Misreading the 2012 Election

Nov 13, 2012

Postelection talk of “lessons learned” is ­often exaggerated and misleading, and so it is in 2012.

A week after President Obama won re-election, two themes are dominant. First, that Mr. Obama kept his job because key elements of his base—notably young people, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans—turned out for him. Second, that the growing size of these voting blocs represents a decisive challenge for the Republican party.

Both points are true, but most observers are overstating the gravity of the GOP’s problem. In particular, they are paying too little attention to how weak a candidate Mitt Romney was, and how much that hurt Republican prospects.

Read the full report, Lessons from the 2012 Election, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.

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