Here is Todd's dramatic point: "With the single exception of Missouri, which barely went for McCain, Obama won every state where Bush's approval rating was below 35 percent in the exit polls, and he lost every state where Bush's approval was above 35 percent."
Obama rode Bush's coattails to victory. Had Bush been at 35 percent or 40 percent, McCain might have won. But, in 2012, Obama will not have Bush to kick around anymore.
On candidates' qualities, the situation looks even rosier for the GOP. In 2008, no less than 34 percent of the electorate said that the most important consideration in a candidate was that he be for "change."
Obama was the "change candidate." He patented the brand, and he carried this third of the nation 89 percent to 9 percent.
But in 2012, Obama cannot be the candidate of change. That title will belong to his challenger, the Republican nominee. Obama will be the incumbent, the candidate of continuity.
The second most critical consideration of voters in choosing a president was "values." No less than 30 percent of the electorate said this was their primary consideration in voting for McCain or Obama.
Among values voters, fully 30 percent of the electorate, McCain won 65 percent to 32 percent, or by two to one.
What these numbers demonstrate is that liberals and neocons instructing the GOP to dump the social, moral and cultural issues are counseling Republicide. When African-Americans, who gave McCain 4 percent of their votes in California, gave Proposition 8, prohibiting gay marriage, 70 percent of their votes, why would the GOP give up one of its trump cards -- not only in Middle America but among minorities?
A conservative who could have sharpened the social, moral and cultural differences might, from the exit polls, have done far better.
McCain's diffidence on life, affirmative action and gay rights, his embrace of amnesty and NAFTA, all help explain the enthusiasm gap. Twice as many voters were excited about the prospects of an Obama presidency as were about a McCain presidency.
Lastly, on Election Day, only 7 percent thought the U.S. economy was doing well, while 93 percent rated it as not so good, or poor. The GOP will not have to wear those concrete boots in 2012.
The tide is still running strong against the GOP. But there may be one or two more White Houses in the Grand Old Party yet.
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