Lessons From The 2012 Election.

Not surprisingly, election results were the topic this week on Democratic Perspective. As with most elections, there was good news and bad news.

The good news was President Obama’s overwhelming win with 302 electoral votes. The bad news was that Dr. Richard Carmona apparently lost his bid to become a US Senator.

The good news was that Democrats won 5 of Arizona’s Congressional Districts. The bad news was that all three Democratic candidates for the Corporation Commission lost.

The good news was that Democrats broke the super majority in the Arizona State Legislature. The bad news was that all three of our LD-6 candidates (Ballard, Chabin and LeFevre) lost. Even worse news was that Sheriff Joe Arpaio was re-elected in Maricopa County! And the worst news of all was that, a week after the election, tens of thousands of votes still had not been counted in Arizona revealing an apparently dysfunctional electoral system.

Looking at the pre-election polls, it was obvious that the most accurate predictor of the election was Nate Silver’s 538 Blog. He not only predicted the outcome of the presidential race. He predicted the number of electoral votes. He even called every US Senate race with the single exception of North Dakota’s.

The Republican pollsters all got it wrong, including the right-leaning Rasmussen Poll; even the famed Gallup Poll.

The lessons from the election were many: Women, Latinos and African-Americans voted overwhelmingly for President Obama and Democratic candidates. The Democratic ground game is both more committed and sophisiticated than the Republicans’. And Republican voter suppression efforts backfired. In Florida and Ohio, voters (especially minorities) stood in line for up to 8 hours to vote.

In Arizona, it was clear that despite months of canvassing and calling, people ignored issues and voted along party lines. A great example was the sovereignty proposition. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the measure, yet they elected the proposition’s author, Chester Crandall. Also, in LD-6, voters elected the legislator who proposed turning northern Arizona into a nuclear waste dump.

The only possible conclusion is that, in rural northern Arizona, especially in the Verde Valley, voters give little consideration to anything except party affiliation.

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