By Umika Sharma:
It’s common to think that once the results come out nobody bothers about the loser and all limelight is thrown on the winner. But in the US Presidential Elections 2012 where Barack Obama won by a mere 2% popular votes, we are bound to talk about the loser here. After all 57 million Americans still voted for Mitt Romney.
These were one of the most controversial and costly American elections of all times, which lasted more than a year and have left Americans pondering over their own identity in their own country. The cost of these elections ran into billions and might have been enough to fully fuel a number of developing economies.
Though the results were not exactly unpredictable but the way they were achieved was beyond anybody’s imagination. The blatant lies, accusations from both sides and controversial statements made the whole slugfest even worse and left the Americans gasping for breath. The aftermath of the elections has ultimately brought to everyone’s notice the major reasons why Republican Mitt Romney lost as in 2008 Obama had won over America by a large margin but barely managed to defeat Romney this year.
There could have been ‘n’ number of reasons why Romney lost but the most prominent ones that led to his subsequent defeat can be broadly laid down as these five:
1. The ruthless capitalist image– Romney came forward as the cruel, manipulative and insensitive businessman who didn’t care for the middle class. He was considered out of touch from ground realities and people felt that he would turn a welfare state into a money-making machine. Then, when he refused to release his complete tax returns it just concreted this very notion into the minds of the people that he would not care about the major chunk of the population which was poor or belonged to middle class.
2. Another white guy- Romney also failed to strike a chord with other minorities of the country including Hispanics, Asians and of course African Americans. His image was portrayed that of the white capitalist who was money hungry and who advocated supremacy of whites. His resistance to immigration and usage of self invented terms such as “self deportation” further alienated the minorities. No wonder Obama won most of the minorities votes even though most whites voted for Romney.
3. Women favoured Obama– Romney’s statement against the scheme “Planned Parenthood” where women were given the right to abortion and planning their families angered women greatly. Women today want the right to their own bodies and were against Romney’s rigid stand on these issues which concerned not only morality but healthcare and economic issues as well. To add fuel to the fire, the insensitive views of Romney’s Republican colleagues on the issue of rape just sent the women voters to Obama’s side.
4. Act of God– God in his own way gave Obama many chances to prove that he was a capable President. His handling of hurricane Sandy further concreted his image of an efficient President who could handle any situation with panache. His swift response to Sandy pushed him ahead in most polls and made people believe that he deserved a second chance.
5. A charming First Lady- Yes, this might not seem like a very good reason but I have strong reasons to believe that Michelle Obama played a very vital role in Obama’s victory. First, she swayed women votes in favour of Obama as she was an instant hit with the women folk. Another reason is that she supported her husband through thick and thin and helped to bring out a more personal side to him. Barack Obama’s public acceptance of his undying love for Michelle simply swayed women off their feet and vote in favour of Obama. It was not just the women who got impressed; it was the overall effect where Obama was projected as a warm, down-to-earth and kind man contrary to Romney’s ruthless capitalist image.
The list of possible reasons for Romney’s defeat can go on and on. He has already been declared as one the least popular candidates in American elections coming closely in line with Jimmy Carter and Bob Dole. But his defeat is a mirror image of politics in the American setup where Barack Hussein Obama has been bestowed with another shot at Presidency to prove his worth the second time round.