Contributed by Peyton Knight
Written by Brad O'Leary
While it's true that the Republican Party must do some soul-searching and needs to restore its commitment to limited government and traditional values that made it so successful in the past, the truth is, the future is not as bleak as advertised. The party is more in a state of recession than depression. A full analysis of the 2008 election bears this out.
America still center-right
In addition, a majority of Americans still support traditional American values. Initiatives to uphold traditional marriage were on the ballots in two states carried by President-elect Obama, California and Florida. In both states, voters passed measures to ban gay marriage.
In California, where Obama beat McCain 61 percent to 37 percent, "values voters" beat special interest voters 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent on the issue of same-sex marriage.
In Florida, another state won by Obama, the margin of victory for values voters was even more substantial - 62 percent of Floridians voted against gay marriage, while only 38 percent voted in favor. Many of these values voters who voted for Obama and against gay marriage will certainly be disappointed in Obama's presidency.
Likewise, when Obama and the Democratic Congress institute the "Freedom of Choice Act" and lift all state restrictions on abortion, how will the 49 percent of Catholics who attend church on a weekly basis feel about their vote for Obama?
How will the roughly 9.1 million evangelical Christians who voted for Obama vote in the next election? Will Obama's actions compel the 31.2 million evangelicals who didn't vote in the 2008 election to vote next time?
President-elect Obama deceived gun owners as well. In rural district after rural district, he aired commercials, dropped fliers and dispatched surrogates to dupe voters into believing he strongly supports the Second Amendment. Polls show that National Rifle Association members weren't fooled, but gun owners who didn't have access to the NRA's massive political communications system were duped. A full 37 percent of voters in gun-owning households pulled the lever for Obama, despite his long history of hostility toward gun owners. Another 80 million eligible voters in gun-owning households didn't vote at all, nor did 3 million union gun owners. Money buys deception, as Obama and his supporters easily outspent the NRA's political victory fund 20 to 1. And this doesn't count the money spent by union bosses to convince the 6.43 million gun owners within their ranks to vote for Obama. How will they vote next time, after witnessing President Obama's disdain for their right to hunt and their right to use a firearm for self-defense?
McCain was the candidate of special interests - or was he?
The notion that Obama's fundraising advantage was the result of a groundswell of donations from average Americans is a myth. Obama raised substantially more money from special interests than McCain during the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission data.
Â Â Â * Obama had 66 percent more individual wealthy special-interest donors (donors who gave the maximum allowable contribution of $4,600) than McCain.
Â Â Â * Lawyers and lobbyists gave 245 percent more to Obama than they gave to McCain.
Â Â Â * The investment industry gave 59 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The banking and finance industries gave 19 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * Labor unions gave 1,880 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The education industry gave 1,075 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The film and music industries gave 615 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The hedge fund industry gave 69 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The pharmaceutical industry gave 187 percent more to Obama than McCain.
Â Â Â * The health care industry gave 98 percent more to Obama than McCain.
So much for Obama's campaign being fueled by "the little guy." In reality, he is more beholden than ever to special interests, as you can see from the groups listed above, which gave him a total of $148,932,012.
95 percent who are getting tax relief from Obama
Obama was also able to gain substantial support for his candidacy by running on an issue that Republicans used to own: tax cuts. The president-elect constantly repeated in the debates, and told anyone who would listen, that his economic plan would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans.
This would equate to 274 million Americans receiving a tax cut. However, a true analysis of his tax plan shows that only 40 percent of Americans will actually get a tax cut. This means that 173 million Americans Obama told would get a tax cut won't get one. How do you think they will vote in the next election?
Additionally, when the 13 million wealthiest American taxpayers discover that $1 trillion of their hard-earned money will go to a U.N. welfare program and another trillion will go to tax credits for people with no income tax liability, how many of them will vote differently next time? How many of the 6 million wealthiest Americans who didn't vote will be motivated to do so in the next election?
The final numbers in perspective
In the end, McCain received 6.7 million more votes than George W. Bush received in 2000, 13.3 million more votes than Ronald Reagan received in 1980, and 2.7 million more than Reagan received in 1984.
Many Democrats projected they would gain 10 seats or more in the Senate. However, they managed only six and fell short of achieving a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority. (Three Senate seats are still technically undecided, however. Republicans lead in all three.) In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat projections of a 30-seat gain fell way short. As of this writing, they gained 20 seats (four elections are still too close to call, and Republicans are leading in three of them.)
For its part, the media breathlessly warned of nationwide voter problems due to unprecedented turnout. However, the percentage of eligible voters who turned out in 2008 was roughly the same as it was in 2004, and there was no substantial turnout of young voters. This is hardly the groundswell for which the Democrats had hoped.
Though the Democrats may call Obama's victory a landslide, the true margin of victory was about 1 million votes spread out over seven battleground states. Not quite as large as the Electoral College indicates. And, there were roughly 35 million eligible conservative voters who did not cast a ballot in this election. If just 1 million of these conservatives had turned out to vote in Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina, McCain would have received 274 electoral votes and won the election.
So, yes, it is true that the Republican Party has some serious work ahead of it. Yet proper perspective indicates that it's a stock worth buying and all is not lost.