The winning formula and the wrong kind of making history

This is the best of several ‘secrets of Obama’s success’ articles I’ve read: a more precise and sophisticated analysis than the simpler ‘minority capture’ version, by National Journal editorial director Ronald Brownstein, writing for The Atlantic. Crushing victory amongst blacks, Hispanics and Asians sure (eight out of ten across all three taken together) but it was a more nuanced triumph than just that:

But in the upper Midwest, where there are not enough of those voters to win, Obama attracted just enough working-class whites to hold the critical battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Iowa, and above all Ohio against Mitt Romney’s forceful challenge.

And the more somber historical note:

Obama became the first elected president since Andrew Jackson to win a second full term with a smaller share of the popular vote than he took in his first victory.


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