Ever since the 2012 election ended with Obama‘s victory, people have been continually questioning exactly who, if given a second opportunity, would vote against him. With every single new scandal that came to light between November of 2012 and February of 2014, political analysts have speculated that if the election were held again, Romney would win. Until now, these statements have been almost entirely theoretical, but a new poll has finally shed some light on how the election would go down if held today.
An Economist/YouGov.com poll asked supporters of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama if, given the chance, they would vote for somebody else. 90% of Romney supporters said that they would vote for Romney again, while only 79% of Obama supporters said they would give him another vote.
Let’s be more specific about the demographics of who exactly “regrets” voting for Obama. According to the poll, 80% of the polled Caucasians would not vote for Obama if given a second chance, and 39% of African-Americans agree. Shockingly, 100% of the polled Hispanics said they regretted reelecting Obama. Even more surprisingly, 84% of the polled women say they regret voting for Obama, while 61% of men agree.
Here’s the one that will really get you thinking. 55% of Democrats say they would not vote for Obama again, while 71% of Independents agree. This is significant because Independents are widely seen as the deciders for almost every election. Now, what does this actually mean for the conservative and liberal movements?
We will not waste time speculating if the new data would cause a different outcome in the election. According to the statistics, Romney has maintained enough of his fan-base to beat Obama, but has not actually gained any new support or popularity. “If the election were held today, Romney would win” is a true statement, albeit an irrelevant one. While many Obama supporters are asking for a “do-over,” it is pretty much guaranteed that would not take place. Besides, Romney has said on record that he would not consider running again.
We should be more focused on what this means for the upcoming mid-term elections and further down the line in 2016, if it means anything at all. Just because so many people would not vote for Obama again, does not dictate that they would vote for a Republican. According to the same poll, Hillary Clinton is faring quite well among her Democratic competitors, and many Democratic activists are already anticipating her 2016 run.
Conservatives should not start jumping for joy just yet. Rather than obsessing over these statistics, we should start articulating our message in a more coherent way that cuts through the mindless, vicious propaganda that daily floods the airwaves. Now is the time to get serious and convey to the voters how conservatism can heal – at least in part – the damage that has been done to this country.