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Elections Reveal America: Ten Takeaways From The 2012 Election


November 14th, 2012
by James Morone

Elections explain America. They tell us — they tell the world — who we are. And, of course, elections define government and power. The 2012 election may be especially significant. Let’s begin with the returns: President Obama won eight out nine swing states and 61 percent of the Electoral College; the Democrats took ten out of twelve contested Senate races for a ten-seat majority in the Senate; and the Republicans lost just seven seats in the House and maintain a solid 35-seat majority.

How does all that add up? Here are ten takeaways from 2012.

1. Barack Obama’s chance. Only four other Democrats have won back to back terms since the people started voting for presidents in 1824: Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton. All four remade the Democratic Party. And the first three profoundly changed the United States. Now Barack Obama gets his turn.

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