As the Republican Party settles on its 2012 presidential nominee, the Obama reelection campaign is gearing up to implement a coherent twenty-seven-prong strategy to secure every conceivable voting bloc in the country.
The Obama 2012 website includes separate pages targeting:
- African Americans for Obama
- Latinos for Obama
- BarackObama.com en Español (Spanish speakers for Obama)
- Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Obama
- Women for Obama
- People of Faith for Obama
- Jewish Americans for Obama
- ObamaPride (gays for Obama)
- Young Americans for Obama
- Environmentalists for Obama
- Veterans & Military Families for Obama
- Nurses for Obama
Obama is also scrambling to shore up support from other key constituencies, such as Muslims, union members, white-collar voters, high-income voters, Wall Street bankers, teachers unions, government workers, administrative assistants, and urbanites, not to mention cool cats.
One can imagine Obama campaign operatives poring over spreadsheets trying to determine whether, say, a black, Spanish-speaking businessman is more or less likely to support Obama than a white, Evangelical PETA member. Really, instead of the Democratic Party, they should call themselves the Demographic Party.
In contrast, the Romney 2012 website offers no such sections targeting specific voting blocs. The groups Romney targets are: people who want limited government, lower taxes and a vigorous pro-American foreign policy. That’s it. (Also maybe people with good posture and an affinity for Cadillacs.)
When was the last time a Republican presidential candidate implemented an explicit campaign strategy of wooing European-Americans, men, pastors, people with GEDs, married couples, construction workers, and squares?
Democrats obsess over demographic groups: which ones they have in the bag, which ones they’re losing, which ones the other side is courting, which ones are up for grabs. If enduring principles of governance and political philosophy wander into the mix, it’s a complete accident.
The Left dwells on demographics, because they are constantly, desperately scheming how to cobble together a hodgepodge of disparate interest groups to push their candidate over the 50% threshold.
Thus, Obama 2012 frets because the young’uns that came out for him four years ago are disappointed by his failure to deliver, even though, ironically, they have more time to vote for him now due to their mass unemployment.
Thus, a roundtable of pundits, including left-wingers Rachel Maddow and Hilary Rosen, recently pontificated on how best to frame women’s issues in 2012, while conservatives on the panel tried in vain to steer the conversation toward issues that affect the general electorate.
Thus, Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift crows that demographic trends predict an Obama rout in November, even though professional pollster Sean Trende dampens her enthusiasm by arguing that trends are volatile and actually moving back in Republicans’ favor.
The Left also frames principled disagreement with policies designed to help minority groups as prejudice or mean-spiritedness. If you’re a conservative, for example, you’re not allowed to oppose the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, even if you cite evidence that the claims bolstering its rationale unravel after controlling for relevant demographic variables.
With all the outreach Democrats do to so many constituencies, and all the emotion-laden tall tales they tell about conservatives’ hatred of such groups, it’s amazing liberals don’t win landslide elections year after year.
Is their strategy self-defeating, such that these groups don’t feel so special once they realize they’re just one of dozens of groups being pandered to? Or is there perhaps something more enduring and valuable voters would rather be offered than most-favored-minority-group status?
Voting for a Republican won’t make you feel special. It won’t make you feel as though your candidate is looking out for your unique interests as a [insert minority group label here]. If voting for a candidate who merely swears to uphold your constitutional rights as a generic American isn’t enticing enough for you, then vote Democratic.
Perhaps the reason Obama promises so much to so many groups is that he has so little to offer people who identify first and foremost as Americans.