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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012

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uesday’s decisive win by Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election highlighted how population shifts - ethnic and generational - have buoyed Democrats while forcing Republicans to rethink their message. Without recasting their core message and actively trying to expand their base beyond older mostly white Americans, conservatives could struggle even more in future elections as the nation’s population incorporates more Latinos, Asians and other minorities as well as young voters, analysts said. Obama won an estimated 66 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to Reuters/Ipsos election day polling, at a time when the Latino population is growing rapidly in states such as Florida, one of eight or so politically divided states that were crucial in the presidential race. Other estimates put Obama’s share of the Hispanic vote above 70 percent. “The nonwhite vote has been growing - tick, tick, tick - slowly, steadily. Every four-year cycle the electorate gets a little bit more diverse. And it’s going to continue,” said Paul Taylor of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. “This is a very powerful demographic that’s changing our politics and our destiny,” Taylor said, adding that the number of white voters is expected to continue to decline a few points in each future election cycle. Data has shown for years that the United States is poised to become a “majority minority” nation - with whites a minority of the country - over the next several decades. But Tuesday’s results highlighted the political impact. About 80 percent of blacks, Latinos and other nonwhite voters cast their ballots for Obama on Tuesday compared with less than 17 percent for

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Obama win shows demographic shifts working against Republicans Romney, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. Obama also won about 63 percent of total voters age 18 to 34. Overall, Romney won nearly 57 percent of the white vote compared with 41 percent for Obama, the polling data showed. The vast majority of votes cast for Romney came from white voters. Demographer William Frey said that division is troubling. “We still are a country that’s kind of divided, and a lot of that fissure in the population tends to be based in race and age and ethnicity,” said Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. “There’s kind of a dangerous result in

this election when we see older whites moving in one direction and younger minorities moving in another direction.” Frey said he sees the gap less as racism and more as a cultural generation gap. “It’s a little bit of a warning sign that we need to pay attention to,” he said. U.S. data released earlier this year showed the number of ethnic minority births topping 50 percent of the nation’s total births for the first time.. It will be years before those newest Americans will be old enough to vote, but the demographic shift is clear. Most analysts project whites to be the racial

U.S. minority sometime between 2040 and 2050. Latinos, the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, are a huge factor. More than 70 percent voted for Obama compared with about 28 percent for Romney, according to Reuters/Ipsos data. “We are a much more diverse country than we were” just a generation or two ago, said Pew’s Taylor, who also oversees the center’s Social and Demographic Trends project and the Pew Hispanic Center. The rising number of multiracial children are also likely to become more of a factor, he

Barack Obama

added. Obama, whose historic win in 2008 made him the first ethnic minority U.S. president, had a black father and a white mother. Aging baby boomers also are a key factor in the demographic transition, as older voters “leave the electorate,” as Taylor delicately put it, and young voters more accepting of diversity and an active government are added to the rolls. That could help drive certain civil rights ballot initiatives, like votes in Maryland and Maine on Tuesday to approve same-sex marriage. In each instance, support from younger voters helped put the measures over the top. “It was an election in which the future won over the past,” said Marshall Ganz, a Harvard University lecturer on public policy, said of Tuesday’s various contests. Not all Republicans were willing to concede to demographics. Some highlighted tactical and strategic issues in their lost bid for the White House and their failed efforts to take control of the U.S. Senate. And analysts said Democrats, too, have lessons to learn. “It is a very powerful wake-up call to both political parties,” said Pew’s Taylor. Brookings’ Frey said Democrats still must keep the white vote in mind for at least the next couple of election cycles. “Whites are not dead,” he said. “They’re still a big part of this population.”

