. Really, does anyone imagine that Rick Santorum or Texas Gov. Rick Perry or, goodness gracious, Herman Cain, could have made it through the debates or presented an inclusive message?”
A bad night for the GOP candidates caught up in rape-and-abortion controversies: Todd Akin in Missouri, Joe Walsh in Illinois, and Richard Mourdock in Indiana all lost yesterday, despite being in very winnable races. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, however, lived to fight and say mind-bendingly idiotic things into microphones another day.