Those of us who play battle strategy games know that sometimes it is not our formidable champions that deal the death blow, but our line soldiers who have been tirelessly chipping away at our opponent's defenses. This is what came to mind as I sifted through exit polls and related data.
CNN's "Vote by Race" showed about 40% of the white vote went to President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden, with a more supportive 44% from under-30 white voters. The youth vote was very important with 55% to 60% of the under-40 crowd for Obama. Among single unmarried women, the percentage was a kiss-my-vagina higher 64% (IBD/TIPP poll, 5 Nov 2012), one reason being Democratic Party support for accessible health care (U.S. News & World Report, 2 Nov 2012).
CNN's exit polls also showed a whopping 93% of African Americans (13% of the national electorate) voted for Obama, as well as over 70% of both U.S. Latinos (10% electorate) and U.S. Asians (3% electorate). This is despite Republican efforts to prevent these votes through voter suppression tactics such as voter i.d. requirements and Tea Party poll watchers.
Among gays (5% electorate), 77% voted for Obama (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll). In 2011, Obama's administration repealed the military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This past May, Obama publicly came out in support of same-sex marriage. And this election, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington said yes to marriage equality, with Minnesota voters successfully defeating an amendment that would have banned it.
After reading the Godzilla-like percentages, you just want to turn to the still-reeling Republican Party and say, "This is what you get for being a bully and not playing well with others." Democrats proved they were better team players.
Democrat interest groups overlapped with the election of two pioneering female senators. One is Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the first openly homosexual U.S. Senator. Another is naturalized citizen Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, the first female Asian U.S. Senator and the first Buddhist U.S. Senator (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 8 Nov 2012; San Jose Mercury News, 7 Nov 2012).
Back in California, according to ImpreMedia-Latino Decisions Election Eve Poll, California Latinos (27% of the state electorate) voted 78% for Obama, Arizona Latinos 79% (20% electorate). But in Florida, the preference of Latinos (17% electorate) differed significantly by country of national origin. Latinos of Mexican origin preferred Obama 69% to the Cubans 35% (think Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who is of Cuban origin). Nationally, 75% of Latinos cast their votes for Obama (CNN said 71%), with an astounding 80% and higher recorded for the states of Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, and Maine.
Statehood for Puerto Rico? Maybe not. Various media outlets say the referendum results were misinterpreted and pro-statehood Puerto Ricans are not in the majority.
Everyone worked so hard to make the results of this too-close-for-comfort election a reality. Let us enjoy the post-election peace while we can, then it is back to work for a just and equitable United States of America, where power uneasily seesaws back and forth between the will of the American people and multinational corporations, where it is never a boring day in the land of opportunity.