Obama, buoyed by election win, faces new battles

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resident Barack Obama had little time to savor victory on Wednesday after voters gave him a second term in the White House where he faces urgent economic challenges, a looming fiscal showdown and a still-divided Congress able to block his every move. Despite a decisive win over Republican Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s election, Obama must negotiate with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives to try to overcome the partisan gridlock that gripped Washington for much of his first term. The Democratic president’s most immediate concern is the “fiscal cliff” of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts that could crush the U.S. economic recovery if it kicks in at the start of next year. The prospect of Obama and Congress struggling to agree on the issue weighed heavily on global financial markets on Wednesday and helped send Wall Street stocks into a post-election swoon. Obama also faces challenges abroad including the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran, the civil war in Syria, the winding down of the war inAfghanistan and dealing with an increasingly assertive China. At home, Obama’s triumph could embolden him in his dealings with the Republicans, who were in disarray after failing to unseat him or reclaim control of the U.S. Senate, an outcome many conservatives had predicted. Their party is now headed for a period of painful soul-searching. Voters gave Obama a second

chance despite stubbornly high unemployment and a weak economic recovery, but they preserved the status quo of divided government in Washington. Obama’s fellow Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans kept their majority in the House, giving them power to curb the president’s legislative ambitions on everything from taxes to immigration reform. This is the political reality facing Obama - who won a far narrower victory over Romney than his historic 2008 victory over John McCain when he became the country’s first black president. He headed back to Washington on Wednesday after basking in the glow of his re-election together with thousands of elated supporters at a victory rally in his hometown of Chicago in the early hours of the morning. “We can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests,” Obama told the gathering. Trying to make good on his promise to seek compromise, Obama followed up in telephone calls with congressional leaders, including the two top Republican lawmakers, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, to express his determination to work together. “The president reiterated his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to: reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middleclass families and small businesses

and create jobs,” a White House official said. The problems that dogged Obama in his first term, which cast a long shadow over his 2008 campaign message of hope and change, still confront him. He must tackle the $1 trillion annual deficits, rein in the $16 trillion national debt and overhaul expensive social programs. The most urgent focus for Obama and U.S. lawmakers will be to deal with the “fiscal cliff,” a mix of tax increases and spending cuts due to extract some $600 billion from the economy starting early next year, barring a deal with Congress. Economists warn it could push the United States back into recession. Obama has pledged to increase tax rates on Americans earning more than $250,000 as a part of his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction something Republicans still vow to resist. In remarks to reporters, House Speaker Boehner struck a conciliatory tone but stuck to the Republican position that they will consider boosting revenues to help reduce deficits, but only as a “byproduct” of tax reform that lowers rates and eliminates loopholes and deductions. Boehner said lawmakers and Obama should find a short-term solution to avoid the fiscal cliff and work on a long-term debt reduction plan in 2013. “In order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement

programs that are the primary drivers of our debt,” Boehner said. Senate Republican leader McConnell gave no sign he was willing to concede his conservative principles. “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control,” McConnell said. Vice President Joe Biden told reporters the election delivered a mandate on moving closer to the administration’s views on tax policy, and Republicans would have to do some “soul-searching” about issues they would be willing to compromise on, according to a pool report. Post-election concern about U.S. fiscal problems contributed to a fall in global financial markets as jittery investors scrambled for less-risky assets. All three major U.S. stock indexes fell more than 2 percent, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than 300 points and the S&P 500 posting its biggest drop since June. Euro zone debt worries were also a factor in the market decline. The nationwide popular vote in Tuesday’s election was extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 48 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion. But in the state-by-state system of electoral votes that decides the White House, Obama notched up a

comfortable victory. By late on Wednesday, he had 303 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to win, to Romney’s 206. Florida’s close race was not yet declared, leaving its 29 electoral votes still to be claimed. The Republican Party, after losing the past two presidential contests, is expected to analyze at length what went wrong and how to fix it, especially how it has alienated Hispanic voters who were an important constituency in Obama’s victory. Some critics have argued that the Republican Party, with its conservative Tea Party faction, have moved too far from the American mainstream to attract enough independent voters to reclaim the White House. “The fact is, Republicans are going to have to do a lot of rethinking at the presidential level,” Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who lost the Republican nominating race to Romney, told CBS’s “This Morning” program. Obama may now reshuffle his cabinet. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plan to step down soon. Democrats widened their control of the 100-member Senate by two. The Republican majority in the 435member House means that Congress still faces a deep partisan divide. “That means the same dynamic. That means the same people who couldn’t figure out how to cut deals for the past three years,” said Ethan Siegel, an analyst who tracks Washington politics for institutional investors.

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012 Edition

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