13 November 2012
Re-elected president Barack Obama said it all in what has become the most retweeted message of all time. “Four more years”.
Last Wednesday, over 700 US politics junkies crammed into Manning Bar to watch the results live at the United States Studies Centre’s Election Day Spectacular. The highly Democratic leaning crowd was not disappointed.
Barack Obama ended up with 332 electoral college votes, well above the 270 he required to win, and beat his Republican rival Mitt Romney by nearly 3 percent in the popular vote.
“By all criteria, this was a very impressive performance by Obama and the Democrats,” said research associate at the Centre Tom Switzer on ABC 24’s The World after the result was confirmed.
Switzer said the election results pointed to a deeper shift in the American psyche. “America is starting to become a more liberal and progressive place,” he said. “[Obama] wanted to be a transformational president…and clearly that’s what’s happening”.
This sentiment was echoed by lecturer Rebecca Sheehan, who noted on ABC TV that the white, male vote was becoming increasingly irrelevant. “The minority-majority have become the new important voting public,” she said. “What people have said through their vote is that you can’t separate the economy from social issues.”
Looking forward, Centre CEO Bates Gill wrote in The Australian that the continuity of four more years of Obama, “combined with more confident leadership from a president who does not face re-election”, could help produce bipartisan solutions.
“With the election behind them, [Americans] have a chance to work together to bring about much-needed changes to put the country on a stronger and more unified footing”, he said.
Obama won’t be the only one celebrating this week however. Thanks to the US Studies Centre, two lucky competition winners will receive tickets for two to Washington DC, accommodation and $1000 spending money to see Obama sworn in for a second time in 2013.
In the Centre’s Pick the President competition, University of Sydney student David Bloomfield correctly guessed Obama’s final electoral college vote of 332, even getting within 314,000 of the total popular vote count. In the Create Your Own Campaign Ad competition, Elgar Welch produced a clever anti-Romney spot to win his tickets.
Both will be at Obama’s inauguration on 21January 2013 as Obama officially re-takes the Oval Office for four more years. To find out more about the competitions and get the latest post-election analysis, visit the Centre’s Election Watch 12 page.
Election Day Spectacular